Evaluation and Implementation of Chainsaw Operators Certification (EAIOCOC)
The need for a recognised INTERNATIONAL/EUROPEAN CHAINSAW CERTIFICATE (ICC/ECC) or 'licence' has been proposed and discussed by various organisations and individuals at meetings over a number of years which ultimately led to the successful development of the international Awarding Body Association (ABA). ABA International is a 'not for profit' organisation primarily tasked with the management and quality assurance of education and provision of skills certification and recognition throughout Europe and Worldwide. By February 2014 over 300 successful International/European Chainsaw Certificates have been issued and recorded in the innovative electronic skills register of chainsaw operators.
The idea and starting point for an International/European chainsaw certification can actually be traced back to an international UK supported Forestry Training (Chainsaw Standards) project in Canada undertaken by William Robb during 1995 - https://www.churchillfellowship.org/ideas-experts/fellows-directory/william-robb and further meetings held between Instructors/Assessors & Advisors from the UK National School of Forestry - Newton Rigg, Danish School of Forestry - Skovskolen & the Scottish School of Forestry, in the UK during 1997 as part of an EU funded project led by Ib Christensen (Skovskolen National Forestry Centre - University of Copenhagen). Follow up European chainsaw workshops and meetings took place involving Ib Christensen and William Robb (Lecturer in UK National School of Forestry - Newton Rigg) and their training colleagues since 2000 including participation in various other European discussions. During this period William Robb was already developing and field testing the first draft versions of European chainsaw standards (ECS) in the UK.
Following the recommendation of the UK Leonardo National Agency, William Robb developed and submitted a European chainsaw project proposal, which was successfully approved in 2009. He subsequently managed the 'Evaluation and Implementation of Chainsaw Operators Certification' project through to completion in 2011. He is the technical author and owner of the pioneering European (ECS/ECC) and International chainsaw certification standards (ICS/ICC).
Development of European occupational training & assessment standards for registered Independent LOLER inspectors in the workplace (LOLER) (2011-2013)
Reduction of accidents working at heights is currently the number one priority of the UK HSE. The 2009 statistics for the UK alone show over 4000 major injuries were caused by falls from height at work (source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/). Many of these accidents occur due to equipment failure which could have been preventable if equipment had been thoroughly examined prior to use (European Priority 1). This equipment includes ropes, harnesses, connection devices, mobile platforms, ladders etc. This is supported through examination of new inspection techniques using appropriate technologies.
Euro Skills Trainer Register (ESTER)
The ESTER project has been designed to meet the needs of European skills trainers and VET organisations. Recent European statistics highlight an unacceptable workplace fatality rate associated with skilled operations undertaken in the agriculture and forestry sectors of industry. The ESTER project will focus on key high-risk activities within those sectors. For example, falls from a height and machinery crush injuries are well-known risks which can be better prevented through quality training provision. Partners aim to build upon the successful work of previous projects which developed, for example the International/European Chainsaw Certificate (ICC/ECC), with an aim to provide a recognised European skills trainer qualification. In order to enhance training delivery, the ESTER project aims to facilitate best practice & high-quality instruction standards & techniques amongst VET providers and skills trainers of courses across Europe and beyond, exchanging knowledge, training innovations and expertise in the process leading to safer trainers and trainees.
The EFMO project has been designed to the meet the needs & demands of European Forest Machine Operators-EFMO. Recent UK & European statistics highlight an unacceptable workplace fatality rate associated with skilled operations undertaken in the agriculture & forestry industries priority sectors for UK & EU health & safety authorities. The EFMO project will particularly focus on the use of forwarders, harvesters and tractors in mechanical harvesting operations & compare European skills & techniques employed.
European Utility Arborist (EUARB)
The EU-ARB project has been designed to the meet the needs of arborists involved within high risk UA activities particularly within energy sectors of industry responsible for vegetation/tree management. Recent European & UK statistics indicate a rising workplace fatality rate associated with hazardous work undertaken by arborists. Previous project partner research also reported related health & safety concerns within this sector & developed a framework for common European VET competence standards. These standards can be adapted & developed further for use within the Utility Arboriculture (UA) occupations. At the same time this project aims to facilitate best practice & high quality instruction amongst VET providers & skills trainers of UA courses across Europe & beyond, exchanging knowledge, training innovations & expertise in the process leading to safer trained arborists.
Vocational Education & Training Standards in Agriculture, Forestry & Environmental Safety at Heights (VET SAFETY)
The VET-Safety project was designed to the meet the needs of people involved within high risk work at height (WAH) activities particularly within the agricultural & environmental sector of industry. 2011-2012 statistics indicated that the highest workplace fatalities occurred within this sector: