CPCS A61 Appointed Person Course

1. Introduction

A half-day refresher course is also available for Appointed persons who have already taken an A61 Appointed persons course but have not had the experience to carry out lifts on site. This is to ensure that candidates remain competent and up to date with their A61 Appointed person’s card.

The duration of the course will depend on the knowledge and experience of the individual candidates. Experienced Appointed persons may take one day, whereas less experienced candidates may take 4 days. The maximum number of candidates will be 6. This is to ensure that each candidate gets a greater opportunity to effectively prepare a lift and to carry out calculations and use lifting equipment.

Throughout the course, the emphasis is always on the practical issues of lifting and moving loads safely and efficiently. At the end of the course, candidates will, if successful in the CPCS technical tests, be able to carry out lifts allocated to the A61 Appointed Person. Successful candidates will have a good knowledge of all aspects of Plant Movements, understand the role and the requirements of the appointed person, and have an understanding of lifting parameters and how lifting equipment and accessories affect the capacity of lifting equipment.

1.1. Course Overview

The objectives of the A61 Appointed Person course are to provide the candidates with the basic understanding of the appointed person, under the appointed person regulations of the lifting operations and lifting equipment’s requirements. These regulations place an obligation upon the employer to provide the operators and support staff with an understanding of their appointed duties in relation to lifting operations. The course lends itself to anyone who has just got involved with lifting coordination activities, i.e. lifting foreman, construction superintendent, or anyone else involved with the lifting operations. The appointed person course encompasses a few different areas. Commonly on construction sites, the movement and relocation of small plant and machinery, e.g. excavators, dump trucks, etc. The appointed person must ensure that a suitable route is provided, the driver has had some form of lifting operations training, and it’s also important to make sure that ground conditions are adequate for mobility of equipment. The appointed person would also be involved in lift planning and risk assessment. We do cover basic lift planning on the CPCS practical and theory test, and a plant lift supervisor would benefit from this knowledge.

1.2. Benefits of the Course

This course will provide the knowledge and practical skills for those who want to plan, supervise, and manage a safe system of work using lifting operations. It is intended for candidates who are preparing to take a responsible role in the lifting operations on site. After the successful completion of this course, candidates will be able to interpret and apply appropriate sections of the codes of practice and industry standards. They will have an understanding of their legal and managerial responsibilities regarding lifting operations. They will also be able to select the crane and lifting accessories for a lifting operation and ensure the crane is appropriate for the lifting operation. Additionally, they will be able to identify and implement the requirements for communication with crane operators and lifting staff, provide the necessary control and supervision of the lifting operation to ensure safety and compliance with the standard method, recognize and manage the lifting operation in a range of complex circumstances, and deal with accidents and emergency procedures.

1.3. Target Audience

This course is beneficial to individuals who are new to the role, as well as those who have been in the position of Appointed Person previously; to enable them to stay up to date with the AP role within the construction industry. This can be achieved by completing a CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme course, SSSTS. They would then have the foundation to attend the AP course. A range of companies that offer excellent benefits to “upskilling” staff with a view to developing a health and safety culture within the workplace and promote self-development are actually prepared to send members of staff on this course. It will also suit project managers who are looking to increase their health and safety management knowledge. This course can also be used as refresher training for an existing Appointed Person who has not attended a similar course within the last five years.

It is aimed at individuals who are given the responsibility for safety on construction sites. It is designed for site managers, agents, supervisors, and persons who are, or are about to be, responsible for planning, organizing, monitoring, controlling, and administering groups of staff and workforce. This course will enable them to: – Understand the health, safety, welfare, and environmental issues – Identify measures required to control specific site risks – Develop site safety systems and prepare method statements – Implement health and safety management systems and to develop safe systems of work – Understand their role in the development of a positive health and safety culture – Understand the in-depth understanding of the behavioral safety approach

2. Course Content

Planning and organizing lifting operations: A lifting operation may be defined as ‘planned’ when the lifting has to take place in a designed or organized situation, e.g. alteration work to a building or manufacturing tasks. The appointed person will need to liaise with the person who will be hiring the cranes and/or lifting equipment. Knowledge of the lifting operation site and ground conditions may be gained from an advance visit. This will allow the appointed person to select the most suitable lifting equipment and make the appropriate conditions in the lift plan or in prescribed codes of practice.

