In the wake of a BBC Newsnight investigation into falsified construction skills registrations, the issue of site safety is once again under the spotlight.
Launched in 1995, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) issues cards to construction workers to verify competence in a variety of areas including health and safety. The investigation has shown that, in some cases, candidates were given the correct answers by instructors during their exam or could simply buy their card with no examination process. Despite the widespread media coverage, however, this is likely to be a small-scale issue with only a fraction of the 544 nationwide test centres currently under investigation.
Where site safety is concerned, possession of a CSCS card should be considered the minimum requirement rather than the be-all and end-all. Construction contractors should have robust policies in place and at Chalcroft, health and safety is ingrained in all our team members as a vital part of our culture.
Contractors should be able to demonstrate a minimum training requirement for all their site workers, as well as showing evidence of regimented working practices to ensure safety, rather than relying on the card. Training staff and fostering an environment in which safe working is second nature is by far the biggest contributing factor towards achieving compliance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the newly-updated Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.