In the first of a new online series looking at working at height, Jamie Brassington, product manager at WernerCo, explains the vital role that training can play in improving user safety.
When working at height, there are various types of equipment that can be utilised on site. However, ensuring that users have the correct training to guarantee they are using this equipment in the safest way possible can often be overlooked. So, whether professionals are using a ladder or an access tower, what training is available?
When it comes to using a ladder, it’s easy for professionals to assume they are using their equipment in a safe way. After all, how dangerous can going up and down a ladder really be? However, there are a number of risks that tradesmen and women can face every day and without proper training, they could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk of injury.
For any professionals working independently or in a workforce where staff are regularly using ladders, it is highly recommended that they undertake the Ladder Association’s accredited ladder training scheme. The course comprises both practical and theoretical assessments and covers all key bases, including how to correctly erect, use, handle and store ladders, as well as highlighting potential hazards.
For those responsible for a workforce on site, there is a specific site inspector course, where delegates can learn how to assess and determine when it is appropriate to inspect a ladder, and how to recommend the correct action if faults are found.
Additionally, a shorter course covering the use of steps and step stools is also available. As well as covering when it is and isn’t suitable to use a step stool, the course also teaches best practice when inspecting, storing and handling step ladders and step stools.
Upon completing these courses, delegates will be issued with a Ladder Association certificate, along with an accredited LadderCard. The card can then be used as proof of competency for five years. Certain manufacturers, including WernerCo, host the ladder training courses, which are available to any industry professional. WernerCo holds regular sessions at both its Burton upon Trent and Maldon facilities throughout the year.
For those who use access tower more frequently when working at height, the PASMA accredited Towers for Users Course covers everything professionals need to know about best practice.
The course is designed for those who are responsible for specifying, assembling, dismantling, using, altering, moving and inspecting access towers. Taking place over one day, it provides both theoretical and practical training on tower legislation; PASMA codes of practice; hazards associated with using mobile access towers; and what should be avoided.
It is crucial that health and safety officials ensure that those working with towers receive their PASMA training. Completion of the course demonstrates capability, and nowadays a vast number of sites will require its workers to be PASMA accredited before carrying out any work. The course offered at WernerCo covers a comprehensive range of towers and isn’t specific to one manufacturer. However, it is essential when choosing a tower that it conforms to EN1004:2004 in order to meet minimum safety requirements.
PASMA also offers more advanced training for those working with specific tower builds where standard towers have been modified to meet more complex requirements. The course currently covers cantilevers, towers on stairs and end-linked towers. After the session, delegates are given the opportunity to remain in touch with the manufacturer of the tower for any further advice.