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BESA revamps vital ventilation hygiene training

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has updated the Grease Hygiene training courses that underpin professional standards in the ventilation hygiene sector.

The revised courses will be delivered through BESA approved training centres across the UK and are designed to help contractors comply with the industry’s specification TR19® Grease (for kitchen extract systems).

The new courses meet a growing and widely recognised need to have training and testing focused specifically on grease hygiene operatives (GHO3) who carry out the cleaning of kitchen extract systems. They also provide training for higher-level grease hygiene technicians (GHT3) who create risk assessments/method statements; carry out cleanliness testing/reporting and mark out/install extra access panels where required.

The Association said there had been a surge in demand for specialised hygiene services in recent years reflecting the rise in knowledge and awareness of the poor air quality and fire risk posed by badly maintained ventilation systems. The new Building Safety Act, which came into force last April, has further raised the stakes for addressing fire risk in buildings, it added. This has also led to the rebranding of BESA’s Vent Hygiene Register (VHR) to reflect the higher profile of the sector.

“With building owners, operators and insurers becoming more aware of the fire risks posed by poorly cleaned and maintained ventilation systems, there is a clear need for training that covers the very latest technical information and skills so ventilation hygiene specialists can provide evidence of compliance with all the key standards,” said BESA’s director of training and skills Helen Yeulet.

Compliance
“Ventilation hygiene is a critical part of any air quality and fire risk assessment process and all duty holders under the Act must be able to provide evidence that they have used compliant people to carry out any safety related activity. Compliance with TR19 and TR19® Grease is a priority for those enforcing the legislation and for the insurance industry, so having fully trained operatives is crucial for contractors working in this area.”

The guiding principle of TR19, which was first developed by BESA in 1998 and regularly updated since, is that a defined, measurable level of cleanliness should be achieved to improve safety and comfort in buildings.

The new short courses reflect TR19® Grease by highlighting topics such as safe working, recognising the different types of ductwork and systems, the use and location of access panels, cleaning standards, methods and techniques, and the principles of kitchen extract systems and associated components.

All trainees must also hold an accredited health and safety certificate such as BESA’s Online Health and Safety Environment test or equivalent, so they already have good underpinning health and safety knowledge to keep themselves and colleagues safe.

The particular risk management issues associated with working in ventilation systems will be reinforced as will adherence to guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) along with the use of appropriate PPE.

Trainees will learn about the key cleaning techniques and methods used to record the condition of the systems before and after cleaning. They will be trained how to gain safe access to ductwork and about the component parts that make up ventilation and extraction systems.

On completion of the technician course, they will be able to recognise and complete method statements and risk assessments and learn how to communicate effectively with clients, work colleagues and supervisors. They will also develop better awareness of how to coordinate their work so that it minimises the impact on the day-to-day operation of the building and how to behave in a professional manner.

The courses also equip trainees to discuss wider elements of their work, including its impact on sustainability and the better functioning of the building, with clients and occupants. The training also directs them towards industry recognised specifications and guidance documents they can use for reference throughout their careers.

 

6 June 2023

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