NEWS LETTER – FEBRUARY 2018
Dear Members and Training Providers
LATEST UPDATES ON THE IWH AND THE WORK AT HEIGHT INDUSTRY
The year has started with us just running to keep up with all the work! The IWH is in a ‘good space’ and we are looking forward to all the latest developments and thought we need to share a few things with our loyal members and training providers, as it is all due to your support and contributions over the past years, that we have accomplished what we now have. 2018 is going to be a good year and we look forward to continue serving you and your interests to the best of our abilities.
As we are representing you, you are making the rules. You have asked that we set our membership criteria more stringently. Chamber Chairs and Vice Chairs met with their individual chamber members and have revised the criteria. Our approach is not to make it more difficult to become a member, but rather to ensure that potential members know right from the start about their future commitment to operate in accordance with national statutes and how to meet the requirements affecting each sector within the work at height industry. Our application forms have been revised to include the new approved additional criteria to become a member.
Our approach is also to support existing members to improve/maintain high standards when operating in the work at height sector. Again, we decided to follow a developmental approach and have decided that all existing members will receive the new additional criteria as a ‘Self Evaluation Questionnaire’ to complete and submit back to us. This has been forwarded to all members to complete. Our aim with this is for the members to see if they comply with all these additional criteria (where applicable to their specific type of company) and if needed, to start implementing those criteria they are not yet adhering to (again, where applicable to the type of company). Please complete the forms and submit back to us by 28 February 2018. Training providers will also receive a ‘Self Evaluation’ form to complete by 28 February 2018.
MEMBERSHIP FEES FOR 2018
As you know, we are a non-profit organisation, set up by you, our members. Our aim is not to make profit and therefore the finance committee meets on a yearly basis to review our financial position. The 2016 financial year ended in disaster, as we ‘dropped’ our fees too drastically. We increased the fees in 2017, and the increase, as well as the industry starting to recognise us as delivering a quality service, ensured that we had a much better year. As you might have seen by now already, we had a very small increase (and in some cases no increase and even a reduction in the membership and practitioner registration fees) for 2018. We hope that as our membership grows, we will be able to reduce our fees even more.
I’m quite sure you already know that we are currently busy with a brand new qualification for Scaffolders, Falseworkers, etc. This will also include modules (and in some cases, Part Qualifications) to be trained for employees in the Fall Protection, Rope Access, Aluminium Towers, Suspended Access Platforms and Ladders. The Scaffold and Falsework industry have been badly marginalised in the past and this is the opportunity to set things right. We hope to have the qualification/s finished by the end of 2018 and then the public comment and registration phases will start. We need to ensure that broad consultation takes place and that everybody in the industry gets the opportunity to comment on the qualification – so we rely on our members to also ensure that your clients, and anybody you can think of, receive the information which will be send out on a monthly basis from the end of this month for comments.
We are also proud to announce that we have just registered our first batches of scaffolders with the IWH. We have to thank WACO Training Academy for being the first training provider to upload and register scaffolders. For now, providers can still train against the historically registered unit standards, which they are accredited for. We urge all companies who are conducting Scaffold training to make sure you are accredited, upload your learner results and register them with the IWH PB. For too long, the industry got away with not doing that, and it can lead to serious consequences if your scaffold employees are not trained according to SANS 10085, (which is currently the relevant standard of compliance), and uploaded to the relevant authorities. We had to fight for all of this to be corrected with the relevant authorities and now it is your duty to ensure the right processes are followed!
As you might all be aware of, the industry has been experiencing a lot of incidents and accidents pertaining to ladder use. No training standards were registered on the NQF and we took on the responsibility of developing outcomes for training employees on the use and inspection of ladders. We want to urge our members to please have their employees trained by one of our IWH recognised training providers who are approved to conduct Ladder training! It is extremely important to show to the industry that as an IWH member, you go the ‘extra mile’ in introducing proper training for your employees. We would like your employees to be trained to a uniform standard, which was set by the subject matter experts in the industry! Please take this opportunity and have your employees trained and certified!
RECOGNITION WITH DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
We are also happy to report to you the latest development on our discussions with the Dept of Labour. We started a process of discussions between ourselves, the QCTO and SAQA wrt training on high risk skills, such as working at height. It started off with the regulatory requirements for training for users of MEWPs according to the NCOP and went full circle looking into all working at height training as per the OHS Act and Construction Regulations 2014. Everybody started realising that this type of training is actually mandatory, but will not fit into the new QCTO model, which promotes training against part and full qualifications only. We expect to finalise formal agreements with the various state entities quite soon and will keep you informed of developments
THE VALUE OF THE IWH TO IT’S MEMBERS
We have always had the question “What are you doing for us, your members”. Last year we got our chambers together and during a workshop, asked them “what have we been doing for you”. It was with this input, that we drafted a Power Point Presentation on the Value Equation of the IWH for its members – please click on the following link to access the presentation: http://profbody.co.za/powerpoint-presentations/.
We would like to urge all our members to attend Chamber meetings. This is the platform where you will not just be able to voice your opinions and concerns, but also where you will learn from others. You also get the opportunity to network. If you/any or your employee/s attend Chamber meetings, they will also receive CPD points towards their professional registration (if they are registered against our registered designations), as these meetings are definitely serving the purpose of developing the attendee. IT MUST BE CLEARLY STATED THAT THESE MEETINGS ARE AIMED AT DISCUSSING ISSUES OF COMMUNAL CONCERNS – COLLUSIVE / ANTI-COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOUR WILL NOT BE TOLERATED
GUIDELINES FOR SAFE WORK AT HEIGHT
Please take note that we have new stock of our Guidelines for Safe Work at Height which can be purchased at R100 (excl vat) per book. Order from firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to end off this newsletter by thanking you again for your loyal support!
Alti and the Team