The CSCS card renewal (GSA1) needs to be completed every 5 years. It is pass or fail. You are allowed to get 2 questions wrong in the theory. You are NOT allowed to get any practical wrongs. If you do, it means retraining and a further assessment.
Check out your knots
The GSA1 now requires Riggers to demonstrate they know how to do a figure of 8 stop knot, a joining knot and temporary repair. Make sure you’re clear on how to do these BEFORE your assessment.
The preferred stop knot for attaching a tie rope to the border rope is via a figure 8 knot. A half hitch or overhand knot is not!
Consider Snow Loads in Safety Nets
Snow will collect upon the net mesh and stick together (like making a snowball). This will load the net and potentially cause damage to it. The additional weight of the snow will also increase the net sag and therefore the fall distance.
More information can be found on Bulletin 18.
Changes to clearance distances
Published clearance distances below the safety net (including things like plant, structure, people etc) have been updated in BS EN 1263-2:2014. A new 3m span has been introduced.
BS 8411 2007 (currently under review) introduces an extra 0.5m “safety zone” below the net. This is in addition to the distances quoted in BS EN 1263-2:2014.
More information can be found on Bulletin 26.
What to say when you’re told Edge Protection can only be put up by a scaffolder.
The easy thing for a site manager to insist on is that Edge Protection can only be installed by scaffolders. This is wrong. The installer must be competent. The installation of EN13374 Edge Protection is not covered in the part 1 scaffolding training. It is referred to in part 2. The FASET Edge Protection Course is based entirely around EN13374 , employs a MEWP in the practical session AND includes an assessment to confirm (or not) the competence of the installer.
A letter from the HSE is very clear…….”1. The first action was to seek clarity of whether scaffolding components (tube & fittings) being used for edge protection means that this is a scaffold or not. The feedback I’ve been given on the Work at Height Regs is that a scaffold has a set meaning and that just because edge protection uses tube and fitting scaffold components does not make that a scaffold.”
Ray Cooke, Health & Safety Executive, Head of Construction Sector Safety Unit
On Site Card check blitz on 8th Feb ’17
Card checks will be made across sites on Wed. 8th Feb. This applies to Safety Net Riggers, FASET Edge Protection and FASET Stair Tower installers. The checks are being done to make sure that workers are properly qualified. http://www.3-education.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/03-Build-UK-Prioritises-Safety-with-SmartCard-Audit-1.pdf
The easy way to make an Eaves Bag
Visitors to 3 Educations training centre are always shown how to create an Eaves Bag. Everyone understands it on the day. Not everyone understands it a few weeks later! We have launched a video that refreshes the memory banks! Three important issues; tight border rope, tear drops closed off and no reliance upon individual meshes.
Meshes are not strong
Under rolling the excess net to make it fit means a group of meshes and the border rope absorb the load. Meshes acting alone are unable to absorb the load and will tear. This creates weaknesses in the net and problems with rescue.
How to set the correct sag
Nets must be rigged with 5-10% sag (unlike the picture). This is for two reasons:- to ensure the faller doesn’t hit anything below the net AS WELL AS minimising the impact on the fallers body by guaranteeing a soft landing.
Top Tip…….Under roll the excess of the net until you think the sag is correct. As you are about to connect the tie rope or attachment device, release two meshes, then attach the tie rope or attachment device. This will achieve the perfect sag!
NVQ’s – Trainees need to do their bit!
NVQ’s are all about proving competence. Proof comes in different ways. We need YOU to complete the Log Sheet to record your hours. We also need YOU to supply pictures of rigging works (up and down) to allow us to see the range of work you’ve been doing.
New questions for Riggers
The FASET training committee have just published revised GSA-1 questions. They are not difficult, Riggers simply need to do their homework in plenty of time. All questions are site related. Make sure you get a copy of “Your GSA1” from your employer or download it from this website.
DON’T RING CSCS
Once you’ve worked hard to renew your Blue CSCS card, please don’t ring CSCS and ask questions or chase them. You’ll go to the wrong person who doesn’t know anything about how safety net cards are done; you will get angry and frustrated! Contact 3 Education for the email details of the person at CSCS who WILL be able to sort your problem quickly and accurately!
Qualifications on cards
FASET have responded to customers needs and developed the training and qualification route for Stair Towers and Edge Protection. This means that once you’ve attended a course and demonstrated good practical skills, you can confirm your competence by getting these new qualifications put on the reverse of your Safety Net Rigger Blue Skilled Worker Card.
C Ring/Hog Ring Repairs
Testing carried out last year with Manufacturer Buraschi confirmed that the use of C Rings to “staple” repair material to damaged nets performed satisfactorily. Trainers must now include this repair method into the practical syllabus.
FASET Edge Protection
More safety net riggers are gaining an additional qualification through the FASET Edge Protection Course. Following the one day course and a record of the hours worked (on a log sheet) we will carry out a separate on site assessment (GSA2). If all goes well, the Edge Protection qualification can be added to the reverse of your Blue CSCS card.
FASET Stair Tower
3 Education deliver the FASET Stair Tower course. This one day, highly practical course is delivered at our Westcott Training Centre. There are now a number of Safety Net Riggers who now hold this new qualification. They have had it added to their existing Blue CSCS card to prove their competence.
FASET have made a public statement that Riggers should NEVER work alone. This is applicable to all Safety Net Riggers :-“Lone workers are those who work by themselves out of eye and/or earshot of a work colleague, who can effect a rescue. An effective safe method of work and rescue plan must be in place”.
Blue CSCS cards
These cards last 5 years and prove to others that you can rig safety nets properly. You need to update your card by showing an assessor that you have kept upto date with new rigging rules and continue to rig to the standards.
This assessment is called a GSA1 and 3 Education can do this for you, on site or at our training centre in Buckinghamshire.
You will have to complete the touch screen health and safety test – Working at Height Version.
Do the assessment early and don’t be late-If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to do a NVQ to get a new CSCS card. This will take some months and cost alot more than the GSA1.
Joining two safety nets by pinning (stitching the top net to the bottom net) is no longer allowed. The only method of joining nets is by lacing or overlapping.
Only two temporary repairs are allowed per net.
Each temporary repair should have no more than three broken strands in a line.
You should only do a temporary repair if you are trained.
Sadly the netting industry has suffered fatalities when using MEWPs-typically through trapping/crushing incidents. Riggers should read the guidance on this. You can expect to see anti entrapment devices on machines more regularly:-
PPE for MEWPs
Don’t forget – you should only ever wear a full body harness, connected to the anchor point in the basket by a lanyard that is short enough to prevent you falling out of the basket.
Gathering V’s Underoll
When safe to do so (e.g. from a MEWP) the edge of the net should always be underolled to make it fit the void. This is because individual net meshes may tear when someone falls into it. Therefore the old technique of gathering (which DOES rely upon individual meshes) should not be done unless it is considered to be unsafe to underoll (e.g. from a ladder).
The sag in a safety net is important because it minimises the “impact” on the person that may fall into the safety net. Riggers should always ensure this set between 5 and 10%. In the early years of safety netting, this was just 10%.