Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, training is a key issue in the people and material lifting equipment industry. E-learning options should be first considered to eliminate the risk of infection. When a face to face course is required in a workplace, the organisations need to ensure that machines can be used while respecting Government guidance. The following is some advice and suggested precautions that should be implemented prior to any training.
PRIOR TO THE TRAINING
- Decrease participants to reduce the risk of infection
- All candidates and instructor should be informed in advance of arrival time and on how to enter the site in accordance with site rules.
- Prepare the training facilities the day prior to training. A deep clean is required in all shared areas and touchpoints (facilities, door handles, chairs, desks, stationary) with disinfectant effective against COVID-19. Stringent cleaning procedures should also be in place on MEWPS (Machine’s entry and exit points, door handles, handrails, guardrails).
- Arrange the training room so candidates are not directly facing each other.
- Arrange the practical area with positions of participants clearly marked to maximise visibility and maintain social distancing.
- If possible, candidates and instructors must bring, where possible, their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If these are provided for training, prepare all individually and ensure that items are sanitised. Hand sanitiser must be made available for the instructor and all candidates.
- Transition between the training room, toilets, and practical area should be planned and clearly marked.
- Rearrange tasks to minimise contact e.g. use an additional MEWP, or platform extensions
DURING THE TRAINING
- Social distancing must be maintained during transitions between areas.
- Avoid skin to skin contact. Personnel should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face. Where face to face working is essential, limit it to 15 minutes or less.
- Make sure the instructor and candidates are using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Make a hand sanitiser available in the machine to allow the participants and instructors to clean machine controls and their hands before and after using any equipment.
- All areas should be well ventilated.
- Increase the frequency of waste removal during the day.
AFTER THE TRAINING
- All candidates and instructor must be informed of how to safely exit the site following site rules.
- Participants must have a contact person to notify if they experience symptoms after the course.