Chinese scaffolders learn from the US

15 April 2008

“They were looking for best practices to take back,” said John Miller, SIA president. “The visit may be a springboard for further activity, and we hope to keep the lines of communication open.”

The Chinese made a presentation to the Council, and Mr Miller told SI that Chinese scaffolding users face the same issues as his association's members: a need for training and a shortage of skilled workers. Regarding the priority given to safety in China, Mr Miller said; “A concern for safety is growing.”

In the US, meanwhile, SIA is developing a set of training DVDs in both English and Spanish for each sector of scaffolding equipment.

Their purpose is to help prevent falls from height. Mr Miller described them as “a first step, leading to the book study” necessary to become 'competent', a standard specified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Discs for use of supported and suspended platforms already exist, and the entire range will be complete by April. The SIA has subsidised the programme, making the DVDs available for a small fee.

The association has accelerated its action plan for training, having adopted in 2005 the programme of Aerial Work Platform Training, IPAF's subsidiary in the US. Mr Miller said the SIA favours a generic program.

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