As an employer or person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you are required by work health and safety (WHS) legislation to provide your workers with:
- Induction to your workplace
- Training in how to safely carry out their tasks
- Your specific health and safety procedures
You must also ensure that your workers are competent in the areas they are working. This requires them to be trained and monitored.
It is good practice to have workers complete an assessment or feedback forms at the end of the training. This can help you evaluate their knowledge and also improve the training you provide.
What Could Happen If I Don’t Train My Workers?
In Inspector Stephen Charles v Premier Precast Pty Ltd (2009), Premier Precast was prosecuted after a worker was killed on the third day of his employment. The worker had fallen into a large concrete mixer that he was hosing out.
The Court found that the worker had no experience in the work he was told to do, and had not received adequate training or instruction. He was performing the task unsupervised, despite never having hosed out a mixer before.
The Court fined Premier Precast $99,000 after the company entered a guilty plea.
Source Portner Press Online.
Do I Need to Keep Records?
Whilst training workers is important, it is equally important to keep records of any training and inductions you provide. It is these records that you will rely on in the event of a complaint or prosecution.
WHS legislation takes a very strict approach of the requirement to train and induct workers. If an incident occurs in your workplace and one or more of your workers has not been properly trained or inducted, you may be charged with an offence.
Safe Work Procedures
Your workplace could have tasks that require specific safe work procedures (SWPs).
For example, locking machinery or picking up discarded needles. Workers must be trained in step-by-step safe work procedures. Don’t just tell them the steps or have them read the instructions, make sure they understand how to perform the task safely.
Am I Responsible for Contractors?
As an employer, you could also be liable for failing to ensure that any contractors and subcontractors you engage are properly trained.
Whilst the obligation to provide training ultimately rests with the contractor, you are still liable for the safety of the contractor and ensuring they are aware of the hazards and special requirements in the workplace.
There may be workers in your organisation who are supervising their co-workers, even though they may not be called a supervisor. Before you ask any workers to take on supervisory tasks, you need to make sure they’ve been trained and understand the supervisor’s responsibilities for health and safety.
The various induction modules have been created in CIRT to provide induction training to new workers and contractors as required.
Workers are required to read through the content they review videos where appropriate and then answer questions at the end of the assessment to measure their understanding of the content.
Each module has different levels or requirements to pass (e.g. 80%, 90% or 100%) depending on the risk associated with the task or activity.
If you have any further questions relating to this article please do not hesitate to contact CHD Partners.