Fake Cards Still Rife on Site

One in five people responsible for checking skills cards on construction sites have seen fakes used by workers in the past year.

Cheats are still getting away with it because contractors are not using the latest technology to carry out checks.

A UK-wide survey also found  that while 86% of cardholders had their cards checked, under half (43%) were checked to see if they were actually qualified to do the job.

The survey, by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is part of a drive for construction firms to adopt new technology to identify fraudsters.

All 1.4 million CSCS cards have microchip technology embedded in them, which allows a site manager access to a wealth of information about each worker, including their qualifications.

But 69% of respondents said they were still checking cards using a paper-based system, with only 6% using smart technology.

Braden Connolly, Head of Product Management at CITB, said: “Producing or using cards fraudulently can constitute a criminal offence.

“Increased action is needed to stamp out the fraudsters, which is why we are calling on industry to adopt new technology to help tackle this problem.

“CITB will continue to share intelligence and work with the authorities whenever the evidence suggests criminal activity is taking place.”

CSCS Chief Executive Graham Wren said: “Thorough card checks must be carried out before allowing workers on site and employers need to ensure workers have the correct qualifications for the work they do.

“More and more people are realising technology, such as a CSCS SmartCard, is a simple and cost effective way to do this.

“By simply placing the card into a reader or compatible device such as a tablet or smartphone you can instantly check the validity of a card and the qualifications held by the card holder.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to increase the use of technology so that relying on visual card checks becomes a thing of the past.”

For more information on SmartCard technology click here.

Many thanks to http://www.constructionenquirer.com/ for this article.

London to ban HGV’s without safety equipment

HGV’s without safety equipment are to be banned from London in a bid to help protect cyclists and pedestrians.

The proposed ‘Safer Lorry Scheme’ was confirmed by the Mayor, Boris Johnson, Transport for London and London Councils after it received 90% support in a public consultation.

According to TFL, the scheme will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with side-guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors to give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.

The scheme, which is due to come into force in September, will apply to all roads in Greater London, except motorways, and will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint TfL and DfT-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce.  TfL said that the maximum fine for each breach will be £1000 and the operator will also be referred for consideration to the relevant Traffic Commissioner, who is reponsible for the licensing and regulation of HGV operators.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Improving the safety of London’s roads is a top priority.  We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment.  Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets.  The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.”

According to TfL, HGVs are disproportionately represented in cyclist fatalities in the capital, with nine of the 14 cyclist deaths in London in 2013 involving HGVs. Although the number of serious collisions involving cyclists and HGVs in 2014 decreased, TfL says that it remains committed to its aim of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured in London by 40% over the next five years.

With thanks to RoSPA Safety Express publication

CDM 2015 Comes into Force

HSE has published new guidance on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), which came into force in Great Britain on 6th April this year.

The Regulations replace CDM 2007, with key changes including the application of CDM 2015 to all projects including domestic client jobs, all projects requiring a written construction phase plan and the replacement of the role of the CDM co-ordinator with a new role of principle designer.

HSE has released new web guidance on what each dutyholder needs to do, legal requirements, transitional provisions and an online timeline.

Access all the new guidance by clicking here.

Many thanks to RoSPA Safety Express publication.

New H&S Apps Launched

Two new free mobile phone apps, designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) meet their health and safety requirements, have been launched.

The Safety Wizard app is drawn directly from the HSE Toolbox guidance, which aims to offer SME’s a simple guide to their health and safety responsibilities.

According to the developers, RNF Digital Innovation, the app gives the user access to straightforward advice on the most common health and safety hazards and shows how SME’s can take practical steps to control the risks in their workplace.

There is advice on working environments and on the most common causes of accidents with helpful dos and don’ts, as well as sections on the most common hazards such as electricity, gas, manual handling and harmful substances plus simple risk assessment tools.

The Safety Wizard is available as a free download from the Apple iTunes store.  Click here to go to download.

In addition, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has launched a new free CDM Wizard app, developed with teh support of the HSE, which says it will help businesses to write construction phase plans, perhaps for the first time, following the introduction of the CDM Regs 2015.  The CDM Wizard app will initially be available on Android with an Apple version to follow.

For more information and to download click here.

With thanks to RoSPA Safety Express