Why has the Unit Standard been removed from the IWH certificates?2018-07-10T08:13:50+00:00

Until recently, the IWH Professional Body has included the unit standards and qualification on our Certificates of Registration against our Designations due to the backlog of issuing Statements of Results by the SETA ETQA’s. The issuing of Statement of Competence for unit standards and qualifications should be issued by the relevant SETA ETQA or Quality Assurance Body. We have been told by the SETA ETQA’s that they do not have any backlogs of issuing Statements of Results anymore.

The IWH PB has decided to remove the SAQA registered unit standards and titles from its certificates. Our certificates are supposed to indicate that the person has been registered against a specific designation with the Professional Body and not for being issued with a qualification or unit standard. As our designations are all linked to SAQA registered qualifications and unit standards, it is not necessary for us as a professional body to include the unit standards or qualifications on our certificates. Please take note, we are a Professional Body, registered with SAQA and therefore our designations are also registered with SAQA and aligned to SAQA and NQF registered qualifications and unit standards, and therefore each person registered with us against a designation, will legitimately reflect on SAQA’s National Learner Record Database as such.

If anybody is unsure which unit standards are linked to our professional designations, they are welcome to:

  1. Visit our website and look under the designations as registered with SAQA which unit standards the designations are linked to, or
  2. Request the Statement of Results from the relevant SETA ETQA which should actually accompany our registration against the designation.
What regulation requires me to have 2 rescuers and first aiders on site?2018-07-10T08:13:03+00:00

General Safety regulations 3(1) and 3(4), Construction regulations 10(2)(e) and Construction regulations 10(2)(a). The contractor should ensure a safe working environment by completing a fall risk assessment before work starts, as part of this requirement the contractor needs to ensure that Industrial rope access is the expression used for those techniques whereby access is gained to buildings, other structures (onshore and offshore) or geological features (such as cliff faces), by means of ropes anchored to the structure or features concerned.

What is Rope Access?2018-07-10T08:12:23+00:00

Industrial rope access is the expression used for those techniques whereby access is gained to buildings, other structures (onshore and offshore) or geological features (such as cliff faces), by means of ropes anchored to the structure or features concerned. It is generally applied to situations where the rope supports one man (or one piece of equipment) at a time, and where ropes are used as:

  • The primary means of support
  • A means of primary protection and positioning; and
  • A means for personnel to descend, ascend, or traverse horizontally.

Its primary purpose is not that of a fall arrest system, but rather one that can be used in work-positioning operations using equipment to approved standards.

What does Petzl say with regards to the use of the Petzl Shunt for industrial Rope Access?2018-07-10T08:04:01+00:00

Since 1999 Petzl has provided specific information regarding the special use of the Petzl SHUNT as a back-up device for industrial rope access. Petzl required that users must have received and mastered IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) training or similar and must also use the Petzl SHUNT within the current “IRATA method”.

Extract from the June 2009 statement: “Professional operatives who choose to use the Petzl Shunt as a rope-access and work-positioning back-up device must have received and mastered IRATA training or similar, and must use the Petzl Shunt with IRATA method. Responsibility for this remains with the employer and the user.”

In the light of incidents and accidents, indicative tests have been conducted, including – but not limited to – a workshop in March 2011 with rope-access experts present. The findings of these indicative tests demonstrate that releasing a towing cord while towing a Petzl Shunt as a back-up device is not consistently effective: – In an emergency situation, the natural human reflex is to increase the grip on the cord, therefore reducing the likelihood that the cord will be pulled from the hand. – Additionally, this natural reflex may override any conscious action to open the hand and release the cord. – Consequently, either of these hazards could result in overriding the braking function of the Petzl Shunt. Following these tests, working sessions with IRATA alerted Petzl to the fact that there has not been special training sufficient to minimize this potential risk. Testing and experience demonstrates that human response to emergency situations, even among expert users and highly trained professionals, is not completely predictable.

Previous Petzl statements required special training for this specific use of the Petzl Shunt. The lack of any described methods or special training therefore makes these previous Petzl statements obsolete. As a measure of precaution, Petzl recommends to NOT use the Petzl Shunt, while towed by a cord, as a back-up device in rope access. This statement supersedes all previous statements and communications relating to this particular use of the Petzl Shunt.