Land-based Awarding Organisation Lantra has launched a short course to help heighten awareness of the key role that due care of knapsack sprayers plays in maximising lifetime and safety of the equipment.
Lantra added the Knapsack & Handheld Sprayer Maintenance course to its portfolio in October, before announcing it at Saltex in early November.
Adopting material supplied by professional knapsack sprayer manufacturer Hozelock-Exel, Lantra-accredited training providers Outlook Training, Greenscope Training and Harper Adams University collaborated to design the course, intended "to prolong equipment lifetime, ensure correct application of liquids and save time and money".
"The course is designed to develop the knowledge to maintain and service handheld pesticide, feeds and control products applicators," says David Fisher, Lantra Head of Industry Partnerships, "and is available for learners aged 16-plus who hold Safe Use of Pesticides and Handheld Application of Pesticides qualifications.
"For pesticides and general users, it is vital to ensure equipment is safe, fully calibrated and in good working order," he adds. "The outcome from taking the course is that operators can prolong the life of their sprayers, while also helping the environment by using trusted equipment."
The new course, embracing theory and practice, will equip learners with the knowledge and understanding to:
- Strip down the knapsack;
- Identify damaged or broken parts that need replacing;
- Pursue safe working practices and personal safety;
- Reduce risk of incorrect/off-target application;
- Enable companies to ensure compliance with the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Operators can recertify after five years, confirms Lantra, which says that after completing the course, operators will keep their knapsacks in good working condition for longer by identifying damaged or broken parts, then replacing them, rather than disposing of the whole unit, so boosting their cost-effectiveness.
Allan Wainwright, Hozelock-Exel Sales Manager (Commercial Spraying) adds: "Raising awareness of the importance of knapsack maintenance has been a cornerstone of our strategy for some time.
"I'm delighted that the knowledge operators need to extend sprayer lifetime has been assembled into a certification of training by Lantra. This is a major advance for the sprayer sector."