Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safe Working at Height Training FAQs

10th June 2020
5 Star Review 5 star reviews
100+ Years Experience Over 100 years' experience
People trained (25,000) - 25,000 trained in last 12 months 25,000 trained in last 12 months
Employed Trainers (100+) - Over 100 employed trainers Over 100 employed trainers
Nationwide (UK Wide Coverage) UK Wide Coverage

Since the government announced the easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown measures we have taken time to create a structured approach to our return and offering our full range of training courses across all our centres.

We understand you will have lots of questions about how we can ensure your safety when training with us. In particular, the practical elements of the training we deliver. To help we have put together some answers to the questions we’re being asked frequently by our customers relating to the work at height training we provide to give you the assurances you need and deserve.

We’ve created other FAQs for what the new normal is like overall in terms of social distancing and hygiene, as well as specific FAQs for the different types of courses that offer practical elements to the training. If you have anything you’re unsure about or that we haven’t addressed, please do get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

How will you ensure social distancing is upheld during practical working at height exercises?

Any course which involves practical exercises will follow social distancing guidelines. We are reducing the number of delegates per course so that there is sufficient time for each to conduct practical at height training individually with the other delegates watching from a safe distance. However, we acknowledge that for some specific elements of the training, social distancing isn’t always feasible and where it is not we will ensure:

  • Medical face masks will be worn by all candidates and the trainer/assessor
  • Eye protection will be worn by all candidates and the trainer/assessor
  • Face to face contact must be avoided where practicable
  • Skin to skin contact must be avoided at all times

social distancing during practical working at height exercises
Social distancing during practical working at height exercises

Do you provide face masks and eye protection?

We have good stocks of packaged medical facemasks and will provide each delegate with their own mask. The instructor will also provide advice on the safe fitting, wearing, removal and disposal of the facemask. If you have been issued with your own facemask by your employer then do please bring this. Likewise, we ask you bring your own eye protection that your employer has issued you as part of their risk assessment. If you don’t have any we can supply a pair if required.  

Is there any other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) I need to bring with me?

All our work at height training courses are highly practical and so delegates will be asked to bring with them their own, clean PPE – full-length overalls, gloves, safety goggles and a safety helmet.

What about at height rescue training, where there is a need to rescue a casualty - will it be safe?

To minimise person to person contact, we will be using training manikins for assisted rescue training. The manikins are weighted to make them feel like a real person – so we can create very realistic training and rescue scenarios. The manikin and its overalls will be cleaned thoroughly after each use.

COVID-19 safe working at height training with a mannequin
Use of training manikins for rescue training 

I work for the wind industry. Does the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) endorse the use of rescue manikins?

The GWO has issued updated guidance for their members (wind organisations) and now state:

“During practical exercises in any GWO module where course participants are used as an injured person (casualty), we recommend training providers to use a dummy as the injured person.”

“During Working at Height initial and refresher training, all practical exercises can be performed using a rescue dummy as an injured person (casualty), including the double evacuation and ladder rescues of a conscious person.”

What about the equipment I will be using. How can I be sure it is clean and safe for me to use?

We have purchased additional safety equipment supplies so that any equipment you use when training with us will be for your use only - such as harnesses, fall arrest, etc. This equipment will have been thoroughly cleaned before you use it to reduce any risk of transfer. And at the end of each day, all equipment is placed into disposable bags by the trainer (who will be wearing disposable gloves) and then cleaned following our strict cleaning regime.

Working at height safety equipment
Additional safety equipment supplies 

I’ve heard a lot of negative reports about disposable gloves. What is your position on wearing them?

Disposable nitrile gloves will be given to each candidate. These gloves are for hygiene purposes only for specific parts of the practical training we deliver and should be supplemented by other hand protection where required by risk assessment. Before and after any practical exercise, candidates are asked to wash or sanitise their hands. We have plenty of stocks of disposable gloves and we will ask candidates to change them regularly after each practical exercise and dispose of them safely in lined bins provided. Disposable nitrile gloves will also be worn by the trainer/assessor during practical exercises.

Nitrile (powder free) disposable gloves on a desk
Plenty of stock of disposable nitrile gloves

I’ve got a work at height certificate which is due to expire very soon. Have any of the awarding bodies offered extensions to the renewal dates?

Many awarding bodies have offered extensions to their usual renewal terms as follows:

  • Global Wind Organisation (GWO) – this awarding body has extended certificates for 60 days. Until 30 June 2021. Candidates just need to ensure they take any refresher courses within 60 days of its expiry.
  • EUSR For the MATS Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue training, the full revalidation course and registration with EUSR should be undertaken wherever practicable. Anyone who has previously undertaken a EUSR approved Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue course whose certification expired between 20th September 2020 and 30th June 2021 may be permitted by their Employer to continue to climb up until the 30th June 2021. It is the responsibility of the individual’s employer to assess their competency to continue to climb and to grant the extension.  The employer would be required to provide evidence in the event of an incident. ‘New’ climbers must undertake a full initial EUSR approved Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue course.
  • PASMA has offered a 90 day extension to current cardholders. But you do need to book onto a future training course and complete the theory part of the course online. Then the validity of the card will be extended until you are to complete the practical section at a registered training centre.

Do you offer on-site work at height training?

We can offer on-site training for work at height providing we can be assured that your place of work has all the required coronavirus (COVID-19) measures and risk assessments in place to ensure the safety of our trainers. We have a detailed policy and set of procedures in place for all on-site training and can discuss this with you in more detail. We are unable to do practical training on any live work at height equipment so if no suitable training equipment is available, we will bring our own mobile work at height training unit for all practical exercise. This will be deep cleaned each day before and after use.

Have you run any work at height training yet under social distancing and coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines?

Yes, we have supported some key customers with safety critical training throughout the pandemic and have not only had zero cases of COVID-19 but also pleased to say, have received great feedback from delegates who feel safe in our hands.

“Very good course. The practical rescue inside the wind turbine was especially useful. Covid-19 control measures all in place and felt safe during the 5 day course.” Clive Thomson - QA/QC Services Ltd.

If you have specific questions about the other courses we offer, we have written additional FAQs for:





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