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Last Post 02/15/2011 7:54 AM by  Catsvstrained
Real PFAS / Rope & Harness Certification Now Available
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Catsvstrained
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02/15/2011 7:54 AM

     

         At the request of several Insurance carriers and IA firms we (Property Claims Adjusters) now have the first (and only to date) PFAS (Personal Fall Arrest System  / Rope & Harness) Training Operations Standards that has been established by ACRABAT the first (and only to date) professional organization to represent the risk management needs of those who must access high angle surfaces for inspection / assessment (non construction type) purposes.
    The primary goal of such standards is an enhanced risk management process that lends a face to responsibly effective PFAS training as it pertains to our very own unique industry. A measuring stick if you will for IA employers to gauge the depth of PFAS training that their workers or potential employees have been exposed to.
    This information and more is available at acrobat.org however, with full permission of this organization I include the heart of their standards:
    The Association for Certified Rope Accessed Building Assessment Technicians
    Note: This information on operations standards also available at acrobat.org should the following be deleted by the forum moderators.
    INTRODUCTION TO TRAINING OPERATIONS STANDARDS
    ACRABAT recognizes that the demands and risk assumed by building assessment trades workers, though similar to other work at height trades professionals are distinctive enough to require an independently organized set of standards to effectively curtail the threat of personal injury. Training Operations Standards cited within this document are based on relevant industry practices and standards established by but not limited to: Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Cordage Institute (CI) as well as other professional organizations.
    The intent of these standards is to
    ·         Define critical knowledge, skills and components necessary for training building assessment field technicians to recognize and effectively mitigate personal risk;
    ·         Establish a measurable record of technical structure and competencies required to improve and refine the risk managed building assessment field practice and training process;
    ·         Provide an educational platform for program administrators to capitalize on successful risk management training processes and avoid the hazards of building their own program through the process of trial and error.
    ·         Promote creativity for program design and informational delivery within the outline of consistently sound technical practice.
     
    SECTION A: TRAINING OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
    A1 PROGRAM RESPONSIBILLITIES
    A1.1 The training organization will provide services consistent with its mission, goals and objectives.
    A1.2 The training organization will accurately represent its products and services to its employees as well as to the general public.
    A1.3 The training organization will respect the confidentiality, dignity rights and general well being of field technician trainees.
    A1.4 The training organization must not operate outside the limits of their competencies or control.
    A1.5 The training organization will disclose all training incidents in the form of a written detailed narrative that includes all pertinent events leading up to and resulting from the incident.
    A1.6 The training organization will appropriately establish and implement written policy, procedure and practice that meets the minimum criteria for risk managed building assessment guidelines within the framework of this document.
    A1.7 The training organization will establish site and program specific risk management procedures that includes reasonable protocol for emergency response.
    A1.8 The training organization will designate a qualified person to manage all training personnel and program operations.
    A1.9 The training organization will maintain appropriate amounts of general liability and workers compensation insurance.
    A1.10 The training organization will complete regular and periodic internal program reviews.
    A1.11 The training organization will submit to regular and periodic external program review.
    A1.12 The training organization will take appropriate actions based on recommendations of external reviews.
    A1.13 The training organization will employ an appropriate screening process for all program participants prior to actual training to determine trainee’s risks for personal injury during training process.
    A1.14 The training organization will maintain a 1 to 5 instructor to trainee ratio for all training activities that take place above ground level.
    A1.15 The training organization will complete a thorough inspection of all climbing / training platforms and equipment prior to beginning a new class.
    A1.16 The training organization will keep and maintain accurate records of equipment usage and retire equipment according to manufacturers recommendations.
     
