With changes to national regulations placing training compliance in the hands of organisations and PCBU, can your business afford NOT to invest in training?
January 2012 saw the introduction of new harmonisation laws, with the emphasis placed on employers and PCBU to ensure their workers are competent and qualified, or risk costly ramifications should an incident occur onsite.
According to the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), “inadequate training or supervision” was one of the four top workplace situations related to a cause of death onsite between 2000 and 2012 (source here), with SafeWork Australia claiming that injury at work costs Australia over $60 billion annually.
Allan Fowler, Founder and Director of Melbourne-based national training organisation Your Licence Pty Ltd, notes that employees working in high risk industries that are not regularly refreshing their knowledge and training may be leaving organisations open to potentially crippling consequences.
“Current industry regulations now require employers and persons conducting a business or undertaking to ensure their workers can clearly demonstrate their ability to perform the tasks related to their job role.”
He says a significant issue within Australia is that organisations fail to see how this applies to their business.
“Putting emphasis on Workplace Health and Safety in the workplace not only applies to mining companies and manufacturing plants operating heavy machinery, as you would assume, but to any construction or transport company performing even the most basic of high risk work,” says Allan.
“Organisations that are failing in their commitment to WHS are not always the ones you would expect.”
Indeed, a recent report indicates the construction and transport industries actually fare the worst. The top ten ASX100 companies reporting the highest rates of injury at work were predominantly transport, food and supply chain based companies including Metcash, QANTAS, Myer Holdings and Woolworths.
Fowler says improved training within these industries combined with a good organisational safety culture and framework could help prevent incidents, and see organisations start to fulfil their WHS and compliance responsibilities.
In addition to this, organisations should put time into training and up-skilling workers as a means of increasing their proficiency on a personal level, which in turn improves overall organisational productivity and efficiency.
“What we need to look at doing is making sure everyone understands their job, understands not only how they can look out for themselves but also their workmates so they can go home safe at the end of the day.
“There’s a constant need to make sure that people are trained in their job and the policies and procedures that companies have in place need to remain relevant.” - WA Chamber of Minerals (CME) deputy chief executive Nicole Rooke
Fowler and business partner Jim Borle, a 20 year industry veteran, believe a shift toward online training and blended learning is making it more accessible for organisations to up-skill their workers while maintaining productivity and efficiencies in the workplace.
“By combining online learning and theory with practical face-to-face assessments, we are able to significantly reduce the time workers spend away from their day to day activities, thereby saving the company time, money and resources,” Fowler said. “There’s really no excuse to avoid adequately training workers and employees. Not only could this save your business financially, it could also save someone’s life – and that’s the most valuable lesson of all.”
All learning materials are regularly updated and mapped to the relevant units of competence, and students received a nationally recognised qualification when they successfully complete the required components.