Don’t just phone it in: 3 surprising work health and safety challenges telecoms companies need to be ready for
The telecoms industry is vast and it is competitive. While Telstra still dominates the national telecoms landscape, its market share will continue to decline as new operators leverage off consumer demand for more competitive rates. Opportunity within the industry is rich. But in their rush to find a wedge within the sector, telecoms operators will be tempted to cut corners in an attempt keep costs down. One of the areas most susceptible to cost cutting in any business is work health and safety precisely because it is so often seen as a cost rather than an investment. But it is one of the areas any business – least of all a telecoms company – cannot afford to risk a substandard approach to work health and safety.
With an ever-increasing array of providers to choose from, consumers and employees are in a powerful position to take their business or expertise elsewhere if their provider or employer is found to be careless with workers’ health and safety.
The telecoms industry has a range of general work health and safety needs that are common to many other workplaces, but it also has some diverse and specific work health and safety training requirements including:
- radiofrequency radiation exposure
- working with electricity
- working at heights
- manual handling
- noise and vibration
- plant and machinery
- working in confined spaces
There are three other work health and safety challenges that telecoms companies must also be prepared to face. They are areas of training that may not spring obviously to mind for the telecoms industry, but they are essential nevertheless.
- Traffic control
Telecommunications operations – the NBN installation for example – will inevitably take place near roads. With open pits and manholes or live electrical wiring exposed during works, pedestrians and drivers need to be safely directed to ensure they are not at risk. Similarly, telecoms workers must be kept safe from traffic in the course of their operations. It’s this simple: traffic control training saves lives.
Book your traffic management course today to ensure worker and public safety while your workers are out and about conducting operations in trafficked areas. It’s three years since the RMS introduced a nationally recognised competency-based framework for traffic control training including a three year mandatory recertification – so if your workers are due for recertification, now is the time to get it done. We off courses in traffic control and implementing traffic control plans and our training is on-site, user friendly and efficient.
- Asbestos awareness training
Many a telecommunications workers will know what it’s like to crawl through basements, attics, under floors, and between walls to get access to or install lines. It can be physically demanding work in environments which can take you by surprise. And we are not talking about rats! Asbestos is still common in Australian homes built before 1990. Being aware of it is essential for any worker who might be in a position where they are in close contact with it and especially if they might be having to cut, sand, or drill it. Legislation requires that employers train any personnel who are working around asbestos to complete asbestos awareness training so that they have the skills and knowledge to identify asbestos. Many telecoms industry workers will be too young to remember when the tragedy of asbestos-related illness become front page news in this country, so it is essential that they are taught to take the risk of asbestos exposure seriously.
- Strategic Incident Analysis
Strategic Incident Analysis is at the core of creating a safe workplace. It is a set of strategies and protocol for figuring out:
- Why an incident occurred;
- how to make sure it doesn’t happen again;
- how to anticipate and mitigate accidents; and,
- how to continually improve the safety of any workplace.
If you’re thinking that incident analysis is only for hazardous workplaces like factory floors, building sites and the like, think again. Accidents can happen anywhere, and they can have a devastating impact on the workplace. Personnel involved in operations, maintenance and HSE (health, safety and environment) management can all benefit from SIA training, whether they are training to become a Lead Investigator or to build on their knowledge and skills as support staff.
With an increasing market share up for grabs and the jury very much in on the issue of work health and safety being good business, telecoms companies have the opportunity to lead the way on work health and safety initiatives in an increasingly digitised world where workplaces will face unique challenges associated with the changing face of technology. Don’t just phone it in. Make workplace health and safety a core value of the telecommunications industry by booking your training courses today.
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