European Federation of Foundation Contractors

Grand Palais

Mutual recognition of rig operator training standards

Foundation contractors continue to encounter the issue of national authorities, clients and main contractors not recognising the qualifications of rig operators across borders in Europe. This creates unnecessary delays and costs on projects and makes it difficult to move qualified operatives between countries.

The EFFC needs your support to solve this issue through achieving mutual recognition of rig operator standards across borders. We are seeking any examples of situations where authorities, clients or contractors have refused to recognise a qualified rig operator.

The problem is a long standing issue for foundation contractors in Europe who want to bring qualified operatives on to a site that is outside their own country. Luc Van Hecke Chairman of the Health and Safety Working Group says: “The free movement of workers within Europe is a fundamental principle of the EU. In the worst cases the issues we are having are due to countries operating to traditional practices. At other times it is because the country recognises a limited number of deep foundation techniques and their training requirements are not applicable for skilled and qualified operators on other types of machines. The need is to bring these standards and practices to up to date and in line with the open market principles of the EU with one final goal: to obtain the highest level of safety on our job sites.

Obtaining a European drivers’ license for piling and drilling rigs would allow us to move our workers to job sites outside of our own countries more easily. Our

intention is to establish a minimum standard that should be determined by the industry through involving contractors and manufacturers.”

The EFFC is working with FIEC to initiate a project at EU level that will address this issue. This officially supported EU project should provide a Europe-wide framework to allow acceptance of the different qualifications in use.

To help build our case and establish the extent of the issues we are asking all Members to send to us any data or examples the companies in their country have relating to this issue. These should be sent to Ciaran Jennings in the EFFC Secretariat – effc@effc.org

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