    B1   CRITICAL PERSONAL FALL ARREST SYSTEMS (PFAS) TRAINING COMPONENTS
     B1.1 All training organizations will recognize the inherent risks associated with facilitating PFAS trainees by the progressive ordering of their trainings to include both classroom instruction and fully equipped ground level rehearsal prior to completing any above ground activities. All individual participants will be evaluated by their instructors for competencies prior to being allowed to progress to any above ground training activities.
    B1.2 All PFAS training programs will include instruction on appropriate selection, use, maintenance and retirement of all load bearing life line equipment based on the manufacturers recommendations.
    B1.3 All PFAS training programs will include instruction on how to calculate working load limits of all load rated lifeline equipment.
    B1.4 NoPFAS training program will use or provide instruction on the use of any life line related equipment components in any manner other than which is specifically recommended by the equipment manufacturer.
    B1.5 All PFAS training programs will include instruction on line placement equipment and techniques that do not require any activity above that of ground level to employ.
    B1.5.1 Line placement devices will be designed in a manner that represents a respect for minimizing the threat for property damage.
    B1.5.2 Line placement devices will be designed in a manner so that the average adult can learn to effectively employ them to a minimum height of a two and a half story structure for residential use training and six stories for commercial use training.
    B1.6 All PFAS training programs will employ the use of ladders appropriately rated for the loads that are intended to be placed on them.
    B1.6.1 Both single story ladders used to access an inclined pitch of no less than 8 feet and multi-story ladders used to access an inclined pitch of no less than sixteen feet must be incorporated as part of the PFAS training process.
    B1.6.2 All PFAS training programs will include specific extension ladder set up and use and retirement instructions based on manufacturers recommendations. 
    B1.7 All PFAS training programs will include information on knots and knot tying. Knots used should be selected based on reducing shear, building redundancy, minimizing rope wear, rope loading and relative ease to create and disassemble.
    B1.8 All PFAS training programs will include information on the proper identification and appropriate use of fixed anchors, portable anchorsand human anchors.
    B1.8.1 All individual life lines must be secured by an anchor that is independent of other life lines or hand lines.
    B1.9 All PFAS training programs will include information on the appropriate set-up and use of both the static and dynamic belay processes for building inspection.
    B1.9.1 Static belay training will incorporate the use of redundant friction producing belay devices.
    B1.9.2 Static belaytraining will include curriculum on slope to slope belay transfers.
    B1.9.3 Static belaytraining will include curriculum on the appropriate set-up and use of pivot lines.
    B1.9.4 Dynamic belay training will incorporate the use of both a primary life line rope and a secondary hand line rope.
    B1.9.5 Dynamic belay training will incorporate the use of a personal anchor attached to the back of the seat harness to secure the ground belay person to a fixed point either above or beneath the climber.
    B1.9.6 Dynamic belay training will incorporate the use of a ridge protector to minimize the threat of damage to the primary life line.
    B1.10 All PFAS training programs will provide for above ground level belayed climbing and descending activities that allow for individual participant understanding of personal strengths and limitations.
    B1.10.1 Above ground level belayed activities will be completed on both steep (7/12 – 11/12) and extra steep (12/12+) pitched surfaces.
    B1.10.2 All PFAS training programs will provide appropriate curriculum on the appropriate selection, set-up and use of life line ascenders, descenders and fall arrestors.
    B1.11 All PFAS training programs will limit the maximum arresting force on the climber to 900 lbf when attached to a seat harness and 1800 lbf when attached to the upper back portion of a full body harness.
    B1.12 All PFAS training programs will limit free fall distance to no more than six feet.
     
