MEL Health and Safety Consultants

More than 400,000 construction workers are expected to change skills cards under the imminent shake-up to the CSCS scheme.

The new Labourers’ Green Card will replace the current Construction Site Operative (CSO) cards from July.

CSCS chiefs said around 600,000 of the scheme’s 2m cardholders currently hold the CSO card.

But the real number of “pure” labourers in the industry is believed to be between 150,000 – 200,000.

The new card contains a mandatory health and safety test and could take up to 40 hours of training to prepare for for new entrants to the industry.

CSCS chairman Graham Wren said: “That level of training is only for people who are brand new to construction.

“Experienced labourers will be able to take the test without anywhere near that amount of training because they already have the knowledge to pass it.

“A lot of construction workers are currently carrying the wrong card so this is all about making sure people are using the scheme correctly.

“The old CSO card was too easy to get and we are addressing that.”

Info Bite 144
February 2014