Health and Safety legislation requires a person who conducts a business or undertaking to inform, train, instruct and supervise workers and other persons as necessary to protect their health and safety from any risk(s) that may arise due to the works undertaken by the business or undertaking.
So, what factors must a person who conducts a business or undertaking consider in relation to training delivery? Face to face, online or a combination of both? Let’s review some of the key factors that should be considered.
1. Legislative Guidelines
Legislative guidelines established under Regulation 39 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation (2014) and Regulation 2.1.2 of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (2007) require a person who conducts a business or undertaking to ensure that information, training and instruction provided to workers is:
1. Suitable and adequate with regard to:
- The nature of the work carried out by the worker;
- The nature of the risks associated with the work at the time the information, training and instruction is provided;
- The control measures implemented at the time the information, training and instruction is provided.
2. Delivered in such a way that is readily ‘understandable’. A number of key considerations are required here including (but not limited to):
- General reading and comprehension skills of workers;
- English being a second language for workers;
- The presentation of information (face to face / online)
- The six key principles of adult learning, namely:
- Adult learners are motivated and self directed;
- Adult learners bring life experience and knowledge;
- Adult learners are goal oriented;
- Adult learners are relevancy orientated;
- Adult learners are practical;
- Adult learners like to be respected.
- How is competency to be examined/tested:
- Written competency assessment of information provided via training;
- Practical competency assessment conducted via demonstration of skills learnt via training;
- A combination of written and practical competency assessments;
- Multiple choice questionnaire.
2. Method of training delivery
In order for a person who conducts a business or undertaking to provide suitable and adequate information, training and instruction to workers (and other persons) consideration must be given to identifying what training needs the business has.
i. Training Needs Analysis
A training needs analysis is an examination of the specific tasks undertaken by the business or undertaking and the training required for those task(s). For example:
1. Specific training requirements, including but not limited to:
- Initial training for Health and Safety Representatives;
- Refresher training for Health and Safety Representatives;
- Health and Safety Committee;
- Level 2 First aid;
- Fire Warden;
- High risk licensing:
- Scaffolding work;
- Rigging work;
- Crane and hoist operation;
- Forklift operation;
- Pressure equipment operation.
- Work at Height;
- Confined Space Entry;
- Return to Work Coordinator
2. General training requirements, including but not limited to:
- Health and Safety Induction;
- Bullying and Harassment;
- Incident investigation;
- Manual Handling;
- Training delivery against standard operating procedures (i.e. plant/equipment operation, traffic management (vehicle loading/unloading).
ii. Training Plan
A twelve-month training plan should be developed following completion of the training needs analysis. The training plan should detail:
- Training required;
- Specific training (i.e. Level 2 First Aid, Confined Space Entry);
- General training (i.e. Induction/re-induction, bullying and harassment)
- Workers who require training;
- Intended timeframes for training delivery for the twelve-month period.
iii. Training Delivery
The main outcome sought from any training program or course delivery must be to increase a worker’s capability (‘the ability to do something’) and competence (‘the ability to do something successfully or efficiently’).
At the current time, two mediums of training delivery exist – face to face and online/computer based training. Let’s examine the pro’s and con’s of both.
In terms of what method of delivery is best, a combination of face to face and online training will be required. Online training as detailed above delivers a number of benefits but some training courses (i.e. High risk licensing) cannot be delivered effectively online due to strict demonstration of written and practical competency requirements.
In closing, in order for a person conducting a business or undertaking to ascertain the best method of training delivery, a training needs analysis must be completed. This analysis will enable a business to best understand the tasks undertaken, specific competencies required and the best method of training delivery.