    C1 LIFE LINE EQUIPMENT STANDARDS
    C1.1 All components assembled to produce a personal fall arrest life line and belay system must be strength rated by the manufacturer and determined sufficient for use by a qualified person to have a breaking strength equal to or greater than that of five times the expected load.
    C1.2 All components assembled to produce a personal fall arrest life line and belay system must be compatible with one another and used in a manner that is consistent with the manufacturers recommendations.
    C1.3 All carabiner, snap hooks and rapid link connectors will have a breaking strength of at least 5000 lbf / 22.2 kN.
    C1.3.1 All metal to metal contact between connectors (carabiners, snap hooks and rapid links) within a personal fall arrest life line and belay system will consist of components matched based on the types and hardness of the metals that they consist of.
    C1.4 All harnesses should consist of either a one piece (full body) or two piece (combination seat and upper torso) full body harness system that meets UIAA, NFPA, ANSI, ASTM, or EN standards and have a breaking strength of at least 5000 lbf / 22.2 kN.
    C1.4.1 All harnesses utilized to facilitate static belay building inspections should incorporate either a belay loop or other suitable attachment point (as recommended by manufacturer) centered at waist level in front of the climber. 
    C1.4.2 All harnesses used by the ground belay person to facilitate a dynamic building inspections should incorporate a belay loop or other suitable attachment point (as recommended by manufacturer) centered at waist level in the front and the rear of the ground belay persons harness.
    C1.5 Helmets that meet UIAA 106 or CE 12 492 standards will be appropriately used to protect trainees from impacts with ladders, climbing elements and falling objects.
    C1.6 All life line rope and cordage rope will be composed of synthetic fibers.
    C1.6.1 Life line rope will be consistant with that of low stretch static kernmantle cordage that has a breaking strength of at least 5000 lbf / 22.2 kN and meets one or more of the following standards: UIAA 107, NFPA 1983, EN 1891 (Type A) or CI 1801-07.
    C1.6.2 Life line webbing will have width of one inch and a single strand breaking strength of at least 4000 lbf / 17.8 kN.
    C1.6.3 Life line accessory cord utilized as a redundant belay component within a personal fall arrest life line and belay system will meet UIAA 102, EN 564, or CI 1803-03 standards and meet design factor requirements as determined by a qualified person.
    PRACTITIONER CERTIFICATION STANDARDS
        Practitioner Certification Standards were created in order to establish common standards for identifying practitioner knowledge and skills at a minimum level. The goal of ACRABAT standards of practice is to encourage the continuous improvement of roof access safety and training standards by promoting uniformity within the roof inspection trades industry.
    Certification is a credential achieved by an individual that indicates to the rest of the industry that the individual has completed specific training and successfully passed a series of knowledge and skills tests that comply with standards established by ACRABAT.
    All ACRABAT Practitioner Certification Standards are written on a working document that will receive updated revisions to reflect new trends and best practices for the industry as needed.
    SECTION D: CERTIFICATION STANDARD RELATED TO LEVEL I, II & III PRACTITIONERS
    D1 CERTIFICATION PROCESS
    A1.1 Scope of Certification
    There are three different types of practitioners: Level I / Technician, Level II / Instructor and Level III / Program Administrator .
    To be certified, an individual must complete an initial training program that addresses appropriate Personal Fall Arrest System assisted roof inspection safety standards.
    Given the agreement of a certifying body, experienced practitioners may challenge into a level by providing documentation of experience and completed trainings and by passing both the documented skills and knowledge tests for that level.
    D1.2 Certifying Body
    A certifying body is an organization that provides for individual certification. All certifying organizations must be able to provide for minimum levels of equipment, information and site specific standards consistent with Level I, II, & III Practitioner training requirements.
     
    D1.3 Testing
    A certifying body is responsible for developing and administering practical skills and knowledge testing consistent with applicable practitioner level standards.
     
    Certifying bodies must maintain records documenting all class participants that they have tested and the results of those tests.
     
     
     
    D2 LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION
    D2.1 Level I Practitioner / Technician
    D2.1.1 No experience is required prior to entering a Level I training program.
    D2.1.2 Minimum age for certification as a Level I Technician is 18.
    D2.1.3  A minimum number of content appropriate training and field related experience hours must be completed for full Level I certification. Trainings may exceed time minimums in order to cover vendor or equipment manufacturer recommendations.
    D2.1.3a Full Level I Certification: A minimum of sixteen (16) hours of level appropriate curriculum is required.
    D2.1.3b Level I Classroom Activities: A minimum of four (4) hours of classroom activities that include curriculum on working loads, fall factors, deceleration, and manufacturer’s recommendations on lifeline equipment use and retirement.
    D2.1.3c Level I Ground level Activities: A minimum of four (4) hours of ground level activities that include curriculum on lifeline placement as well as anchor selection, set up and use.
    D2.1.3d Level I Off Ground Activities (six feet or more above ground level): A minimum of six (6) hours off ground 7/12 – 12/12 & 12/12+ pitched roof climbing curriculum that includes participant use of both ascending and descending devices in a manner consistent with manufacturers recommendations.
    D2.1.3e Level I Self Rescue Activities: A minimum of two (2) hours of self rescue curriculum that includes participant’s demonstrated ability to free themselves from a position of true vertical suspension.
    D2.1.4  The training organization must provide program participants with appropriate documentation of training curriculum completed with a copy of the class manual and syllabus. All participants who have completed Level I curriculum, passed level I skills and knowledge testing and provided appropriate documentation of field related experience must be provided a certification document or card by the certifying body.
    D2.1.5  Full Level I Certification is one of the steps required to obtain Level II Instructor status however, in and of itself is insufficient to train others.
    D2.1.6  Level I practitioners should be able to complete roof inspections in a self belayed environment.
    D2.1.7  The duration for Level I Technician certification is for one (1) year.
    D2.1.8  Level I Practitioner recertification process will include either 1) Twenty (20) hours of field experience completed in the previous year along with successful completion of a written knowledge test; or 2) take an additional eight (8) hours of Level I training and pass a written knowledge and skills test.
    D2.1.9  An experienced practitioner may “challenge in” to a Level I certified status. This process requires that the Level I applicant present a portfolio documenting sixty (60) combined hours of training and field experience and pass both written knowledge and skills testing that meet Level I standards.
    D2.1.10  Written knowledge test must meet Level I training standards and be passed with a score of at least 80%.
    D2.1.11  All applicants must successfully complete a practical skills test that complies with Level I standards in order to receive certification.
     