Roles and responsibilities of the appointed person: In the execution of their duties, the appointed person must cooperate with relevant statutory dutyholders. In many instances, the duties of the appointed person and those of the lifting operation supervisor will run parallel, and on smaller sites, the two roles may be carried out by the same person.

All health and safety legislation is applicable to the role of the appointed person. In addition to this, the specific requirements for lifting operations and lifting equipment are contained within LOLER. When these are studied in conjunction with the Approved Code of Practice, the legal duties and practical responsibilities of the appointed person become apparent.

Legal requirement: – Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations – Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 – Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations – LOLER Approved Code of Practice

2.1. Legal Requirements

An appointed person should possess a basic understanding of the various types of lifting equipment and accessories, including their limitations. He/She should also be aware of safe systems of work and standard procedures for lifting common or specific items. This may require the appointed person to seek advice and information from specialists within lifting operations, and it will definitely require close liaison with lift supervisors and those undertaking the lift.

This course focuses on the responsibilities of the Appointed Person and the Supervisors. An appointed person is someone who has been given the responsibility to oversee lifting operations and who has been suitably trained to allow them to carry out their role effectively. This may be a Foreman or a Supervisor; it could also be someone in a separate role to those carrying out the lift, with the responsibility to oversee all lifting operations on a site. This person must understand the level of his/her responsibility regarding health and safety at work legislation. On larger sites, this person will often be a supervisor or a contracts manager. Whichever it is, they must ensure that they understand what is required of them with respect to Health and Safety legislation and demonstrate a commitment to health and safety.

Under current legislation, it is a criminal offence to neglect health and safety at work. This means that employees and proprietors of companies can be prosecuted if they are found to be negligent, and as a result, face heavy fines and even imprisonment. As with all health and safety regulations, the responsibility for ensuring that lifting operations are carried out in a safe and controlled manner lies with many different people, from the employers who organize the work to the employees who carry it out.

2.2. Roles and Responsibilities of an Appointed Person

There will be occasions where the employer believes that the lifting operation is elementary and a written scheme is not necessary. These are usual tasks and a competent person is needed to plan and supervise duties, including assigning personnel to their duties, implementing a method of safe working, supervising personnel to ensure the methods are being employed, and providing instruction and/or stopping the equipment operator if they are compromising safety. The success of any lifting operation depends on effective management by the case, and the best way to achieve this is by using available tools for the job, such as a method statement prepared by the task employer or self-employed person who is doing the task.

An appointed person is someone who has sufficient training, knowledge, and experience to enable them to provide task-appropriate ability.

Roles and responsibilities of an appointed person Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER98) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER98), anyone whose duties involve lifting operations must appoint people who are adequately covered by the law. They must ensure that all lifting operations are properly planned and conducted safely by a competent person. The regulations require that the need for planning is much more important and the appointed person must possess a general attitude towards their obligations and be responsible.

2.3. Planning and Organizing Lifting Operations

This is outlined in LOLER Regulation 8 (for planning and risk assessment) and Regulation 9 for organization and supervision. LOLER Regulation 8 has specifically outlined a requirement for complex and difficult lifting operations to have a written plan. A plan should identify possible hazards and control measures, establish safe systems of work, allocate duties, and provide information and instruction to those involved in the lifting operation. A plan should be clear without any room for misinterpretation and should be kept relevant and up to date. Written plans need to cover the aspects of the lifting operation described in Regulation 6(3) and (4) of PUWER, which is the requirement for all equipment for lifting except for items with a low risk to safety, to be suitable, maintained, and will not put persons at risk.

Planning of lifting operations must be appropriate, properly managed and supervised to ensure lifting operations are conducted in a safe manner. The appointed person will need to be competent and adequately resourced. In planning lifting operations, hazards need to be identified and assessed to decide which control measures are required. Factors such as individuals involved in the lift, the load, the lifting equipment, and the environment where the lift will take place need to be taken into account when planning a lifting operation.

2.4. Risk Assessment and Method Statements

The assessment often involves a detailed inspection or examination of a workplace. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in the workplace, the ones with the potential to cause real harm. A detailed method statement can be referred to as the staircase to success for a lifting operation. Each task at hand has a number of ways it can be achieved, but only one way is the safest and most efficient way. By setting out a method, the considerations are clear and there is clear direction for taking action.

