If you’ve only ever worked in domestic properties, not employed through agents, major contractors or other organisations, you quite possibly have got used to dealing with the customer directly. You will have been responsible for every aspect of the work from start to finish and will have needed just your skills and your customer service. Working on large sites as a subcontractor comes with added complications and requirements.

Health And Safety Executive (HSE) The HSE offers advice on how you should approach working as a subcontractor. Like all trades people on site, you are there in your capacity as a tiler and should only work in the area designated and only carry out the tasks you are there for. The main contractor will have policies for each site regarding disposal of waste (and whether you or their own staff will do this) and which PPE is appropriate for both the job in hand and the site itself. You should never assume anything or ignore risks on sites. Most have site managers and safety officers who you should approach with your concerns or queries.

Power Tools

Again, the HSE is a great source of advice. The main message is that tools should either be battery powered or operate using 110 Volt with Centre Tapped to Earth (CTE) system which ensures the total voltage doesn’t exceed 55 Volts. When you are asked to price work on sites, take into consideration tools which you may need to buy or hire.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

To obtain a CSCS card, which will give you access to construction sites, where you can work as, or for, a subcontractor, you will need to have passed an accredited CSCS Health and Safety at Work course. This is the minimum requirement for anybody wishing to work on a construction site. It is more complicated than that though: As a skilled tradesman, you will need to have a skill specific card.

Using NVQ To Obtain Your CSCS Card Check out our NVQ courses to see how we can help you get the level of qualification you need. The cards are colour coded depending on your level of experience. A trainee can get a red card before achieving an NVQ qualification although they would be unable to work on site alone. Similarly with the green card, you will effectively be just an ‘operative’. Achieve an NVQ level 3 or above and you can get your Blue, Gold or Black cards which will show that you are a skilled operative, a supervisor, or manager and can operate on construction sites accordingly.

We have courses to prepare you for all levels of tiling and to get you feeling comfortable about working on construction sites. You’ll need to be switched on to the business aspect of the job, and fully understand payment terms and contracts with larger organisations. Don’t forget we offer a one day course which has some great content to help you with your business model.

Get in touch today and let’s get your journey to construction sites started.

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