New WPA Code of Practice to support Plant Operator training

Industrial impregnation processes enhance the durability of wood and give it a predictable service life – a key factor in promoting the wider use of timber in construction.

To support employers of timber treatment plant operators, the Wood Protection Association (WPA) has published new guidance on the required standards of training in safe and effective wood preservation.

Modern timber preservative formulations contain biocidal products. Under health and safety at work regulations (HSE) there are legal obligations to ensure industrial users of such products (ie, plant operators), have received appropriate information, instruction and training in their use.

It is the responsibility of employers to provide training and ensure the competency of their plant operators. The new WPA Code of Practice (CoP) will help them ensure they are meeting their obligations.

The CoP sets out content that should be included to provide a structured training programme. There are seven modules covering the basics of operating or supervising a wood treatment installation and additional learning to include why and how wood is treated. Each module includes learning outcomes and assessment criteria in line with the National Occupational Standards for wood preservation.

The document is free to download from the Resources page of the WPA website.