It’s all about the operators


By Mike Travers



A change is on the cards

Plant operators in Scotland will have the opportunity to give their verdict on card schemes at a meeting in Stirling in January.

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) is hosting a series of events to seek “further clarification” on the status of the passport schemes that certify an operator’s ability to operate various types of equipment.

The meetings follow August’s announcement by the Construction Industry Training Board that it is handing over the Construction Plant Competence Scheme to an external organisation. The preferred bidder is the NOCN Group which offers a range of construction-based qualifications.

The CPA – which recently elected Steven Mullholland of Bathgate hirer Mulholland Plant Services as its chairman – has already asked members for their views about how card schemes are regarded across the industry. Now others are being given the chance to share their comments.

The Stirling meeting on January 24 is free to attend but spaces are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register here..


How fit are your operators?


Are your operators physically and mentally fit to be at the controls of your equipment?

That’s the question posed by a new document that spells out the latest requirements for companies to collect and use employee health information.

The 52-page good practice guide has been launched by The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group and also takes into account the requirements of new General Data Protection Regulation.

Spokesman Kevin Minton said: “Construction plant has the potential to injure or kill both operators and bystanders if it is operated, installed or maintained by those who are not medically fit to do so.

“It is essential that construction plant operators are physically and mentally capable of undertaking the tasks they are required to carry out. Employers have a duty to ensure that their employees have the required level of fitness for their job and this guidance is aimed at providing employers and others with the tools to do this.”

The guide outlines the steps that should taken by employers and others such as contractors whjch also have an interest in ensuring that plant operators have an appropriate level of fitness. In particular it deals with planning, setting up and implementation of medical fitness assessment systems, the medical fitness aspects of recruitment and managing those employees who may develop health problems while at work.

The publication is available to download here…


Safety plan hatched for dumpers


A blueprint to make sites safer for dumper drivers could be in place by next Easter.

Following a number of serious incidents such as overturns and workers being struck by forward tipping dumpers, a draft has been drawn up for consultation before the final document is published.

An industry group was formed two years ago with the aim of preventing future incidents and an open meeting hosted by the Construction Plant-hire Association and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association was held in September last year. The group agreed that a ‘safe use’ guide was crucial.

The SFPSG Dumper Development Group was then formed early this year to start work on the guide. Members include plant hirers and owners, contractors, manufacturers, importers and the Health and Safety Executive.

One of the main messages is that the use of a dumper should not be an automatic choice. A spokesman said: “The correct identification of the most appropriate machine should be the first step followed by effective planning, supervision and the use of competent people if dumpers are to be used safely.

“The use of dumpers fitted with a cab is becoming common, for which the guidance outlines some of the issues and considerations that need to be made in terms of allowing an operator to remain seated during the loading process.”

Comments received during the consultation will be reviewed and amendments made accordingly. The group said it is keen to release the guidance at the earliest opportunity to prevent further incidents.

Closing date for comments is January 11. The draft document and a comments form can be downloaded from here…


Want the latest updates from Scottish Plant? Email here with ‘subscribe’ in the subject box.

Article posted 28/11/2018