It has been reported by ScaffMag that the phrase “competent scaffolder” will be replaced with “qualified scaffolder” following a government review of the Work at Height Regulations.
ScaffMag has been informed that the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has managed to persuade government to implement the change in the next update of the Regulations and that the “NASC are reportedly very happy with the outcome”.
The debate arises from the government report by Professor Löfstedt on the review into existing Health and Safety legislation. NASC responded to the review stating that the words ‘competent’ and ‘competence’ are “ambiguous and open to interpretation” resulting in different interpretations and standards of safety protocol.
The NASC recommended that this terminology be replaced by the term ‘qualified’ (as adopted in the gas fitting industry) arguing that the scaffolding industry can demonstrate clearly and accurately that an individual is ‘qualified’ by the fact that he or she has completed suitable training (including theoretical, practical and on site experience).
The aptitude of the scaffolder is also challenged every five years to ensure continued compliance.