H&S Blueprint project launches Health and Safety training adapted to the new needs of ‘green professionals’

After almost two years of tendering, Fundación Laboral de la Construcción closes the Health & Safety Blueprint initiative coordinated by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME) of the European Commission (EC).

The H&S Blueprint project ends after twenty-two months of work. During those months, a comprehensive and updated training framework has been developed, covering the emerging Health and Safety needs, especially related to new building materials, insulation, technology and individual processes. The result is an online training endorsed by the EC, which consists of eight modules, divided into three areas of construction (Materials, Operations and Waste), developed in English and Spanish:

  1. Materials:
    • Module 1. Insulation and Sealing Materials.
    • Module 2. Finishing Materials.
    • Module 3. Bituminous Materials.
    • Module 4. Sustainable Materials.
  2. Operations:
    • Module 5. Insulation Operations.
    • Module 6. Inverted Green Roofs.
    • Module 7. Renewable Energy Systems.
  3. Waste:
    • Module 8. Waste management.

In addition to the two mentioned languages, modules 1, 2 and 7 are also translated into Italian, French, German and Polish.

All the modules have been developed by a multidisciplinary team in Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, in order to offer training to the professionals of the sector from Europe, so that they can update and reinforce their knowledge on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) of the new construction industry, in which sustainable, digital and collaborative values are prioritized.

The goal is to achieve a safe sector

With the goal of “achieving a safe sector”, EASME launched the tender Health & Safety Blueprint, which was awarded to Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, on December 7th, 2018, and which is a complement to the “Strategic Framework on professional skills in the construction industry”, developed by the Construction Blueprint project, which also leads the entity and in which there are 24 partners from 12 European countries -Spain, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal-, and which includes representatives of the European sector such as the European Construction Industry Federation (Fiec), the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Builders Confederation (EBC).

Fundación Laboral, as part of this Sectoral Skills Alliance, has had the support of those European institutions that participate in the Construction Blueprint project, which considers it essential to address the area of Health and Safety in the new construction industry. Therefore, its website includes the main advances of the H&S Blueprint project, giving it a prominent space within the portal.

Positive image of the sector

The H&S Blueprint project had among its objectives to revive the image of construction, offering an updated and digital vision of the industry.
This objective has been approached by Fundación Laboral de la Construcción that has promoted the dissemination and participation in events about the sector and its new advances. Some of these events are: the management meeting of the project Mental Health in the World of Construction, led by Fiec and EFBWW, in March 2019, in Brussels; or the participation in the Conference of ‘Digital competences in the European construction and energy transformation sector‘ organized by the European Portal For Energy Efficiency In Buildings of EC ‘Build Up’, in the International Fair of Construmat at Barcelona, on May 16, 2019. In addition, it has participated in monitoring meetings of other international sectoral projects, in international networks such as the Conference on Project Development (CPD) and European meetings organized by EASME or in the working group of the European Association of Parity Institutions (AEIP).

As part of the achievements reached, in the transmission of a positive image of the sector, has been to get about 200 people to participate in the pilot courses Health & Safety Blueprint, launched on September 2nd, via online. This shows the public interest of the project and the need that professionals or future workers of the industry had to improve their skills.

Promotion of learning

The current labor market requires professionals to update their knowledge and skills in Health and Safety necessary for sustainable construction, digitalization and new materials, which companies demand. That is why 198 people – out of the more than 470 who registered – started the three H&S Blueprint pilot courses, online for free, focusing on Insulation and Sealing Materials (15 teaching hours), Finishing Materials (15 teaching hours) and Renewable Energy Systems (25 teaching hours).

Sectoral strategy

As part of its commitment to the sector, the European project H&S Blueprint organized on October 3rd, 2019, in Brussels, the stakeholders meeting “Sectoral strategy on qualifications: support measures for the construction sector”, organized in coordination between Fundación Laboral and the EC.

The event counted with the participation of expert speakers such as: Fulvia Raffaelli, director of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs department of EC; Brenda O’Brien, Director of the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the Belgian capital; and Jan Cromwijk, Project Coordinator at the Dutch ISSO Construction Services Knowledge Centre, among others.

The discussion, which focused on the need to provide specialized training in Safety and Health for new ‘green’ jobs, was useful to mark the current challenge of the sector at the international level: to increase the attractiveness of the sector and generate qualified labor, helping the sustainability of the planet.