Increased interest in the training of working-at-height personnel in eMalahleni, in Mpumalanga, and Rustenburg, in North West, has led to permanent scaffolding structures being erected at safety training solutions provider KBC Health and Safety’s training facilities in the two provinces.
KBC operations director Sian Thurtell says the most recent structure, erected in Rustenburg, caters for the practical training of its scaffold erector, scaffold inspector, basic rigging and slinging, working-at-heights and rescue-at-height courses.
Thurtell emphasises that the erection, which took place in June, during Level 4 and Level 3 of the national lockdown, is now ready. “It is fully equipped to offer working-at-heights practical training and certification while adhering to Covid-19 regulations.”
The structure that was erected in eMalahleni, Tasbet Park Branch, in February, caters specifically for rigging and slinging, mechanical safety and safe lifting practice. This steel structure is 8 m long × 3 m wide × 2.5 m high.
“A key client of ours asked that the structure be equipped with additional features, including extra bracing for load testing to meet its required standards,” she says.
Although the mechanical training offered by KBC had been placed on hold as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now operational and the rigging and slinging training has been fully booked from August until December, enthuses Thurtell.
A second facility in eMalahleni, Smokey Mountain, is also fully operational and continues to provide services for global mining group South32.
Thurtell points out that Covid-19 has affected KBC quite adversely, as some training needs to be completed with practical assessment so strict protocols have had to be put in place to ensure the safety of the delegates attending and that of the KBC staff facilitating the respective courses. .
“The company has implemented measures that embrace social distancing, including reducing training capacity by 50%, implementing sanitising stations and the frequent cleaning of classes and high risk areas,” she highlights.
Further strategies include pre-screening everyone that enters the KBC premises, temperature checks, as well as the introduction of quarantine rooms for those displaying symptoms or signs of possible infection.
“We have also had to procure an additional venue in eMalahleni, and additional staff to facilitate training to meet our current contractual agreements,” she points out.
KBC has made provision to ensure that its trainees, trainers and associated parties are safe during a course at its facilities, Thurtell concludes.