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January 11, 2012

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Trade body recommends revisions to work-at-height legislation

The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has submitted its recommendations on revisions to the Work at Height Regulations, following Professor Ragnar Löfstedt’s review of health and safety legislation.

The NASC agrees with the review’s findings that some aspects of the regulations can be improved. It believes that one particular ‘grey’ area is the use of the terms ‘competent’ and ‘competence’, which occur frequently throughout the current legislation.

It described the terms as non-specific and said their use has resulted in different interpretations and, subsequently, varying standards of safety standards. The organisation has recommended that these terms be replaced by the word ‘qualified’, which would mean that scaffolders would have to gain a recognised qualification before being allowed to work.

The NASC also suggests that scaffolders should undertake competence testing every five years and companies should be audited to ensure that any employees who work with scaffolding are qualified.

The NASC has written to Whitehall to highlight its recommendations, which it feels will help the Government meet the objectives of the review.

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12 years ago

meaningless semantics.
qualified by experience, qualified because they went on a course, qualified because someone said so ?
I can see further down the line it’ll be “qualified on an NASC approved course”, what a nice little earner that’ll be, and still no better than what we have today.

12 years ago

Qualification is too narrow a term. Competence is not a ‘grey’ term as it considers the following elements: qualifications, training, knowledge, experience (time doing the job) and importantly the authority by a supervisor/manager to perform a task.

Personal diaries or log books of ‘qualified’ work activities would confirm experience and knowledge proving competence.