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Dave5705  
#1 Posted : 14 December 2017 15:54:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Hello all.

This is my first post and I am a new student so forgive me if this is a little basic.

I have completed many RA's in the past for my company, and when given a specific task to RA I know what level of knowledge and expertise the worker already has, (eg, Working at Heights or Manual Handling etc.)

As a piece of student work I am composing a fictional risk analysis and assessment for a job title and have been given a list of duties. My question is this:

If for example the job is street light electrician and task is working up a ladder beside a busy main road and the hazard is being hit by a vehicle, when writing my RA should I include control measures such as 'the worker should be trained in working at heights', or should one take the stance that all street light electricians are customarily trained in working at heights so there is no need to mention it?

I don't know where to stop with suggesting training and experience. I would in my work, but not when being assessed. I know that people have been sent up ladders without training, and fallen too, but how far do you go with these things to show an assessor that you understand the risks involved? Do you assume that because the worker already has the job role and is out as a lone worker, he is trained and competent and doesn't need to be told to tie his shoelaces before he starts to climb?

I hope this question makes sense. I'd appreciate any views?

Regards, Dave

Oliverp1  
#2 Posted : 14 December 2017 16:47:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Oliverp1

Depends on your RA template if there is a section for current control measures you could mention it in there. I would mention it because many of the control measures you come up with are likley to already be in place if it is a big company.

An example is for an health and safety assignment that I have carried out recently I had to create a risk assessment for a telecomunications company who goes up telegraph poles (Im pretty sure it was based on BT openreach). In my risk assessment I put "Should be trained to work at height" even though I knew that definatley is already the case. This was also the case with many of my control measures.

You are better to include it and not need it rather than need it and not include it. You shouldnt get marked down for including it if it isnt what they are looking for 

matelot1965  
#3 Posted : 14 December 2017 23:45:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

Originally Posted by: Dave5705 Go to Quoted Post
Hello all.This is my first post and I am a new student so forgive me if this is a little basic.I have completed many RA's in the past for my company, and when given a specific task to RA I know what level of knowledge and expertise the worker already has, (eg, Working at Heights or Manual Handling etc.)As apieceof student work I am composing a fictional risk analysis and assessment for a job title and have been given a list of duties. My question is this:If for example the job is street light electrician and task is working up a ladder beside a busy main road and the hazard is being hit by a vehicle, when writing my RA should I include control measures such as 'theworker should be trained in working at heights', or should one take the stance that all street light electricians are customarily trained in working at heights so there is no need to mention it?I don't know where to stop with suggesting training and experience. I would in my work, but not when being assessed. I know that people have been sent up ladders without training, and fallen too, but how far do you go with these things to show an assessor that you understand the risks involved? Do you assume that because the worker already has the job role and is out as a lone worker, he is trained and competent and doesn't need to be told to tie his shoelaces before he starts to climb? I hope this question makes sense. I'd appreciate any views?Regards, Dave
As Oliver said it depends on your template and the depth of detail required. Remember the risk assessment should be suitable and sufficient which means the detail you go into it needs to be proportional to the level of risk involved in the activity. Personally I tend to put provision of information, instruction, training and supervision if they all apply. If they do not all apply then I only use those that do
Dave5705  
#4 Posted : 15 December 2017 06:35:51(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Thanks, I am grateful to you both. I have formulated a plan I think will be sufficient based on your replies, and feel more confident.

It's funny. The first thing I have noticed since starting training at this level is just how many risk assessments I have previously read, (or produced myself!) have been at best poor and at worst just plain wrong! A three-day IOSH course is not really enough to produce quality RA's I don't think, though any RA is better than no RA.

I am determined to design a way which gives all the information without being needlessly repetitive and lengthy.

What's the best template for a qualitative RA you have found in your experience? 

For example, a cleaner's role would involve learning various duties and skills as part of a well-constructed training path. Each new skill is learned on the back of and builds on the knowledge gained from the previous learning. I would like to create an RA template which works on the same principle (if one doesn't already exist), linking to previous RA's and just adding extra controls only for those hazards not covered by a previous one. The templates I have seen so far all expect you to list everything every time, and the reader is subjected to pages of information again and again which he neither needs nor wants. Though of course, I know there are many cases where an RA needs to stand in isolation and therefore needs to cover everything.

Oliverp1  
#5 Posted : 15 December 2017 08:07:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Oliverp1

There is a template on the HSE website (Link here if you havent already seen it http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/casestudies/) but im sure there are many more on google you'll be able to find and just edit accordingly. 

RayRapp  
#6 Posted : 15 December 2017 08:32:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Some good replies, all I will add is that in principle I do not assume anything. Training is a legal requirement and where there are particularly high risks i.e. working at height, I think it would be foolhardy not to include ladder training along with other task specific training within any documented process such as a RA.

 

thanks 1 user thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
lorna on 15/12/2017(UTC)
lorna  
#7 Posted : 15 December 2017 09:13:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

As with Ray, I never assume anything. One of my 'things' when working in enforcement was to check that the control measures in the risk assessment, procedures, method statements etc were actually done on the job....so mnay people 'wrote the rope that hanged them'...

hilary  
#8 Posted : 15 December 2017 09:36:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

You should not confuse "training" with "competence".  A person need not have been formally trained to be considered "competent" and the risk assessment should call for competence in all tasks, however this is achieved. 

Remember, a person can be untrained and competent as well as trained and incompetent!

Dave5705  
#9 Posted : 15 December 2017 13:26:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Originally Posted by: hilary Go to Quoted Post

You should not confuse "training" with "competence".  A person need not have been formally trained to be considered "competent" and the risk assessment should call for competence in all tasks, however this is achieved. 

