Operators of Access Equipment need the right training so they can work safely.
a) Training lets employers comply with their obligations. "Working at Height Regulations 2005" (WAHR 05) requires that those involved in work at height are trained and competent.
b) Training also helps workers to be more efficient and productive, training can have a good effect on the bottom line.
c) If the right Training can't be proved, major construction site will not allow the operators to work.
Proof of Training That Will Be Accepted
When you "Work at Height", you will need to prove to site safety officers, you are a "competent person". The best proof to give is a certificate / card from a recognised training body to demonstrate you have completed the training for the equipment you need to use on site.
Access equipment used on site is normally catergorised as:
1. Powered access equipment - Four different types of equipment styles within this cover all MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms), Scissor lifts, Cherry pickers, Boom lifts, Static booms, Mobile Booms, Static vertical, Mobile vertical, Access platform, Man lifts, Genie lift, JLG, Sky jacks etc.
2. Manual Towers and Access Platforms - This covers Access towers, Mobile towers, Alloy towers, Decks, Platform towers, Scaffold towers, Zip up, Pop up, Razor deck etc.
The most commonly accepted qualification programs are run by: IPAF for Powered Access and by PASMA For Manual Access.
IPAF - Powered Access Training
IPAF is dedicated to the safe and effective use of powered access in many countries. IPAF is a not-for-profit members' group, representing the interests of manufacturers, distributors, users, Hire / Rental and training companies.
IPAF the International Powered Access Federation accredited training centres can train and award PAL cards, Powered Access Licence. PAL cards are accepted by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), and the MCG (Major Contractors Group).
IPAF training programs for platform operators are certified by TUV as conforming to ISO 18878. Successful trainees are awarded the PAL Card (Powered Access Licence), the most widely recognised proof of training for access platform operators.
A PAL Card is valid for five years. The date of assessement and the expiry date is shown. It proves the types of equipment the worker can operate.
The Card has several safety features including a holographic to prevent fraud. Trainees also have a log book to record their platform work experience.
PASMA - Manual Access Towers and Platforms Training
PASMA the Prefabricated Access Suppliers' and Manufacturers' Association write the training course and back the certification for manual towers and platforms.
The Association devised its PASMA Training Course for users of alloy towers. It is now acknowledged as the industry standard. PASMA is respected for its training programme which improves safety and operational performance.
On completing the course, trainees receive certificates of competency and an ID card. PASMA ID cards are the most recognised proof of competency for inspection, assembly, use, moving and dismantling of towers and platforms.
The training courses are based on a content agreed by PASMA members, drawing on their collective, first-hand experience. The courses are widely recognised and recommended by safety professionals. Successful delegates who pass a written and practical test are presented with a competency certificate and an encapsulated, credit card sized photo-card.
There are other schemes are available, the law does not state it has to be a PASMA or IPAF PAL card. Due to the nature of construction work, moving from site to site, it's safest to have the proof that all site safety personel will recognise.
IPAF PAL Cards and PASMA certificates can only be issued by qualified and authorised instructors. The Instructors work from IPAF and PASMA approved training centres. Courses can be completed in one day, delivering knowledge and qualifications valuable to the operator and employer.