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 Categories : Forestry & Arboriculture


Representatives from the leading industry organisations have joined together to form the Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA) which sets out the industry commitment agreed by each organisation to raise the standard of Health, safety and welfare in the work place.  After the 1st October 2013  FISA are insisting that anyone felling trees with a chainsaw on a commercial forestry site, and who has not undertaken any other formal chainsaw training within the previous 5 years, must have completed or registered for a FISA Chainsaw refresher course (to be delivered by a FISA trainer) or completed or have booked a FISA-approved refresher course.
The forest industry is one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work in the UK.  In the five years up to March 2012, there was an average of 10.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers. This is more than three times the fatality rate for the construction industry.  Early in 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) called a safety summit, bringing together stakeholders from across the industry.

Newlands Training is proud to be among the first FISA Training Providers with approved FISA instructors in the South of England.

The aim of the chainsaw refresher is to assess current NPTC skills that are held by the candidate and then refresh accordingly.  Unlike traditional chainsaw refresher courses, where  you are talked back through everything from your previous training with demonstration over a number of days, it is now down to the candidate to show what they remember.  The instructor runs through key points from basic HSE /PUWER regulation, key maintenance points, and then on through NPTC units held for small to medium felling and hung up trees.

The Instructors are looking at everything from condition and age of PPE to attitude and ability on the chainsaw.  The advantage of this is that they get a much better overall and realistic picture of the skill level, in working conditions, retained by the candidate.  If the content of units held is covered in good time then refresher training with demonstration of alternative techniques is shown.
The outcome of the FISA refresher day is then recorded in detail with points to monitor/supervise in each of the headed sections

  • Health & safety and chainsaw checks.
  • Felling trees under 380mm
  • Felling trees over 380mm
  • Take down of hung up tree

The candidate is then scored and their next refresher is set at either 5 year, 3 year or on a re-train within 6 months basis.  The feed-back recorded on the refresher course accompanies the certificate from FISA and can be produced to prospective employers or site managers.  It highlights both strengths and weaknesses to be monitored and improved upon.

Already it has produced good results from people who have been missing some important NPTC units required for their work and insurance.   Many candidates have been given a full 5yr refresher period and left the FISA refresher day having acquired new knowledge from experienced instructors.

As part of the industry response, FISA have now launched a range of new commercial forest industry refresher courses. In addition an industry compliance date of 1st October 2013 now applies to all FISA member forestry operations.

For more information on FISA please view their website.