Celebration time for 'blue card' water hygiene training scheme
The National Water Hygiene ‘blue card' training initiative, introduced through a collaboration between Energy & Utility Skills (EU Skills), the UK water industry and key public health bodies to protect the safety of drinking water, has just reached its tenth anniversary.
Now mandated by many water companies across the UK, the blue card training and accreditation scheme continues to evolve to ensure it is fit for the future of a changing water sector, and is able to play an increasingly useful role in helping to ensure that all those working in contact with the public water supply, think carefully about hygiene, managing risk and understand best practice.
EU Skills chief executive Nick Ellins said: “The National Water Hygiene training and accreditation scheme is a great example of how sector collaboration can deliver tangible health and safety benefits and help ensure that the many billions of litres of tap water supplied to around 65 million people each and every day, stay at their high levels of quality.
“Over ten years, the little blue card has become a recognised symbol of water hygiene competence. Tens of thousands of people have been through the training and accreditation over the last ten years, and I strongly recommend that any individuals working in contact with mains drinking water – anywhere along its journey from source to tap - do the same to fully understand where the risks of poor hygiene may lie and how best to mitigate them.”
Ellins said that EU Skills will be further increasing its work across the whole UK water industry workforce, but also with plumbers, contractors, environmental health practitioners, building maintenance companies and local authorities to help embed excellence in operating practice, and increase sector skills and understanding. “The highly successful blue card will continue to play a key part in that endeavour.
“It is important that those that hold a card ensure it is within the three-year validation period on the EUSR secure verification register, and that those accountable for quality do ask for proof of competence from anyone working in contact with the public water supply, and then take advantage of the 24/7/365 available systems to check the validity.”
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