Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 15.17.48A NORTH East training provider has launched two bespoke courses designed to improve construction site safety.

Owen Pugh Training Services, which is headquartered in Dudley in North Tyneside with clients throughout the region, has developed short courses in Advanced Manual Handling and Deep Excavation after recognising a need to provide additional, tailored training to improve site safety beyond legislative requirements.

The two half-day courses were initially developed as part of the Owen Pugh Group’s safety first approach to improve standards among its own staff across its civil engineering divisions; and to date over 70 Owen Pugh operatives have completed the courses, which are now being rolled out externally to other businesses and organisations operating in the civil engineering arena.

The Advanced Manual Handling course recognises that specialist techniques, sometimes involving equipment such as ropes and hoists, are necessary when dealing with heavyweight objects such as manhole covers and kerbstones, and these are not currently covered by standard manual handling courses. Similarly, Deep Excavation Awareness has been developed to supplement the regular excavation course so that operatives are better prepared for different types of excavation work including trenches and open foundation pits.  The courses comprise both theory and a practical assessment and all delegates receive an Owen Pugh Training Services certificate which states they have completed Advanced Manual Handling.

Steve Egglestone, a trainer at Owen Pugh Training Services who developed the courses, said: “These advanced level courses offer companies extra reassurance that their staff are fully trained, safe and knowledgeable. Previously, manual handling has been confined to classroom based instruction in most cases and not delivered to fit specific customer requirements.  In some cases it’s merely productivity driven or, even worse, a tick box exercise.  The Advanced Manual Handling course attempts to identify real world examples where employees need to adapt their lifting style. This training will help employers identify who is competent and this can’t be done by lifting empty boxes.

“Likewise, Deep Excavation Awareness veers away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach and looks at the management process and identifies the relevant levels of training needed to stay within the current Construction Design Regulations. It gives an overview of the levels of responsibility along with information on the checks that should be made pre and post excavation including video training on construction of manhole and trench boxes.”

Tracey Forshaw, general manager of Owen Pugh Training Services, said: “Owen Pugh’s commitment to health and safety is evident across the business and where a need is recognised to improve safety above and beyond legislative requirements, we’re in a position to develop the courses to do just that.  We’re also able to adapt this bespoke approach for other companies, individuals and local authorities to meet their own specific needs.”

Kier North Tyneside is the first external company to enrol on the Advanced Manual Handling course. The company, which delivers a repairs and maintenance service for North Tyneside Council’s housing stock and public buildings, will see over 200 front-line operatives complete the course from April.

Kier regional director, Mike Furze, said: “Our front-line operatives carry out thousands of repair and maintenance jobs across the borough each year.  This bespoke industry programme provided by Owen Pugh Training Services supports our commitment to provide our employees with ongoing training opportunities to ensure they are fully qualified and able to carry out their duties safely.”

Owen Pugh is a leading provider of training to the North East’s construction industry delivering training to Local Authorities, PLC’s, independent companies and individuals, as well as its own staff.  Owen Pugh Training Services is accredited by industry leading certifying bodies such as CPCS, Construction Skills, National Plant, and City & Guilds.

For further information about Owen Pugh Training Services call 0191 250 4601 or visit the website www.owenpugh.com