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Online plant test claims less hassle for NVQ training

PLANT Operc says its revamped test will slash training paperwork

PLANT professional body Operc has revamped its online health and safety test.

The group said the changes would transform the way people train for plant.

Operc's SafetyNet has been mapped against the NVQ requirements for specialist plant and machinery operations.

This will enable operators to qualify for the 'knowledge' part of the NVQ online.

SafetyNet has also been developed to enable training firms and employers to gain access to the details of tests, such as when and where they were taken and the scores in individual categories.

The training bodies signed up to SafetyNet include National Plant Operators Registration Scheme; Contractors Mechanical Plant Engineers; and Lantra, the sector skills organisation for the land-based sector.

Employers that have already signed up for the test include the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has specialist boat launching plant, and the United Nations.

Operc convener David Edwards said: 'It gives the trainer a huge advantage.

'For instance, instead of spending hours on paperwork everything is there at the touch of a button.'

Dr Edwards said the SafetyNet tests would be free to any company or individual who had paid for Operc annual membership.

He added: 'SafetyNet could save a fortune as there is no need to pay to bring a separate assessor in each time, as the assessment takes place centrally.'

The test comprises 35 questions on general site health and safety and 50 questions on operational matters.

Dr Edwards said: 'We are trying to give choice.

'The operator can go on to take the machine-based assessments with one of the training providers and qualify for an NVQ, which should then entitle him to a CPCS card if he needs it, ' he said.

Vibration Guides

OPERC has also published new guidance for employers for dealing with hand-arm vibration, which it has developed with the help of the HSE and which includes its own site-based research, alongside the HSE's recommendations.

Dr Edwards said: 'The guide tries to dispel some of the hysteria associated with the problem.People are in danger of being bamboozled by facts and figures.

'Users should be properly trained with the tools.We have discovered that by simply holding the tool properly can reduce vibration by 50 per cent.'

More information can be found on www. operc. com.