The CSCS Test is used by the construction and demolition industries (as well as all their associated partners, like geology firms, surveying companies and even academics who need access to sites) to provide an incontrovertible way of tracking the competence of all site personnel. In terms of health and safety, that means knowing that every single person working on your site has passed a health, safety & environment test designed to give him or her the knowledge he or she needs to perform his or her duties without endangering himself, herself or anyone else.
The construction industry is estimated to have more than 350 occupations associated with it. These occupations all carry different types and levels of risk. The CSCS Test is tailored to meet the needs of each one of these occupations.
Different Types of CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test
There are 13 available types of CSCS Test. The Tests cover all the combinations of skills and risks associated with the jobs of site workers. Broadly, they are categorised according to level of responsibility and level of risk: so a regular site operative or crafts person (such as a joiner) will be required to take the Operative Health, Safety and Environment Test, while a site operative with a particular skill (say an aerial or satellite installer) will need to take the test that covers his or her area. In the case of the satellite installer that means taking the CSCS Test for Working at Heights.
What about Sites that Don’t Require a CSCS Card?
There are very few sites in the United Kingdom that do not ask for a CSCS Card as proof of health and safety qualification for the trade you perform. The percentage of British sites requiring a CSCS Card for workers is now 80% – while current figures suggest that there are more than 1.5 million workers with a valid card. Simply speaking: if you don’t have a current card, which shows that you have passed the right versions of the CSCS Test within the right timeframes, then you won’t get hired. Increased security and scheme refinement has clamped down on the use of wrong cards, too – so your only option for getting the work you want is to have the right card, and the right health, safety & environment test, to be hired for it.
Raising the Standard of Health and Safety for Construction
The CSCS Test allows all participating sites, construction firms and satellite bodies to have a common language. Because the vast majority of industry employers have adopted the CSCS Card as a reliable source of information about site workers’ competence and qualifications, the industry as a whole is now able to talk about the same jobs using the same words. When you pass a CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test for Working at Heights, for example, all employers buying into the scheme know what that means and can hire accordingly. The Test isn’t just there to raise the levels of health and safety awareness in the industry – it’s there to level the playing field.