Steve Thornton wrote that his company has been unable to obtain CSCS cards for its particular specialist trade (NCE 13 May). As a site manager on an MCG site, I am required to check that all subcontractors' employees have a CSCS card, or, if not, an exemption letter, which I agree is hardly satisfactory.
The number of trades not covered by CSCS is quite incredible - for example mechanical fitters and steel tank installers. I suggest, to companies finding themselves in this situation, that the basic 'construction operative general' card is better than nothing, as this at least demonstrates a level of competence and health and safety awareness.
What is more, it can be obtained by brushing up on health and safety rules and taking a multiple choice test for a relatively small fee.
However, I do appreciate that this approach is not a satisfactory long term solution as it contributes to the 'am I covered if things go wrong' box-ticking attitude highlighted in the editorial by Antony Oliver on the same page!
Greg Riddle, 17 Ashley Hall Gardens, Linlithgow, EH49 7DN