Competence of caretakers to carry out maintenance work

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Competence of
caretakers to carry
out maintenance work
Guidance note
Version 1.0
Resources Directorate
Competence of caretakers to carry out maintenance
work
Guidance note
Introduction
3
Scope of the guidance
3
Minimum levels of training
3
Scope of works undertaken
4
Handyman/caretaker
Qualified tradesperson/caretaker
Full time tradesperson
4
4
5
Limitations of the guidance
5
Volunteers
5
Skills definitions
5
Qualifications
6
Appendices
7
Caretaker competencies to carry out maintenance or improvement works
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2
Introduction
1.
Wherever schools or other premises users employ caretaking staff to
carry out works beyond the normal scope of their duties, there is an
additional level of risk that needs to be managed.
2.
This guidance note aims to guide managers on the limits of
maintenance work that can safely and competently be carried out by
staff employed on site. The guidance does not seek to alter the
statutory duties of any employer towards their staff on matters of
health and safety, or indeed an employees own duties for their own
health and safety and that of others.
Scope of the guidance
3.
Many small items of work can be carried out very cost effectively by on
site staff with the correct tools and equipment and the knowledge and
experience to use them safely. This note does not seek to suppress the
ability of schools and premises to be self sufficient, but they must be
mindful of their duty of care to employees, pupils, visitors and even
passers by.
4.
There will be items of work where a have a go, do it yourself approach
would open up an unacceptable level of risk to schools and Cornwall
Council as employer. To counter this risk, a fully qualified and
experienced tradesperson with relevant skills and the right materials
would be needed to deliver an acceptable quality of workmanship and
meet relevant statutory requirements. They would also need to be
properly insured, trained and registered for the work they are
undertaking.
5.
The type of works requiring particular care include plumbing, electrical
and heating works, works requiring specialist access equipment or
scaffolding, work on load bearing structures or elements contributing to
the safety or well being of occupants (fire, security, air quality, water
hygiene, noise). In other words, areas of work likely to be covered by
specific regulations: building regulations, electricity at work regulations,
water regulations or the Construction (Design and Management)
Regulations 2007.
6.
Even seemingly minor works of alteration to services or structures may
fall under one or more of these regulations. The concern should be that
even qualified tradespersons now employed as caretakers will rapidly
lose touch with regulations and best practice.
Minimum levels of training
7.
All caretakers should receive the following training irrespective of
whether they carry out maintenance works or not:
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• Asbestos awareness (Control of Asbestos in the Workplace
Regulations)
• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
• Legionella awareness
• Manual handling
• Working at heights
• Statutory signage (fire, hazards, warning, mandatory, prohibition)
8.
There is an awareness course for caretakers tailored specifically to
these areas.
Scope of works undertaken
9.
This can be broken down into three stages:
Handyman/caretaker
10. Very minor repairs where the outcomes of poor workmanship or
materials will not place people in or around the building at any
significant risk, or for repairs that provide a stop gap before a more
permanent repair can be made.
11. No work should be considered where:
• Electrical fittings are removed or exposed
• Taking apart or removal of water pipe work may lead to major
leaks or scalding
• The building structure is opened up or altered in any way
12. Typically within the scope of the handyman/caretaker may be:
• Putting up shelves (asbestos awareness training is essential)
• Replacing loose fittings – door/window/cupboard handles, hinges,
locks
• Replacing lamps to light fittings (working at heights training is
essential)
• Internal redecoration/external painting (all training listed under de
minimis training is essential)
Qualified tradesperson/caretaker
13. Minor repairs, replacements or alterations which do not fall under
specific regulations and may be within the scope of a suitably qualified
caretaker (all training listed under de minimis training is essential).
• Most joinery/carpentry/bricklaying operations which:
– Do not affect load bearing structures or are not in themselves
load bearing
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– Do not alter fire compartmentation
• Finishing trades such as floor laying, painting, tiling or plastering:
– Professional advice should be sought where background
structures are unstable, decayed or allow damp ingress
• Electrical, plumbing, heating or ventilation engineers:
– Scope of work possible will be very limited because of the need
to maintain registration with bodies such as NICEIC etc
– Except for the most simple maintenance, works will require
certification and detailed, up to date knowledge of regulations
Full time tradesperson
14. Secondary schools may well employ qualified trades as part of a
dedicated maintenance team. In essence this is equivalent to operating
as a maintenance and minor works contractor with all the attendant
responsibilities, overheads and need for competent supervision and
management, as well as current and comprehensive training for staff.
Limitations of the guidance
15. The scope of works described cannot be exhaustive and are not a
substitute for appropriate risk assessments for the works to be
undertaken.
Volunteers
16. Whilst it is not the intention of this guidance to discourage the
undoubted contribution that volunteers make to schools and other
council premises, the same principles as those governing the limitations
on caretakers need to be adhered to.
17. Just as caretakers need to demonstrate a minimum level of competence
and training, so to must a volunteer. This requirement may only be
waived where the volunteer is under the constant supervision of a
competent, trained employee of the Council (including schools) - see
minimum levels of training, scope of works undertaken and skills
definitions.
