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CSCS cards and IFA membership in job adverisements for diggers...what a laugh
What does a CSS card look like. Couldnt you you get a photocopy-print one off the Internet?
Likewise just add aifa to your long list of post grad qualifications
Reason: your past is my past
Unitof1 Wrote:What does a CSS card look like. Couldnt you you get a photocopy-print one off the Internet?
Likewise just add aifa to your long list of post grad qualifications

Good point, is there any easy way for an employer to check whether that PIFA is genuine? Not that I can see that anyone would bother...

@Unit - nothing clever about the CSCS card I'm looking at, no security features or anything
Wax - ref 'My original question does the Unit director / specialist consultant/ manager need a CSCS card or is it something for the plebs? (not meant as an insult)'.

As a specialist consultant I can confirm that I do need a CSCS card - some clients insist on this when I am visiting construction sites in order to monitor work undertaken by contractors. Oddly enough, I am usually there to accompany county mountie types, who never have a CSCS card and rarely have any appropriate PPE - they seem to rely on the site agent etc to provide such PPE, which does raise some questions regarding their own employer's responsibilities. I have just renewed my CSCS Construction Site Visitor card, which involved a fairly Mickey Mouse multiple choice screen-based test that would be harder to fail than pass.

RedEarth Wrote: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.

true- each risk assessment would be assessed, though they all tend to be boiler plate to a degree. A CSCS card allows standardization, to a degree, of workplace safety- basically, when in doubt ask your supervisor. As most people have pointed out standardization has its drawbacks. However, when something bad does happen the person it happened to can't claim they were never told to ask their supervisor because it is an industry standard.

It is just another shield- look, industry standard is to wear steel toe boots at all times blah, blah, blah, blah. It insures that if a lawsuit or insurance claim, etc. does happen they can't play company H&S against each other. Look company B does it different and if company A had done it that way my client would not be injured. Again, mainly boiler plate stuff like wear a hard hat, don't run with scissors, don't feed the gremlins after midnight, don't get the gremlins wet, etc. but it makes the insurance companies happy and the lawyers so it is there. It also means that you as a worker should have known not to feed the gremlins, getting a CSCS card puts H&S on you. The company can lay blame on you or the CSCS people by saying look- he passed a test by a third party he should have known not to get the gremlins wet, not our problem.

Hope, that clears up what I meant by CSCS is mainly a legal dodge.
Health and safety on site is a mish mash of laws, regulations, company rules and dictates from insurance companies.

a) With construction companies (and presumably other companies too) the insurance companies dictate things that have to be in place for the insurance policies (public and professional) to be valid. These include 'safety' stipulations.

b) The CDM regulations also include rules that must be followed, don't think they are enforced, but if not followed and something goes wrong = big trouble. Under CDM regs, the principle contractor is responsible for, amongst other things health and safety and site rules. (Note the two are separate!)

c) Individual companies have their own safety rules and method statements for tasks, either from risk assessments or as a result of incidents/near misses and the following investigations.

d) The health and safety law states that employers are responsible for making working conditions safe (within reason). And that individuals are responsible for their own and others safety at work (within reason).

Problems occur when a) clashes with HSE guidelines and c) and even sometimes b) as the principle contractor can't afford to work without insurance so MUST follow the dictates of the insurance companies whilst still trying to not implicate themselves if something goes wrong under b) or d).

The thing to remember is at all times, no matter what you are told, no matter what you have signed, no matter what pressure you are under, is..... on an individual basis The Health and Safety law cuts through everything else.

If you are asked to do something that you think is unsafe, don't do it. You are legally obliged to look after your own safety.
But tell your supervisor so. Write it down on paper. Lodge it in the near miss system. Contact the HSE..etc etc.

You can't be forced to do something unsafe. You can be sacked, but that is unfair dismissal.

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