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Openreach SD: Use of MEWP's

6 May 2013

Following a conference all with Openreach at which members from the CWU Openreach NT and the T&FSE Health & Safety team were present the T&FSE Health & Safety team have written back to Openreach to restate our position and again make the case that two fully trained operators who are trained in all aspects of the Mobile Elevating Work Platforms including rescue are assigned to the same MEWP.

Whilst we welcome the positive progress in the letter in which Openreach have moved towards improved competency training our position remains one of believing that two-person hoist working is the best solution.

The T&FSE Health & Safety team have said that they are supportive of Openreach's modified approach and improved training plan. However, CWU will reserve judgment pending the outcome of the amended trial as to whether this training is adequate to meet the requirements of both ourselves and the HSE to provide for two fully competent people to be on site in the event of needing to effect a rescue.

The T&FSE Health & Safety team and local Union Safety Co-ordinators will closely monitor the situation as part of our ongoing representations. In the meantime, we wish to clearly restate our position, that members must undertake a personal risk assessment to ascertain whether they are fully competent before being placed in the potential position of being required to effect a rescue, in their capacity as the Ground Support Person.