Saudi and the US join forces to crane train

An American association has teamed up with two Saudi Arabian companies in an effort to raise the standard of training offered to operators of cranes and heavy equipment in the Kingdom.

Safety efforts: NAHETS
Safety efforts: NAHETS

An American association has teamed up with two Saudi Arabian companies in an effort to raise the standard of training offered to operators of cranes and heavy equipment in the Kingdom.

The US National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools (NAHETS) is working with Four Hands Construction and Saudi Aramco to push forward plans for the introduction of a training and certification programme based on US NCCCO standards.

Mike Martens, director of operations, NAHETS, said that the association will work closely with the two companies to provide training courses and certification programmes for crane operators, signallers, riggers and operators of heavy equipment.

NAHETS will provide the curriculum, course materials and will train the trainers.

The plans have been submitted to the Saudi Arabian government, and once all licensing work has been finalised, the training programme could begin within the next six to seven months.

The move follows a recent report claiming there is a severe lack of safety standards in the Saudi Arabian construction industry.

The 'Improving Safety Performance at Construction Sites in Saudi Arabia' report, compiled by Husain Al Omani, a project manager for Ali A Tamimi Company, said that almost half of all construction firms operating in the country failed to provide adequate training and health and safety standards to staff.

The report said that in 2005, there were 102,259 injuries on construction sites in Saudi Arabia and 493 deaths.

The report added that small contractors were the biggest flouters of health and safety laws.

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