Revisions to health and safety standards

Industry backs changes

A standard health and safety qualification is being created for horticulture and agriculture. Major players are involved in its development and the qualification will be recognised nationwide. The new National Occupational Standards for Health & Safety, started by the Employment National Training Organisation, has the backing of land-based sector skill council Lantra, the National Farmers’ Union and the Transport & General Workers’ Union, which has an agricultural workers sector. The move is part of the Government’s Revitalising Health & Safety Programme and the two industries will be the first sectors where positive competence, benefit and targets will be set and tested. The Health & Safety Executive is overseeing a strategy agreement that has been passed on to the bodies that award qualifications. It has stepped back to allow the bodies to discuss how to operate the scheme and make the awards. One area under discussion will be about those people who already hold some sort of health and safety qualification. Director of Environmental Practice at Work Dr Charlie Clutterbuck, who was involved in the setting up of the scheme, said: “Until now, demonstrating competence in health and safety risk assessment has been vague although the law requires a competent person to carry out a risk assessment. “Now there is a way of doing this properly. While these qualifications have been developed for farms, they are likely to have a major impact and will soon be applied to small businesses.” A representative of Lantra said it supports the idea wholeheartedly.

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