25 Jul Snow Cat Operator Training And Certification-Required?
Snowcat Certification Training: Mandatory?
I am always amazed at what I hear about the need for mandatory training for snow cat operators and certification of their abilities. In every industry there is “that guy” or “that company” that teaches everything from knife fighting to urban survival to outdoor team building….as well as of course snow cat operation. I have been a part of these conversations in the Pacific Northwest where some “expert” will argue vehemently that no such requirement or certification exists.
As a 25 year old company we have a long standing relationship with both US and Canadian regulators who enforce these rules. Recently we received a very clear explanation of what is required—yes formal training with a qualified instructors signature on the training record as well as certification of the operator-no exceptions. For those naysayers out there, OSHA follows ANSI standards on these topics and “on the job training” does not count to meet any of the training requirements. It is important that rumors and misinformation like this get tamped down promptly as it is the employer who well be left, if he is lucky, with an OSHA citation and if he is unlucky with a dead employee also. Who determines who is a qualified instructor? Before an incident it is the employer who must evaluate the extent, relevance and currency of the instructors teaching credentials as well as his demonstration of proficiency in adult learning techniques. After an accident the employers selection of an instructor will be evaluated by a different group, a jury!
Sorry if I seem a little edgy on this topic but I have had to listen to so much misinformation over the years put forth by fly by night companies that add snow cat training to their other dozens of totally unrelated classes. Manufacturers also often do not accurately explain the training implications of purchasing their product and not subsequently providing safety training to their employees. Misinformed people will say they researched the entire OSHA database and there was not one item or rule mentioned about “snow cats” and this is true. They are considered a “soft tracked crawler” and are not listed as snow cats.
There is an excellent synopsis of the key points from OSHA’s interpretation letter on this topic posted on our website here.
Clients of Safety One Training may request a full copy of the interpretation letter for reference.
POWER IS MY FRIEND!
KEEP YOUR NOSE UP!
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Best, Art Seely