Remember, a person can be untrained and competent as well as trained and incompetent!

Very true! Thank you for correcting me, of course I meant to establish that they were competent. So should one ask that the person has been assessed as competent, rather than just attended a course? Doesn't passing the course indicate that they are competent, isn't that the whole point? I know that you don't need to be trained to be competent, but if you have been trained and passed, are you not deemed to be competent? Should you then ask for training or some other assessment of competence?
matelot1965  
#10 Posted : 15 December 2017 22:42:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

Originally Posted by: Dave5705 Go to Quoted Post
<div class="quote"><span class="quotetitle">Originally Posted by: hilary <a href="/posts/m770452-Risk-Assessments-for-study-assignments#post770452"><img src="/Themes/iosh2/icon_latest_reply.gif" title="Go to Quoted Post" alt="Go to Quoted Post" /></a></span><div class="innerquote"><p>You should not confuse "training" with "competence".&nbsp; A person need not have been formally trained to be considered "competent" and the risk assessment should call for competence in all tasks, however this is achieved.&nbsp; </p><p> </p><p>Remember, a person can be untrained and competent as well as trained and incompetent! </p></div></div> Very true! Thank you for correcting me, of course I meant to establish that they were competent. So should one ask that the person has been assessed as competent, rather than just attended a course? Doesn't passing the course indicate that they are competent, isn't that the whole point? I know that you don't need to be trained to be competent, but if you have been trained and passed, are you not deemed to be competent? Should you then ask for training or some other assessment of competence?
Hi David Having undergone training and passed a course does not mean you are competent. Training is only a route to competence. You then need to consolidate that training to achieve competence over a period of time gaining the skills, knowledge experience as well as developing any required personal behaviours/attributes to fulfill a role competently/effectively . Don’t forget the old saying you only actually learn to drive after you have passed your driving test.
Dave5705  
#11 Posted : 16 December 2017 08:02:10(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Thanks, and yes I can see the point, I understand that someone could, in practice, have had all the training, and been at the job for years, and still through attitude or ability be incompetent. We've all met them over the years.

So we are saying then, that for any task being RA'd,  and hazards are identified, a control measure should be that all workers be assessed at that task by a supervisor, and not be allowed to perform on their own until the supervisor is happy that they are competent. To stop the age-old problem of training but not assessing what they have learned?

That makes perfect sense to me, and I would want that caveat in every RA. But if an employer cannot rely on someone's training and qualifications to assess their competence, they would need to employ someone to assess every worker who they employ, including specialists. Employ a specialist to assess a specialist etc. That, of course, would not be reasonably practicable.

So what we really need to say is to achieve compliance we must assess someone's competence to do the task, if it is reasonably practicable to do so; an employer may rely on the workers' evidence of training and experience if the work required is outside of the employers' competence to assess?

That also makes perfect sense to me.

Thank you.

Shopland23872  
#12 Posted : 16 December 2017 08:44:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Shopland23872

If I were you I would word it as follows.. "only workers deemed competent to work at height with certificated training will be permitted to work at height. Contract managers / supervisors must check and confirm competency and training of individual operatives before allocating job packs to mobile work teams"
matelot1965  
#13 Posted : 16 December 2017 14:37:26(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

Hi David, Let me give you a specific example that I had to go through :- 28 years as a naval aircraft engineer reaching the dizzy heights of senior supervisor which meant I could certify an aircraft serviceable for flight via my signature. I then leave the navy and get a job as a supervisor on an aircraft type that I had never worked on previously. Initially I was not authorised to do anything. I could not even sign out a tool box until I was authorised (deemed competent by my new colleagues at supervisor level) and then signed off by the senior engineer within the organisation. I was not signed off as fully competent until I had been in the job for six months. You do not necessarily need to employ someone else to ascertain competence levels it should be able to be done in house

Edited by user 16 December 2017 14:39:35(UTC)  | Reason: Poor Grammar do not want the spelling police on my case πŸ˜€

Dave5705  
#14 Posted : 17 December 2017 10:04:02(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Originally Posted by: Shopland23872 Go to Quoted Post
If I were you I would word it as follows.. "only workers deemed competent to work at height with certificated training will be permitted to work at height. Contract managers / supervisors must check and confirm competency and training of individual operatives before allocating job packs to mobile work teams" [/quote

I can see where you are going with this, but my point is: how is a manager/supervisor to check and confirm competency if they do not have the required level of knowledge to understand the task themselves? For example, if I employed an electrician to work on my premises, and he gives me a method statement that says 'all cable installations will be checked to ensure compliance to ez4973 part 4 section 7A (revised)', I do not know if that is the required code for that particular installation, if he says all runs will be strapped to run north-east to avoid electrodubry interference', I do not know if that is total gobbledygook. The best I can do is ask to see certificates of training and other qualifications and use my judgement, such as it is.I think that would show that I had done everything that is reasonably practicable,wouldn't it?

Dave5705  
#15 Posted : 17 December 2017 10:08:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Originally Posted by: matelot1965 Go to Quoted Post
Hi David, Let me give you a specific example that I had to go through :- 28 years as a naval aircraft engineer reaching the dizzy heights of senior supervisor which meant I could certify an aircraft serviceable for flight via my signature. I then leave the navy and get a job as a supervisor on an aircraft type that I had never worked on previously. Initially I was not authorised to do anything. I could not even sign out a tool box until I was authorised (deemed competent by my new colleagues at supervisor level) and then signed off by the senior engineer within the organisation. I was not signed off as fully competent until I had been in the job for six months. You do not necessarily need to employ someone else to ascertain competence levels it should be able to be done in house

Yes, that is good practice, and you had a senior engineer who was able to assess your competance. All good.

Thanks all of you, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this. It fascinates me.

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