Thursday 6 April, 2017
Safety management is indisputable and quintessentially obvious to all who are in the business of manufacturing or handling explosives and munitions. The risk of losing life, property and business should something go catastrophically wrong is ever present and naturally one would expect that every explosives, munitions, fireworks or other similar business that handles explosives in their line of work have solid risk assessments, training and supervision programmes in place. But does this answer the key question challenged by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – “Can you demonstrate competence?”
In the main, most organisations and businesses have programmes which seek to meet that requirement yet there are many which rely too much on the wisdom of those who have ‘grown up in the business’ to disseminate their knowledge as on-the-job-training. This has the benefit of experience but lacks the formality of bringing in new training practices or widen the education of staff to promote safety-confidence, and so develop competence. Additionally, it is recognised that manpower in the explosives industry is ageing and so the opportunity to draw on the wisdom of long serving, experienced managers and supervisors is reducing rapidly.
In order to address both the shrinking of the experienced workforce and also to satisfy the UK regulation, the UK National Occupational Standards for training in Explosive Substance & Articles (NOS) have been developed. These standards are based on the roles and functions of people working within the industry and training should be set and measured against them.
ISSEE, as a member of the UK Standards Setting Body (SSB) has redesigned its training and support services to align with the UK NOS. Additionally, working with Homeland Security Qualifications (HSQ) it has developed a series of externally qualified training courses ranging from Explosives Foundation, suitable for all entrants into the explosives industry, through to managers and supervisors for manufacturing, storage and transport workers. All successful students with ISSEE are also enrolled as student members to the Institute of Explosives Engineers (IExpE) through which they can record training as continuous professional development (CPD) and potentially progress through to Chartered Engineer status.
A training programme, set against the NOS and which leads to a formally recognised qualification may not prove competence but, added to experience and CPD, it is an indisputable contribution towards demonstration.
Contact ISSEE directly for more information about our range of training courses and other munitions safety management services.
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