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CSCS cards and IFA membership in job adverisements for diggers...what a laugh
#31
Wonder if the IfA aren't missing a trick here.......Negotiating a discount (or even free) CSCS cards for members might be an effective way of promoting both the Institute and its aims...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#32
Doug Wrote:The point of the CSCS card is not for safety per se, though I am happy to have learned more about white finger if I ever decide to become a professional drill hammerist? hammery? hammer?, the point is legal liability. Assuming something goes wrong on site they can use the CSCS card as a liability shield. They can say we were following the "professional" standards of the sector and thus can not be at fault when johnny cut his had off. If forces a lawyer to say that it is not just company X that is wrong but that every construction company and every construction project undertaken since the CSCS card was in effect are wrong. A very tall order for anyone.

Yes, it marginally improves safety but the real point is saving money on lawsuits.

And if you want to work for the construction industry, (cough) commercial archaeology, then you need one.


Is that really true or just an assumption? I'd have thought the first thing they would check is whether you were working according to their risk assessment or similar, and every contractor would presumably be responsible for their own insurance. Unless you just meant the main contractor on whose site the archaeologists were working.
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#33
On big jobs I've been on you're usually (always?) forced to work under the main contractor's H&S (hence all the pointless PPE etc), even though as the subcontractor you've been forced to provide all you're own H&S documentation - that usually just gets completely ignored. On that basis if I was involved in anything legal resulting from an H&S issue I'd presume it would devolve on the main contractor since it's their H&S that's being enforced and always takes precedence? :face-thinks:


- although did a job couple of years back where we settled on separate H&S for convenience since theirs had a depth limit of 600mm - so we hand-dug a lot of deeper stuff for them under our own H&S which follows the HSE rules (and most of the archaeology was below 600mm), rare outbreak of common sense that helped everyone! Cool
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#34
Dinosaur Wrote:On that basis if I was involved in anything legal resulting from an H&S issue I'd presume it would devolve on the main contractor since it's their H&S that's being enforced and always takes precedence? :face-thinks:
No...if there was a prosecution arising from a H&S issue it would be based on the H&S at Work Act and not an individual or corporate H&S policy (although of course the extent and effectiveness of corporate H&S policy might be a material factor in the case).....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#35
I was under the impression that company H&S policy in effect became H&S law - it is for the company to interpret the law and produce policy that fits. Which is why there tends to be blanket policies such as hard hats and hi-viz all the time, even when technically of no benefit - it makes the writing of the H&S policy easier and covers their arses. Also, much of H&S law (unless it has changed considerably in the last few years) is actually pretty non-proscriptive - it tends to rely on the individuals concerned making a judgement. Again, company H&S bods go for the easy, cover-all options. And yes, to an earlier question, it's the main contractors that insist on the CSCS cards, for the very same reason. It's their site, so it's their rules. On the other hand, if you're on a site 'owned' by a construction company and they are lax over, for instance, PPE or CSCS cards keep your eyes peeled - they may also be lax on the more important stuff. It's rare, but a few just don't give a damn.
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#36
Tool Wrote:I was under the impression that company H&S policy in effect became H&S law -
In the widest sense that is true in that the law says it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure a safe working environment - but then there are certain 'prescriptions' that define minimum standards dependent upon the task involved i.e minimum welfare facilities, hours worked, adequate breaks etc etc. procedures that must be followed (risk assessments etc), reporting requirements and the need to make information available to employees. Of course most sensible company policies enshrine all of these requirements. H&S law also covers the responsibility of each and every individual for their own safety and the safety of others - clearly something above and beyond individual company policy. My problem with the CSCS scheme in general is that it encapsulates generic H&S procedures for sites whilst H&S law states that every task should be subject to an individual risk assessment. For example whilst wearing PPE might be generally a good idea, an individual risk assessment might conclude that that the wearing of such equipment constitutes a greater risk than not wearing it i.e people who normally wear spectacles having to take those off and wear safety goggles instead. No point in saving your eyes from risk if you then walk into a deep hole and break your leg (or worse)....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#37
I totally agree, and this is one issue I've had with company H&S policies for years. The law states (and I'm not quoting here, this is my take on it) that PPE is there as a last resort, that all efforts should be taken to remove/minimise the risk from whatever hazard has been identified first, and if there is still some unavoidable risk, then PPE should be used. Nowhere in the law does it say that PPE should be worn at all times. I feel it's dangerous to insist on it at all times, because it reduces the individual's ability to identify or be aware of when a risk is actually present, and that is what will save you. If you were a real cynic you could argue that insistence on hard hats at all times is an admission of failure in minimising risk, although I can't see that standing up in court... This principle applies to the CSCS card. The law states that people must be competent. The industry relies on one poxy test to assess a worker's basic competence in relation to H&S. Which is frankly stupid. But, the company should, as a matter of course, also run you through a site induction (a proper site induction, not 'there's the bogs, now get on with it...') followed by various training and awareness schemes as and when.

As to the goggles - if they are a requirement of the job/site/company, they should also provide you prescription ones if needed. But again I agree with what you're getting at.
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#38
I would hope no archaeology company worth it's salt relies on the CSCS card for the competence H&S wise of its staff. Archaeology has its own hazards independent of the main site and requires its own risk assessments inductions and training. When something goes wrong it will ricochet right up to the top and the top is where the buck stops. So unless an individual can be proved to have done something contary to the risk assesments and their health and safety training the responsibility is on the company and the individuals running that company who need to prove that they had all risk assessments, Health and safety policies, training, induction etc in place. A CSCS card is just a starting point and as many have pointed out proves nothing. Allways ask yourself has anyone gone over task specific risk assesments with me? Do I know where the company health and safety policy is, have I been given a copy?
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#39
Wax Wrote:I would hope no archaeology company worth it's salt relies on the CSCS card for the competence H&S wise of its staff.
You would hope that is the case wouldn't you, but the increasing number of archaeological companies that ask for staff to possess a CSCS card as a requirement prior to applying for a job suggests otherwise.....Especially the companies that advertise for staff to be placed on an 'availability' register. Surely they have no reason (there not being an immediate need for the CSCS card) for not offering to pay the cost for successful applicants to gain the 'qualification'....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#40
Indeed many archaeological jobs are done well in advance of the main contractors being anywhere near the site so do not require a CSCS card unless the client stipulates it in the main contract drawn up between them and the unit. And as yet not worked on a community dig or site using volunteers where a CSCS card is needed (specific H&S especially geared to working with volunteers is). I suppose if you pay for it yourself it can be legitimately off set against tax as can the cost of travel to the test venue and any learning resources you invest in. I cannot help thinking it is the employers responsibility to pay for it (many do). I would imagine there are discounts and tax breaks in it for them.

As a matter of interest do managers and consultants need one? I ask because in the various jobs I do and have done CSCS has never been asked for. I work mainly in the Heritage sector rather than developer. CDMS seems to set the rules there and the archaeology is done before anything else happens.
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