Tradesmen around the country have been forced to retake their Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test and Site Safety Plus certificate.
This follows the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) investigation into several training centres that were alleged to have issued Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards for cash.
The cards are on the table
The CITB have confirmed that over 4,500 cards have now been revoked. The cards are essential for tradesmen given that nine out of 10 of the UK’s largest construction firms demand them.
The investigation into fraudulent cards was launched following a BBC Newsnight programme on accredited centres where several were caught fixing the exams and taking cash payments.
Following the exposé, in November CSCS contacted the affected cardholders – a total of 8,000 tradesmen in total - informing them that they’d need to retake either the HS&E Test or the Site Safety Plus certificate.
However, incredibly, 5,480 forgetful individuals failed to register for the retake. 4,615 of these tradesmen have now had their cards revoked, while the remaining 553 have until Sunday 14th February to successfully retake, or face similar action.
The construction safety exams were some of the first of their kind, as authorities looked to clamp down on under-qualified and under-experienced workers.
Done by the book, the exams are intended to prove that UK construction workers have a sound understanding of both health and safety and the relevant skills… but as this recent exposé reflects, in some cases they’ve been doing anthing but.
Speaking on the scandal, the chief executive of the Building Services Research and Information Association said: “This scheme has to be trusted. BSRIA’s members demand best practice for the industry where its workforce must be safe. This exposure is clearly unacceptable.
“Industry health and safety and compliance must be adhered to all times. We do feel for those whose livelihoods will be disrupted, but the bottom line is that workers must be safe,” she insisted.
Have you been affected by the CITB’s decision to revoke CSS cards? Let us know below.