    D2.2 Level II Practitioner / Instructor
    D2.2.1 All participants must have successfully obtained a Level I Technician status prior to beginning Level II Instructor training.
    D2.2.2 Minimum age for certification as a Level II Instructor is 21.
    D2.2.3  A minimum number of content appropriate training and field related experience hours must be completed for full Level II certification. Trainings may exceed time minimums in order to cover vendor or equipment manufacturer recommendations.
    D2.2.3a  Full Level II Certification: Forty (40) hours of Level II curriculum, two hundred (200) hours total of documented field related experience and forty (40) hours of supervised instruction to level I trainees is required. Training hours must cover all areas contained in Operations Standards. Sixteen (16) hours of the forty (40) hours of Level II training can be completed as self-study provided that the material covered is consistent with Level II curriculum and documented within a personal training portfolio as proof of completion.
    D2.2.3b Level II Classroom Activities: A minimum of eight (8) hours of classroom activities that include curriculum on equipment manufacturers use standards for lifeline equipment use, maintenance and retirement, Department of Labor’s regulation of the construction industry, ladder safety, and the incorporation of risk management plans.
    D2.2.3c  Level II Ground level Activities: A minimum of eight (8) hours of ground level activities that include curriculum on building appropriate lifelines and facilitating participant activities that provide for understanding and trust of lifeline equipment.
    D2.2.3d  Level II Off Ground Activities (six feet or more above ground level): A minimum of twenty (20) hours off ground 7/12 – 12/12 & 12/12+ pitched roof climbing curriculum that includes building participant understanding and trust of lifeline equipment. This category of training should also include instruction on how to facilitate training on self rescue process from true vertical suspension.
    D2.2.3e  Participant Rescue Training: A minimum of four (4) hours of participant rescue training curriculum.
    D2.2.4   The training organization must provide program participants with appropriate documentation of training curriculum completed with a copy of the class manual and syllabus. All participants who have completed Level II curriculum, passed level II skills and knowledge testing and provided appropriate documentation of field and supervised training related experience must be provided a certification document or card by the certifying body.
    D2.2.5  Certified Level II Practitioner must be trained in and capable of carrying out site specific first aid procedures and/or protocols.
    D2.2.6  All Certified Level II Practitioners must work within the framework of a lifeline access building assessment training program directed by a certified Level III Program Administrator.
    D2.2.7  The duration for Level II Instructor certification is for three (3) years.
    D2.2.8  Level II Practitioner recertification process will include either 1) One hundred fifty (150) hours of Level I program training delivery and the documentation of Twenty four (24) hours of Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) training along with successful completion of a written knowledge test; or 2) retake Level II training and pass a written knowledge and skills test.
    D2.2.9  An experienced practitioner may “challenge in” to a Level II certified status. This process requires that the Level II applicant present a portfolio documenting two hundred (200) hours of Level I program training delivery, two hundred (200) hours of practical field experience, eighty (80) hours of training and pass both written knowledge and skills testing that meet Level II standards. Twenty-four (24) hours of the eighty (80) hours of Level II training can be completed as self-study provided that the material covered is consistent with Level I, & II curriculum and documented within a personal training portfolio as proof of completion.
    D2.2.10  Written knowledge test must meet Level II training standards and be passed with a score of at least 80%.
    D2.2.11  All applicants must successfully complete a practical skills test that complies with Level II standards in order to receive certification.
     