After the planning of a lifting operation, it is important to know what is involved and who might be affected. This will help you identify the best way to complete the task at hand. As the appointed person, you have to consult with all personnel involved and let them know what you are trying to do. This is a multipart process to determine what consideration must be given to lifting operations in the future and will enable the preparation of a brief, which outlines all the important aspects that dictate a safe lift.

Risk assessment is referred to in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The regulations require employers to assess and effectively manage risks to their employees and others during the work being carried out. Carrying out method statements has been a relevant part of the construction industry for a number of years now. It is the most practical way of getting across the safe system of work which will be implemented by your workforce.

3. Practical Training

The practical training is continuously assessed against the established criteria using a practical test report to ensure that remedial training can be provided in areas of the operation that the student is weak in. This will give confidence that a student attending our course will be deemed competent on completion.

Hence, the training programme is conducted over 5 days with a maximum of 6 students. Training in the practical operation of the crane is carried out using a radio-controlled pick and carry crane. A larger crane can be arranged, but this usually increases the cost as the owner will charge a higher rate to cover the fact that he is not operating his crane. At the end of the day, the principle of teaching trainees how to become more cost-effective in their productivity will be lost. Remembering that an Appointed Person will not be involved in the physical operation of the crane, experience has shown that the pick and carry crane still best serves the training needs of the students.

Practical training at CPCS for A61 Appointed Person aims at providing hands-on experience to the students on different aspects of crane lifting. There are various components involved in learning the different aspects of lifting and each has its own set of detailed constraints.

3.1. Crane Inspection and Maintenance

To prepare a lifting plan, it is important that the appointed person and other members of the lift team are conversant with the technical capabilities and condition of the lifting appliances being considered. There should be at least a rudimentary knowledge of all available types of lifting appliances. For further information on these items, reference should be made to specialist lifting equipment. Experience has shown that once on site, the time available for planning lifts is invariably less than estimated. Information should be available on the relative characteristics of alternative schemes to enable quick decisions on changes to be made. Aids to planning should always include sketches incorporating all known dimensional and structural information on the loads and lifting points to scale.

3.2. Lifting Equipment and Accessories

An accessory that is often used for quick visual indication of lifting equipment status is the “LOLER” flag. The colour of the flag is not important, but it must state whether the item is “Safe to Use” or “Do Not Use”. However, the latter should be very rare if equipment is regularly inspected.

The colour coding of lifting equipment and accessories according to their classification or SWL is permissible as long as it does not conflict with any other known standard within these regulations. This is often used by companies as a quick and easy way to identify whether equipment has been recently tested or examined, and therefore deemed safe for use.

Specific rules for the marking of lifting equipment are contained in LOLER, which requires lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined. Evidence of examination for the most common forms of lifting equipment and accessories is a test certificate.

Before any lifting operation, it is important to ensure that the lifting equipment is: – Of the correct type and safe working load (SWL) for the proposed lift. – In good condition. – CE marked and compliant with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). – Accompanied by the appropriate certification, such as a test certificate.

3.3. Communication and Signal Systems

3.3 Communication and Signal Systems Candidates should be made aware that the duty to provide systems of communication and signaling lies with the Person Responsible for the Lifting Operation (PRLO). This will involve a series of signals given by a signaler using hand, arm, or flag signals to control the movement of a load. Candidates should be made aware of foghorn signals, radiophones, and other verbal methods of communication. This is an area where standardization worldwide is being developed, and candidates should be encouraged to find out about local agreements and practices. Candidates should be made aware of the role and responsibilities of a signaler. An understanding of the lifting operation and the ability to anticipate and direct the movement of the load are essential requirements of a signaler. An important role lies with the crane operator in interpreting signals given by a signaler and in being able to stop the operation safely if in any doubt about the signal being given. Studies have shown that misinterpretation of signals is a major cause of lifting-related accidents, and therefore, increasing understanding of riggers and signalers and crane operator learning each other’s signals and actions is to be encouraged.

