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Talking Working at Heights on The Biz Hour Podcast

The working at heights photo mural, in the Knottingley, West Yorkshire station.

Back in October 2018, Billy Gundry, Operations Manager at the MRS Training & Rescue’s Knottingley Station, was featured as a guest on The Biz Hour podcast. Steve Twynham, the presenter of the podcast, and Billy spoke about our then new confined space management app, SACCS.

Billy has been back on the podcast again – speaking to Steve about MRS Training & Rescue’s new working at heights training courses and the new working at height facilities at our Knottingley station, which are approved by GWO.

Listen to the podcase here -> The Business Hour 96 – Working at Heights Training.

We’re proud to be a leading provider of Working at Heights courses and offer a wide range of courses applicable to many different industries. In addition to our staple working at heights courses, our new facility in Knottingley is approved by GWO (the Global Wind Organisation) – which means we can now cater for those working in the renewable energy industry.

Basic Operative Working at Height TrainingThe Law and Working at Height

The Working at Height Regulations 2005 describe Working at Height as:

(a) work in any place, including a place at or below ground level; 
(b) obtaining access to or exit from such place while at work, except by a staircase in a permanent workplace, where, if the measures required by these Regulations were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. 

The Work at Height Regulations state: -

  • All work at height needs to be correctly planned and organised
  • People working at height need to be competent
  • Risk from work at height need to be evaluated, including the use of appropriate equipment, should it need to be used
  • The risks from delicate surfaces to be appropriately controlled
  • Equipment for work at height suitably reviewed and upheld

Billy on the Podcast

At the start of the podcast, listeners witness Billy and Steve discussing Billy’s previous time on The Biz Hour, in October 2018, where confined space training was spoken about. Listen to the previous podcast here -> Confined Spaces ‘the secret killer’ and an app to save lives.

Soon after the confined space training Biz Hour reminiscing, Billy briefly explained the different types of working at heights training that’s offered by MRS Training and Rescue, which includes:

  • Basic working at height – covers mobile scaffolds, ladders and working in harnesses.
  • Rooftop safety training course – for people working on roofs, sloped roofs, wet roofs, fragile roofs and so on.
  • Management training – not necessarily for people working at height but for people who have legal roles and responsibilities for putting people to work at height.

With all the training offering a lot of practical, hands-on exercises too.

Moving into the areas of wind turbines

Billy: “The number of wind turbines in the UK is growing at a drastic rate – high risk solutions for people working in these environments is now being offered by MRS Training and Rescue: Working at Height and Rescue (Wind Turbines) GWO approved.

A quarter of the way through the podcast, Billy then goes on to speak about the many parts of a wind turbine, which is as follows:

  • The main column, which goes from the floor up to the main cell

This part of the wind turbine requires workers to use ladders and platforms to climb the structure

  • The main cell, the turbine and motor – where the electricity is generated from

MRS Training & Rescue offer rescue services from the cells if needed

  • The hub – where the blades are

Some people crawl into the blades to do servicing and maintenance work

  • The cone – there’s an escape route from the cone if need be

Mobile facility for working at height

Billy: “The new multiple use MRS Training and Rescue facility can be used for general working at heights training but also the turbine industry working at height courses, which is accredited by the GWO.”

Billy then moves onto explaining how our team at MRS offer competency assessments within the courses to compliment the working at heights training. This is because people who work in the turbine industry, who require the GWO accreditation and certification, must also receive first aid, firefighting training and manual handling – which is basic training but is specific to working in a turbine.

Steve: When this new facility is commissioned on site, how many people can you get in there at a time?

Billy: “We’ve had it designed so that it can take ten delegates and a couple of trainers in a session. We can have certain elements happening at the same time, so that we’re not restricted to just climbing a ladder or just working in a cone, for instance.”

Steve: Really exciting times for MRS Training and Rescue – from just how you’ve developed over the years!

Billy: “Yes, it’s been a long journey, but an interesting one! From our working in mines origins to where we are now, working in this commercial world and delivering the training that we do.”

Steve: Do you have any target dates, when you hope to go live with this?

Billy: “We’re hoping to go live in January 2019, as far as the GWO section goes. Once it’s commissioned, hopefully by the end of this week, we can use the whole facility for general working at height, but it’s the accreditation for GWO that we’re needing to develop.”

Get in contact with us

MRS Training & Rescue provides training, working at heights rescue, industry advice and WAH equipment hire. Equipment hire may come in handy for companies who are undertaking temporary working at heights work - this could prove to be more beneficial for customers based upon their requirements.

If you require general working at heights training or wind turbine rescue courses, please call the team at Knottingley on 01977 676700. Alternatively, visit our contact us page for more options.

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