Highways England has launched a new Health and Safety Passport scheme, with workers required to hold a personalised smart card that must be scanned on entering a work site to assure competency, qualification and fitness.
The move is another step towards the development of a potential infrastructure card covering all sectors and involving the Department for Transport (DfT), following similar systems being developed in rail and utilities.
Highways England has said that it hopes within the next 12 months all suppliers will be on the new system. Workers have a one-off cost of £30 to purchase the smart card – and £5 replacement cost for lost cards – and must present it when turning up to work.
The card is scanned on arrival at site to ensure that the worker is qualified and available to work there.
Alongside the card, Highways England has also been working together with over 20 different suppliers and partners from across the industry to create a common introduction course delivered by Lantra. This generic course covers all major projects and construction and renewal sites
Operations regional director at Highways England, Simon Jones told Highways: ‘This is not profit making for us at all. The money that comes in will be paid to Mitie for providing the cards and administration. This is not about making money for Highways England, this is about safety. We see this as a real game changer in terms of how people will be safer on site.
‘This system puts us in line with other infrastructure groups like Network Rail and some of the water and power companies. We know the DfT is looking at a skills card and this may well form part of a bundle. It could be an infrastructure card perhaps. It’s part of that conversation with other infrastructure providers about a common access card that we can use. Our current view of this system will be up to 2019 because that’s when the tenders and assessments are going on. Highways England will make its decision as to what to do next at that time. Is it a successful system and do we want to keep it or do we want to join with the DfT skills card?’
To gain register for training and your passport card, please contact either the helpdesk on 0330 726 0225 or email email@example.com