NFDC host world’s first high-reach training course
Featured in19 April 2012 - 16:08
UK sets new standard with world’s first dedicated training course for high-reach demolition excavators
THE National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) and its training arm, the National Demolition Training Group (NDTG), have jointly hosted a dedicated training course on the safe use of high-reach demolition-specification excavators.
Thought to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, the new course builds upon the operating principles detailed in the Federation’s recently published High-Reach Guidance Notes and sets a new standard in the operation of these highly specialized machines.
The course was developed in conjunction with training specialist Duncan Ruddal and is designed to provide experienced excavator operators with a firm foundation in the operation of high-reach machines with a working height of up to 30m.
Held over a three-day period – the first two days at the NDTG’s Hemel Hempstead headquarters and the third at Komatsu UK’s manufacturing plant, near Newcastle – the course covers all the key basic operating practices included in the NFDC’s High-Reach Guidance Notes.
These include machine design, machine guarding, visibility, stability and ground pressure, drop and exclusion zones, start-up and shut-down procedures, and machine maintenance. Particular attention is paid to structural awareness, site suitability and ground conditions.
‘Thankfully, the UK has an exceptional safety record with the use of high-reach demolition excavators. But the incidents that have occurred have generally been the result of failing to identify underground voids when tracking a machine across a site or operating the machine wrongly for the type of building,’ said NFDC chief executive officer Howard Button.
‘To avoid these problems in the future, a large part of the new course content has been developed to ensure that operators are fully aware of their surroundings and the specific challenges presented by each new site.’
The inaugural course was attended by experienced operators from some of the UK’s leading demolition companies, and the course content was well received by all of them. ‘The course was very informative,’ said AR Demolition’s Tom Poole. ‘All the trainers involved have a great first-hand knowledge of the business.’
Mr Poole’s comments were echoed by those of Paul Best from Erith Contractors. ‘The NDTG trainers have done it all before and they clearly know what they’re talking about. The course provides a great foundation,’ he said.