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Environmental First In Training

13 March 2013

Costain has played a major role in creating the first nationally-accredited environmental training programme for construction site workers.

The Company, together with Skanska and Wates Group plus support from CITB-Construction Skills, has been instrumental in setting up the Site Environmental Awareness Course (SEATS), which is endorsed by both the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) and the Environment Agency.

The one-day SEATS course provides site personnel with the knowledge to handle typical environmental issues they are likely to encounter,  such as water and waste management, land contamination and hazard awareness.

Group SHE Director, Peter Fisher, launched SEATS to the industry and press on 28 February; he was instrumental in promoting the need for such a course to the National Construction College SHE Committee and the UKCG around two years ago.

Costain also undertook an industry questionnaire in June 2011, seeking to understand the industry’s environmental training needs and wants, then worked with CITB-Construction Skills and the other partners to develop the programme, a business case and find the necessary funding.

Costain is a registered training provider for SEATS and, together with Skanska and Wates, intends to roll-out SEATS as a mandatory requirement for all site supervisors and managers. It has already run two courses as part of Costain’s supply chain academy.

The new course is “an important step in raising the benchmark for environmental best practice across the wider industry,” commented Andy Walder, director of the National Construction College. “We have a responsibility to help employers manage the impact their activities have on the wider environment – equipping the industry with the skills and training it needs to deliver long-term beneficial change.”

Head of Policy at the UKCG, Simon Nathan, added that the new course “will provide a common benchmark for those working on site and will be a recognised programme that can be utilised by firms large and small”.