Union urges action over safety certificate fraud
Construction workers union GMB is calling on the industry to eradicate the dangers posed by 4,615 fraudulent safety certificates in circulation on sites in the UK.
The Construction Skills Certification Scheme has asked that employers check all safety cards after 6000 were revoked following an investigation by the Construction Industry Training Board that exposed fraudulent activity in centres where candidates were taking tests accredited by the CITB and the British Safety Council.
Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer, says: “Only 1,385 of the 6000 card holders have applied for the free retest.
“This leaves 4,615 fraudulent safety certificates from these five service providers still in circulation on UK construction sites. Those holding cancelled cards pose a serious danger to life and limb to other construction workers and the public.”
GMB has backed the call by CSCS that every employer on every UK site performs an electronic smartcard check of every CSCS card in circulation to establish the validity.
“The visual checks normally done by employers are no longer adequate,” says the union. “The fraudulent certificates must be confiscated and the names of the holders reported to CSCS.
The union is also calling for test centre staff who were responsible for the fraudulent cards being issued to be arrested and charged with serious criminal offences.
The GMB says: “There is not a word from the CITB of any prosecutions against the five test centre operators. This was a criminal operation that potentially has put construction workers lives in danger on UK construction sites and not one legal case has been disclosed.”
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