IOSH and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme’s (CSCS) new agreement will hopefully make it easier for workers to gain access to construction sites, as problems have been arising for companies that insist that everyone accessing their sites must carry a CSCS card. Individuals have been denied access as they do not have a card, even when they are not directly involved in site construction.
Recent examples of people being denied access include an engineer fixing a canteen vending machine and a senior HSE inspector. They were both denied access to the site because the principal contractor imposed a 100% CSCS card rule. In an effort to satisfy the industry’s desire to become 100% carded CSCS introduced the Construction Site Operative (CSO) Green Card in 2002. This card was intended for workers in labouring occupations. However, the introduction of the CSO card opened the door for many to gain access to construction sites regardless of what work they were doing and whether they had achieved any qualifications or received appropriate training. This led to confusion over whether CSCS cards were site passports, health and safety cards or competency cards. A CSCS card is none of these, a CSCS card certifies that the individual has achieved relevant qualifications and training.
In July this year CSCS stopped issuing the CSO card. At the same time they introduced a new labourer card, which requires the achievement of a Level 1 qualification – ‘health and safety in a construction environment’ or successful completion of a recognised equivalent, which includes IOSH Working safely.