I find many companies just do whatever training they get told they have to do – reacting to client expectations. Unfortunately, with the development of a large safety training sector too many organisations end up sending workers along to whatever course training providers tell them they need. This “flavour of the month” approach demonstrates a lack of understanding and ownership and can lead to expensive ineffective training. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t work well, so has the potential to lead to a serious incident and related enforcement action.
Expectations around training have been changing over recent years, moving from a focus on training towards competency. The legislation requires training and supervision, so a question asked by Inspectors often is “How did you decide that this worker no longer needed to be supervised?”, this question is often followed up with “What is your evidence for this?”
I believe organisations have often failed to do 2 basic things:
1.Understand their risks and their risk appetite. Few companies have good grasp of what are their critical risks and their culture of what is and isn’t OK around these issues.
2.Determine the necessary competence of workers that affect or can affect health and safety performance and ensure they both receive and understand appropriate training. This should be based on a risk focused approach. Part of this must also be retaining documented evidence of competence.
You should assess key risks e.g. working at height and make decisions about what level and type of training is needed. The expectation is for the PCBU to develop a ‘safe system of work’ therefore simply sending workers to a height course may not be adequate. You may also need to consider developing a process of how the work is being undertaken and specific training to follow this process.
At Avid Plus we work with clients to develop a blended learning solution incorporating one to one ‘buddy style’ training with online learning modules (Simulated Learning Modules or sims) to demonstrate the safe system of work. We also recognise for certain high-risk activities external (often Unit Standard based) training is also needed.
There is no silver bullet, but I believe the key is to understand your risks and plan what training and competencies you need. If you would like assistance with this, contact Avid Plus.
To find out more visit www.avidplus.co.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.