Confusing Industry Documentation

We seem to be in a ridiculous and confusing time when it comes to health and safety / industry best practice documentation - and I can't help thinking that the industry needs to get a grip!

Let's start with the AFAG guides - for years a central core to providing guidance on the best practice in the arboriculture and forestry industry. Let's take AFAG301: Using petrol drive chainsaws as an example... this was superceded in many respects by the Health & Safety Executive's INDG317: Chainsaws at work (a much broader and more in-depth document).

However, we now have FISA that appears to be in direct 'competition' with AFAG, and there seems to be some agreement between the two groups that FISA will deal with only forestry-related guidance, and AFAG will cover arboriculture, and arboriculture-and-forestry-related information. A quick look at the FISA guides as they stand at the moment though shows that AFAG301 is now FISA301, and has the same information but is now coloured orange rather than green.

But the INDG317 document is also still valid.

Add in to this mix, the City and Guilds NPTC qualification guidance documents that still only mention AFAG guides - even though the HSE website states clearly that many of the AFAG guides "have been withdrawn".

It gets better though, as looking at the FISA301 guide - are you keeping up? This is the latest incarnation of the AFAG301 (which has been withdrawn), it clearly states that further reading should include INDG294: Managing Health & Safety in Forestry - only the HSE website states "the publication you are looking for has been withdrawn"!

So, we seem to have a series of interlinked documents that have been superceded, with the new versions linking back to withdrawn copies of old guidance notes... and qualification guidance referring to potentially the wrong information. Is it any wonder that health and safety in the industry can be somewhat confusing at times?

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