NSL Launches New Training Programs

Aberdeen-based NSL, in association with Emta Awards Ltd (EAL), have just completed the creation of two new competence-based training programs aimed at reducing the number of deaths and injuries in the UK and International Oil and Gas Industry. The programs, which are based on the original "tried and tested" performance criteria of the Marine & Engineering Training Association (META), now known as the Engineering and Marine Training Authority (EMTA), are set to revolutionize the lifting and mechanical handling industry by creating a formalized and accredited training plan for workers offshore, bridging the gap between basic training and Vocational Qualifications.

The programs, which will be initiated twice a month at RGITM, Aberdeen, have already attracted the interest of a number of major oil operators and associated contractors. However, they are applicable to any industry involving lifting and rigging.

They have been approved by the award body EAL, who will issue certificates of competence in rigging and lifting operations to candidates who have successfully completed the programs.

RIGGING AND LIFTING LEVEL 1 is aimed at technicians and similar disciplines e.g. personnel of various trades who may have to perform routine and simple lifting tasks during the execution of their normal duties.

The program includes a two-day Basic Rigging training course which covers legislation and regulations, planning, risk assessment, pre-use inspection of lifting equipment, the safe use of lifting equipment, installation of lifting appliances, slinging of loads, and working at heights above two meters.

RIGGING AND LIFTING LEVEL 2 is aimed at Riggers and similar disciplines e.g. personnel who have to perform complicated and complex lifting operations. It is also aimed at those responsible for the planning and safe execution of the operations.

The program includes the existing NSL three-day Rigging and Lifting training course which covers legislation and regulations, planning, risk assessment, pre-use inspection of lifting equipment, the safe use of lifting equipment, installation of lifting appliances, slinging of loads, rotating loads, cross-hauling loads, lifting loads with an offset center of gravity, lifting in low headroom situations and working at heights above two meters.

At the end of both training courses, candidates are issued with a certificate of training and a log book which contains specific performance criteria.

The log book is used to record an employee's rigging and lifting activities in the work place as evidence of their competence.

The tasks recorded in the log book must be witnessed and signed off preferably by a qualified skills assessor or by a nominated company representative who is in a supervisory position and has the relevant knowledge and experience to confirm that the work has been carried out safely and that the completed task form accurately describes the way the job was carried out.

The completed log book will then be assessed and verified by NSL and EAL prior to the award of a certificate of competence. This certificate will be valid for two years after which time the candidate must be re-assessed to confirm that competence is being maintained.

NSL Technical Director Tom Byrne said: "The rating of competence in the rigging and lifting industry has always been a gray area. Employees have traditionally been able to achieve basic training certificates or vocational qualifications but there has been no mechanism of assessment in between.

We believe these programs will rationalize training for personnel and will formalize a person's ability to do a job. We have come up with a set of performance criteria which meet industry requirements and against which a person's competence can be measured. The majority of accidents and deaths which occur in the North Sea are lifting related and our hope is that, with help of these programs, such incidents will be reduced."

Note: Personnel who have already completed the NSL two-day Basic Rigging and Lifting course or the NSL three-day Rigging and Lifting course (both within the last 2 years) are entitled to apply for the log book which will be made available at a reasonably low cost to cover administration costs, assessments, internal verification by NSL and external verification plus certification by the award body.

Information on these programs or on any other training programs offered by NSL can be obtained from the NSL website: www.nsl-aberdeen.com.

With over 30 years experience in the crane and lifting and health and safety industries, NSL (North Sea Lifting) are the leading "Industry Standard" Training Company. As leading suppliers of training services and teaching documents, NSL work with the majority of international oil operators, service companies and major contractors world-wide.

NSL supplies products and training to all high activity oil regions including: UKCS, Russia and the Former Soviet States, South Americas, the Middle East, Far East and the North and West Africa.