For people who climb for a living. 09 274 8090

Certified? Fit-for-purpose? Or both? Who cares?

Certified? Fit-for-purpose? Or both? Who cares?

Richard Tregoweth - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The last decade has seen quantum leaps and bounds in the development of arb specific work-at-height equipment.

In the early days, the 'company' acceptance of equipment in the New Zealand arb market was largely dependent on certification, mostly EN, ANSI and AS/NZ.

If a piece of equipment was ‘rated’, parlance for a ‘standard’ stamped onto the article in question, it was naturally considered good to go for tree work especially if the indicator included the magical 22kN figure.

The market acceptance of a ‘standard’ displayed on a piece of equipment produced all sorts of anomalies in the industry – not to mention confusion and ignorance.

Confusion and ignorance a deliberate strategy

In some cases confusion and ignorance was a deliberate strategy manufactured by the brand owners – having ‘certification’ for your product is expensive to attain but damn good for business, regardless the fact the standard in question is useless, or worse still downright dangerous in some applications.

Gear can tick all the boxes. It can be fully certified. But can it safely perform the job it was intended to do. Is it indeed fit-for-purpose?

And the vice versa is also true.

Some equipment, in particular configurations of equipment from multiple manufacturers, a common practice in tree work, is fit-for-purpose but lacks any form of suitable certification.

A management dilemma

Consequently, companies developing best practice guidelines for workers performing tasks at height on rope are required to achieve a high level of sophistication in identifying what is certified and what is not.

And, what equipment and configurations are fit-for-purpose, acceptable for company use, yet lacking internationally recognized certification.

To assist the management team in coming to the right decision on these matters, professional development company Pro Climb have invited Treemagineer Mark Bridge to New Zealand to conduct a series of workshops exploring the subject of certification and fit-for-purpose on rope.

Mark is recognized as a world authority on the subject.

The Mark Bridge Workshops will explore the limits of certification, or rather, different approaches to certification and how these limits and approaches relate to real world applications when workers are operating at height on rope.

Two workshops are planned; one in Christchurch on Friday October 10 and the other in Auckland on Tuesday October 14 – follow this link for more details.

Copyright © Treetools New Zealand 2024. All rights reserved.