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4. Assessment and Certification

During and at the end of the course, delegates are given a range of assessments in order to gauge performance and to see if they have achieved the training objectives. Each candidate must complete a multiple-choice test paper. The paper will contain 25 questions, each having a positive mark of two. The paper will have a minimum pass rate of 70%. This paper is specific to the crane categories named on the course. This is written to CPCS standards on examination paper. At the end of the course, the delegate’s performance will have been constantly evaluated during the training. A practical assessment will be carried out where the delegate will be required to brief and plan an AP lift, which will identify a complex lift. The delegate must show underpinning knowledge of legislation BM6 & LOLER and the completion of a lift plan including risk assessments. This will enable a candidate to understand and interpret information given in a lift plan and how it is used to bring out a safe system of work. The delegate will have to be able to take a crane supplier information sheet and plan the lift using the information on the load supplier’s details.

4.1. Written Examination

If the candidate fails the written examination, the CPCS A61 Appointed Person is entitled to take a different CPCS Theory Test at a CPCS Test Centre and secure a pass there (75% or above). This is to show a degree of flexibility to a candidate who feels that the written exam is not the best way of judging his level of competence. Candidates can take a Theory Test in the six-month period following a failed written examination but will not be able to sit a Theory Test in the period between a failed Examination and a re-sit of the same examination, which is itself subject to a three-month restriction. The purpose of this restriction is to reduce the possibility of any candidate using a failed examination as an excuse not to take further tuition. A candidate obtaining an overall pass at the written examination may then proceed to the CPCS practical assessment at any time.

The safety questions should demonstrate a basic core knowledge in lifting operations and an understanding of the candidate’s previous actions in lifting supervision and planning. Any candidate who has not answered at least 8 questions out of 12 with a safety element correctly cannot achieve an overall pass on the examination. An examination paper and model answers will be retained to show any candidate requiring his paper to be re-marked or who wishes to appeal over his result.

The written examination paper consists of 20 multiple-choice questions and 3 multiple-choice safety questions. The questions are to be answered within 1 hour. The pass mark for the multiple-choice paper is 75% and 60% for the safety questions. The paper is to be taken at the end of the tuition period. The multiple-choice questions will be phrased in a number of ways, i.e. standard multiple choice, “which one of the following” or “one out of three,” etc., and there is only one right answer. The depth of knowledge required to answer the question will also vary and should match the level of understanding gained from a 1-day to 4-day course.

4.2. Practical Assessment

The CPCS A61 Appointed Person practical assessment includes pre-slinging and hand signals, and will last a minimum of 40 minutes. Candidates will be assessed on various lifting operations and must show their ability to control the lifting and load in a safe manner. Pre-slinger/Ringperson: – Select the correct lifting accessory for the load. – Identify the weight and centre of gravity of the load. – Select the correct lifting points on the load. – Demonstrate to the crane operator the intended movement of the load. – Plan a lifting operation considering the load, environment, and personnel involved using the relevant British Standard codes of practice. – Use the appropriate hand signals to safely control the load during the lifting and positioning stages. – Demonstrate a clear understanding of the crane operator’s responsibility and limitations. Crane Supervisor/Person: – Plan safe systems of work for lifting operations. – Produce Method Statements, Risk Assessments, and Lift Plans. – Liaise with Lift Manager/Appointed Person. – Understand the principles of LOLER and other relevant regulations. – Understand the ground conditions and how to provide the correct support for the crane. – Position the crane for the lifting operation, taking into account the crane’s safe working load, working radii, height, and how ground conditions will affect the crane’s stability. – Stop any lifting operation if an unsafe act or condition is observed.

4.3. Certification Process

Certification with the A61 Appointed Persons course is achieved by successfully completing both the core and category-specific plant courses, and it is valid for a period of 5 years. On proof of previous certification, the course duration may be shortened to 1 day (8 hours). The first step is to complete the Technical Test paper at the end of the course, along with their relevant category-specific plant test paper. This method has been devised with the help of the Plant Steering Group. Then, complete an SVQ portfolio on-site in the workplace or working environment, filled in by the learners themselves and witnessed by a health and safety competent person or the training provider over a 6-month period. This process is held with continual assessment from the course tutor/assessor. Then, if required, learners can work towards their plant or lift supervisor SVQ at level 4 over a further 6-month period in order to gain their red CPCS competency card.