Scottish Water to enforce ‘blue card' water hygiene training
Scottish Water has made it compulsory for people working in its water distribution operations - including contractors and the supply chain – to complete water hygiene training and register for an accreditation scheme.
The National Water Hygiene training and accreditation scheme – also known as the ‘Blue Card’ - has been embedded in Scottish Water’s strategy in order to improve sector understanding of best hygiene practice and drive a culture of excellence for everyone working on Scotland’s water distribution activities.
The scheme, supported by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland, requires appropriate registration for all persons working on water distribution activities within the Scottish Water region, including its operational personnel, contractors, consultants, delivery partners, framework suppliers and self-lay organisations. This has been done in collaboration with Energy & Utility Skills, the membership organisation for skills in the utilities sector.
Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “In Scottish Water we are committed to delivering the highest possible standards of drinking water quality for our customers. To support this commitment, we place a great deal of importance on the need to have a National Water Hygiene Scheme ‘Blue Card’ for any individuals who work on or near our drinking water assets.
“In addition to water hygiene, and with the support of Energy & Utility Skills, we also created our own Scottish Water registration scheme for our water distribution operations and maintenance (DOMS). DOMS allows us to bring a strong focus to all aspects of operations on our water networks and to monitor and manage access to our infrastructure. We believe this is a vitally important area and in addition to the requirements for people directly involved in water operations we have also created interactive online learning that we have made available to all of our employees regardless of their role to increase awareness and promote understanding about the vital role that we play in assuring quality standards.”
Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of the Energy & Utility Skills Group, welcomed the move by Scottish Water. “The National Water Hygiene Training and Accreditation Scheme was introduced to the industry over a decade ago as a collaboration between the UK water industry, key public health bodies and EUSR to provide the workforce with the ability to operate to the highest hygiene and safety practices whilst working on the water network.
“It now forms an integral part of the Scottish Water Distribution Operations Maintenance Strategy and has become established as a vital element in making excellence the standard in public health. Scottish Water and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland have set out very clearly their expected standards of hygiene knowledge and behaviours for those in contact with the public water supply, promoting a safety-first culture right across Scotland.”
The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland, Sue Petch, added: “It is imperative that all activities carried out on water supply systems are of the highest standard and are done so in a way that prevent any impact on drinking water quality and consumer confidence in the supply. The National Water Hygiene training and accreditation scheme makes sure that anyone working on water systems is able to demonstrate their competence and understanding of best practice.”
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