Skills definitions
• Handyman - skilled in various odd jobs and other small tasks but
with no formal qualifications or training
• Qualified tradesperson - with a complete and rounded set of skills,
training, knowledge and experience applicable to their particular
trade
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Qualifications (with the appropriate experience to
achieving these qualifications)
18. For a carpenter, bricklayer or other non plumbing or electrical trade, the
necessary qualifications would be:
• City and Guilds basic construction skills award: carpentry and
joinery (6217)
• NVQ level 3
19. For an electrician, the necessary qualifications would be:
• City and Guilds 17th (or most recent edition) IEE wiring
regulations (2382)
• Electro technical services NVQ at level 3
20. For a plumber the necessary qualifications would be:
• NVQ in mechanical engineering services – plumbing (6089) at
level 2
• NVQ mechanical engineering services – plumbing (6089) at level
3
21. It is vital that managers establish that the person proposed to carry out
works can prove that they possess these qualifications and appropriate
experience.
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Appendix A
Caretaker competencies to carry out maintenance or
improvement works
Wherever a school intends to use a caretaker (or other member of staff) to
do works to the building or grounds they must contact their asset manager
to carry out a competence assessment.
If there is any doubt about whether the works proposed might fall under
statutory regulations or construction standards, or have the potential to
harm then you must obtain the advice of your asset manager.
All caretakers must have a minimum level of training as described in this
guidance note before undertaking any of the works described below. The
training will assist the caretaker to determine what measures need to be
taken to safely carry out the work e.g. substituting scaffold tower for step
ladders to replace lamps in high ceilings.
The following information gives an illustration of what would be deemed
appropriate for the three levels of competence set out in the guidance
document (please note this list is not exhaustive). Always seek the advice
of your asset manager or contract manager where the intended works are
new fixtures to the building as there may be planning or building regulation
implications covered by statutory regulations.
Important - please note that works involving heating, hot or cold water, gas
supplies or electrical fixed wiring are specifically excluded from this scope of
works as these works require statutory certification and a tradesperson
whose skills and knowledge are kept fully up to date.
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Handyman/caretaker
Boards - fitting of wall
boards including pin boards,
white boards, sign boards,
notice boards
Blinds - installation of blinds
and screens, curtains,
curtain tracks
Clearing/rodding of gutters,
down-pipes, gulleys, drains
and culverts (but not manentry manholes), including
temporary repairs to make
safe
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Building
regulations
Planning
Statutory
signage
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Furniture – moveable, but
not repairs to
Gutters – cleaning (subject
to working at height
regulations)
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Lights – replacing light bulbs
and tubes (depending on
height and type of fitting.
Isolate electrical supply)
Gutters – repairs (subject to
working at height
regulations)
Working at
heights
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Cupboards - assembly and
positioning of freestanding
cupboards
Decorations – internal or
external where not covered
under property maintenance
partnership
Manual
handling
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Line marking maintenance –
car parks, tennis courts,
playgrounds
General cleaning
Legionella
Work being considered
COSHH
Asbestos
Training requirements
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Library shelving – moveable
Mirrors - fitting
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Shelving – assembly and
installation of portable and
fixed shelving
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Signs – fixing (please note –
some signs are statutory,
fire, food hygiene etc)
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Stage – moving and
assembly of portable staging
(with appropriate instruction
and training)
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Qualified tradesperson/caretaker
Classroom sink or general
sanitary ware and waste
pipes – repairs or like for
like replacement
Cloakroom fittings – repair
or replacement
Craft, design and technology
– repair or replacement of
fixed work benches and
sinks
Cycle sheds – repair or
assembly or new installation
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Building
regulations
Planning
Statutory
signage
Working at
heights
Manual
handling
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External areas – repair or
replacement of paths and
pavings, steps, ramps,
handrails fences and gates
(new features may be
subject to planning and
building control)
Joinery – repair or
replacement on a like for
like basis of
internal/external joinery
including fascias, skirtings,
Legionella
Work being considered
COSHH
Asbestos
Training requirements
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doors, windows, door stops,
architraves, ironmongery
(new features may be
subject to planning and
building control)
Non statutory curriculum
buildings e.g. for playgroups
etc and sheds for storage or
greenhouses – repair and
replacement on a like for
like basis (temporary
buildings may be subject to
temporary planning
permission – check that this
hasn’t run out)
Wall finishes (internal and
external) – repair or renewal
of plaster, plasterboard,
hard renders, tiling or slate
plastic or timber cladding
externally (new features
may be subject to planning
and building control)
Sound systems - installation
of sound systems (where no
alterations are required to
fixed installed wiring)
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Qualified tradesperson/caretaker
Technically there is no limit (other than that beyond the scope of their trade,
experience and training) that a full time tradesperson can undertake.
However, there are a number of specialist activities (outlined below) that are
likely to fall outside of the competencies of a school employed tradesperson –
please note, this list is not exhaustive:
Work being considered
All weather pitches
Amplifying systems
Anti sun glass and film
Communication masts and aerials
Computer networking
Curtain wall glazing
Fire (maintenance of fire fighting equipment)
Flag poles
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Fume cupboards
Gym equipment (inspections, repair and replacement)
Incinerators (subject to fuel supply factors)
Kitchen equipment
Library shelving (fixed)
Lifts and lifting equipment
Partitions (demountable and folding)
Play equipment and safety surfaces
Specialist floor coverings (e.g. Granwood, sprung floors, access floors)
Stage lighting and equipment
Swimming pools
Telephone installation
Temporary classrooms
Tree surgery
Prepared by:
Chris Jackson
Policy and Training Manager
Property Services
13 February 2016
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If you would like this information
in another format please contact:
Cornwall Council
County Hall
Treyew Road
Truro TR1 3AY
Telephone: 0300 1234 100
Email: [email protected]
www.cornwall.gov.uk
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