Online training is proving cost-effective in the coal industry, as the industry explores less expensive ways to present government-mandated mining courses.

This is reflected in latest training offerings from AlertForce, one of Australia’s largest work health and safety (WHS) training providers.

Chief executive officer Mr Brendan Torazzi said falling coal prices had seen a greater focus on cost-efficient online induction/WHS training for new employees.

“The advantages of doing theory training online include working at your own pace; there is no travel involved and there are other cost savings for employers such as the initial cost of the course,” Mr Torazzi said.

AlertForce has taken up the challenge by providing its latest induction course for new employees in Queensland’s coal industry in an online-only format.

“The online program is comprehensive and in most ways more detailed than face-to-face training,” Mr Torazzi said. “The introductory price also represents a significant discount to current face-to-face offerings – important for coal producers faced with a fluctuating coal price and rising costs. Practical skills are validated by a supervisor on the job.”

Mr Torazzi said induction training is compulsory in the Qld coal industry under Qld Govt legislation. Under the legislation, coal industry employers are required to provide refresher training every five years – with the initial 2011 start date expiring this year.

New laws raise WHS bar

Mr Torazzi said the Qld Govt introduced ‘Recognised Standard 11: Training in Coal Mines’ in 2011 to raise the basic level of training and safety in Queensland coalmines.

AlertForce has decided to offer refresher coal surface training this year in an online format following the success of a similar AlertForce offering to NBN Co workers employed on the national broadband network.

The NBN Co Safety and Awareness induction training course is a mandatory requirement under NBN Co-imposed training requirements for any person working on the national infrastructure project. While face-to-face training is offered for the NBN Safety and Awareness program, the marketplace for the training is completed “95% online”, Mr Torazzi said.

AlertForce’s GI Coal Surface Standard 11 training, meantime, is based upon materials produced by Energy Skills Queensland.

Requirements for the Qld course are:

  • Broadband access
  • Speak and write fluently in English
  • Complete Perform CPR training or higher qualification
  • For existing workers in the mining industry, a copy of your CV and qualifications

New entrants need to complete the mandatory practical skills assessment / workplace experience logbook on the job.

On successful completion of the Standard 11 course, participants receive a certificate of completion and a GI Card that allows them to access Qld mine sites.

Once the logbook is returned, a statement of attainment is issued covering the following nationally recognised units:

  • Communicate in the workplace (RIICOM201D)
  • Apply initial response first aid (RIIERR205D)
  • Respond to local emergencies and incidents (RIIERR302D)
  • Comply with site work processes/procedures (RIIGOV201D)
  • Work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures (RIIWHS201D)
  • Conduct local risk control (RIIRIS201D)

Mr Torazzi says “practical “skills are addressed in the online course by requiring participants to keep a logbook demonstrating successful implementation of their training.


Valued professionals

Mr Torazzi said AlertForce induction training treats new employees as “valued” professionals, building a strong early relationship between the company and the worker.

“They introduce new employees to the right people (top to bottom),” Mr Torazzi said.

“They also provide the employee with essential company history, customer, product and organisation information,” he said.

Mr Torazzi said an ideal induction course should explain:

  • how employee can access supplies and equipment,
  • where to get help to get the job done,
  • basic duties and responsibilities, and performance standards;
plus how one job relates to another,
  • employment terms and working conditions.,
  • company policy, rules and regulations, traditions and how things are done; and
  • the company’s commitment to work health and safety;
community, environment and sustainability.

The induction training should be capable of being used by all types of employees, contractors and casuals and for re-induction of existing staff.

Advantages of training

Mr Torazzi said the advantages of properly implemented induction training included:

  • consistent messaging to staff,
  • increased staff efficiency,
  • fast return on investment for new staff
,
  • a reduction in incidents and injuries
,
  • saving up to 50% on face-to-face training costs,
  • increased talent retention,
  • mapping to nationally recognised credentials,
  • improved safety culture,
  • reduction in staff errors on the job, and
  • better staff alignment to company values.

For more details about AlertForce’s coal mining and NBN Co induction training courses, go to either GI Coal Surface Standard 11 Training at http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/standard-11-training-generic-coal-induction-queensland/ or NBN Co Safety and Awareness induction courses at http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/nationally-recognised-nbn-safety-awareness-course/.