    D2.3    Level III Practitioner / Program Administrator
    D2.3.1  All participants must have successfully obtained a Level II Instructor status prior to beginning Level III Administrator training.
    D2.3.2  The minimum age for certification as a Program Administrator is 25.
    D2.3.3  A minimum number of content appropriate training and field related experience hours must be completed for full Level III certification. Trainings may exceed time minimums in order to cover vendor or equipment manufacturer recommendations.
    D2.3.4  Full Level III Certification: Thirty (30) hours of Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) program management training and three hundred (300) hours of Level I class instruction to level I trainees is required, sixty (60) of which must be program site specific. Training hours must be consistent with Level III curriculum and documented within a personal training portfolio as proof of completion.
    D2.3.5  The training organization must provide program participants with appropriate documentation of training curriculum completed with a copy of the class manual and syllabus. All participants who have completed Level III curriculum, passed level III skills and knowledge testing and provided appropriate documentation of field and class instruction related experience must be provided a certification document or card by the certifying body.
    D2.3.6  Certified Level III Practitioner must be trained in and capable of carrying out site specific first aid procedures and/or protocols.
    D2.3.7  Certified Rope Accessed Building Assessment Program Administrator must be able to supervise all aspects of the training program operations.
    D2.3.8  A Rope Accessed Building Assessment Program Administrator must be capable of developing program specific policies and procedures, effectively communicating them to program personnel and ensuring that they are followed.
    D2.3.9  A Rope Accessed Building Assessment Program Administrator must be capable of developing Practitioner training programs as well as in-service trainings on site and program specific operating procedures.
    D2.3.10  The duration for Level III Program Administrator certification is for Five (5) years.
    D2.3.11  Level III Practitioner recertification process will include a minimum of three hundred (300) hours of direct Rope Accessed Building Assessment training program administrative related activities and thirty (30) hours of Personal Fall Arrest System Program Management training.
    D2.3.12  An experienced practitioner may “challenge in” to a Level III certified status. This process requires that the Level III applicant present a portfolio documenting three hundred (300) hours of Level I program training delivery, two hundred (200) hours of practical field experience, eighty (80) hours of general PFAS training, thirty (30) hours of PFAS program management training and pass both written knowledge and skills testing that meet Level III standards. All training material completed must be consistent with Level I, II, & III curriculum and documented within a personal training portfolio as proof of completion.
    D2.3.13  Written knowledge test must meet Level III training standards and be passed with a score of at least 80%.
    D2.3.14  All applicants must successfully complete a practical skills test that complies with Level III standards in order to receive certification.
     
    Please keep in mind that most professional organizations are forged out of the business entities that have the most to either gain or lose from the situation they are trying to organize and ACRABAT is no exception. It is no secret that CCS llc (my training company) played a large role in forming the association however, do not assume that we did this on our own as we have received a great deal of assistance from Texas A&M Dept of Kinesiology “ChallengeWorks” director Bob Gantt as well as other key leaders of professional PFAS associations for both the climbing and construction industry. We (CCS LLC) understand that the need for PFAS assisted roof inspection training is far greater than any single company can provide and therefore fully anticipate and welcome the emergence of other qualified training companies who are committed to high angle inspection risk management.
    I know that the opinions on this subject will range long wide and continuous but before anyone chooses their position I believe it is important to consider a few facts:
    1)      Our Industry is not the first to experience the need for high angle risk management reform, we are in fact the last of the work at height industries to take action on developing a real system for improving it.
    2)      There is no such thing as an error free high angle risk management program but if we do not establish a base line for the best one centered on what we know now, then there will never be any hope for process improvement.
    3)      The risk management success rate for other industries with high angle work related responsibilities who have incorporated association based safety standards has been phenomenal. Most if not all have experienced somewhere in the neighborhood of a 90% reduction in fall related injuries.
     
    Appropriate feedback on this topic is greatly appreciated and we would like to hear from those who have experience with high angle roof inspection, risk management and/or  training.
    ACRABAT is currently being carried by an interim board until our first election will be held later this year. Permanent (term based) board seats will be filled by member based elections.
     If you have an interest in becoming a board member,  please submit your resume to acrabatinfo@gmail.com  .
    If you have an interest in becoming a voting member of this organization then you can locate an application at www.acrabat.org .  
    If you can provide 60 hrs of combined PFAS instruction and work experience would like to “Challenge In” to ACRABAT level 1 Technician status. The skills testing and written exam can be completed through Catastrophe Career Specialties LLC (training@catastrophecareerspecialties.com) .
    CatSvs Trained
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