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Meeting the training needs of your employees

There is a legal requirement to provide training in occupational health and safety, in order to assist in achieving the duty of care for the health, safety and welfare of our employees.

This is contained in the principal OHS Act in each state of Australia. There are also specific safety training requirements, which are prescribed in specific regulation provisions.

These include training requirements such as: 

  • first aid training

  • safety committee training (if you have one)

  • safety representative training (if you have one)

  • forklift driver training

  • crane operator training

  • return to work coordinator training

  • construction induction training

  • manual handling training

  • confined space entry training

  • hazardous substances training if you handle chemicals in the workplace and many others.

Besides these specific training requirements, there may be other aspects which you will need to train your employees on, such as your emergency evacuation procedures, using machine guarding, operation of machinery and tools, general safety induction, workstation ergonomic training, chemical awareness, risk assessments, and incident investigation.

How far you go with training will depend on your specific business requirements and the legislation as it applies to your business. There are a number of ways to identify occupational health and safety training requirements.

These can include:

  • a training matrix (identifies OHS skills required for employees and their respective job position)

  • job safety analyses (includes training and competency for each task)

  • specific hazard risk assessments (e.g. manual handling-safe lifting technique training)

  • OHS audit

  • legislation requirements (e.g. plant operator certification)

  • investigation of incidents.

Safety training needs should be more than a tick-the-box exercise. It should follow careful consideration of processes, activities, hazards and risks and include your OHS consultative mechanism (such as OHS committee) in discussions.