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Contractors use TfL site as test bed for compulsory CSCS smartcards

The £250 million Tottenham Court Road tube station upgrade project is to be the first scheme to require all site-based staff to hold Construction Skills Certification Scheme smartcards.

The Vinci/Bam Nuttall joint venture carrying out the project on behalf of Transport for London will require all staff, including subcontractors, to carry the cards.

A Bam Nuttall spokesperson said the project had been chosen as a case study “with a view to rolling out similar schemes throughout the business”.

“We chose this project because it’s an easy site to manage,” the spokesperson said. “There are controlled entries and exits so progress can be monitored easily.”

Subcontractors working on the scheme will need to carry the cards, which cost £30 and take 10 days to acquire. The cards will be used on site from early 2011.

A CSCS spokesperson said: “The switch has been driven by the contractors on this project. The old cards are gradually being phased out and you can’t buy them anymore, so contractors are pushing to fully engage with the new technology.”

CSCS says the smartcards, which were introduced in January 2010, reduce costs and improve safety on site by reducing time spent checking the validity of cards, eliminating holders of fraudulent cards gaining site access and providing easy access to the in-house training records system.

Vinci/Bam Nuttall project director Jez Haskins said: “Using CSCS smartcards makes sense on many levels, so we are keen to see the benefits they bring at Tottenham Court Road in order to determine how to introduce them onto other sites.”

The Vinci/Bam Nuttall joint venture beat off competition from Balfour Beatty, a Costain/Laing O’Rourke joint venture, Morgan Sindall and a Skanska/Mace joint venture to secure the job in December 2009.

The project includes almost 800 piles with a combined length of around 14 km - or approximately 140 football pitches - requiring 9,000 cubic metres of concrete.


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