As part of their job requirements, employees at NBN Co must demonstrate clear knowledge of the company’s safety standards. AlertForce plays a key role by providing training for the employees. How do you think you would go answering the following questions taken from the course?

  • Search the Internet for the work health and safety government authority for your state/territory. Write the name (and date) of the relevant act and regulation that applies to you in your workplace.
  • Your employer under the legislation is referred to as a “PCBU”. What does PCBU stand for?
  • There are things that you, as a worker, must do, according to the WHS Act. Research the web site of the WHS authority and then write your interpretation of what you must do in order to comply with legislation.
  • The relevant safety act talks about “reasonable care”. What do you think this means?
  • Do you think that common law duty of care applies to both mental and physical harm?
  • If you notice that a workmate is being bullied or discriminated against in some way, what should you do?
  • According to WorkCover NSW, “the role of a health and safety representative is to facilitate the flow of information about health and safety between the person
  • conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU – the new term that includes employers) and the workers in the HSR’s work group.”
Go to WorkCover’s web page and find the powers and functions of an HSR. List all four of them
  • If an HSR’s role includes representing their work group, do you think this means they are entitled to attend meetings of the Health and Safety Committee?
  • As a worker, are you eligible to stand for election as an HSR?
  • If a safety inspector from the WHS Authority visits your site they must be given every co-operation and everybody on site must follow their instructions. They are authorised to inspect the workplace and work practices and to check tickets, licenses etc.
In your own case, list the licences that you must carry with you at all times.
  • When you are at work, you are injured very slightly – must you report this to your supervisor?
  • What do you think may be the consequences if you don’t report a slight injury and later there are complications that make you sick?
  • Why do you think it’s a requirement to report on a near miss that didn’t actually cause any injury or damage?

As part of the training, employees at NBN CO are required to identify construction hazards and control measures. In a typical example, an employee may be asked among other things to identify four hazards they are likely to come across in the physical environment, who else may be put at risk, and what should be done before work starts at the site, including controls.

At a practical level, they may be asked what type of work is most dangerous in relation to handling fibre cables, do they need additional training for this work, what are optical fibres made of, why food and drink shouldn’t be kept in the work area, what type of safety glasses should they wear and why is it essential to wash their hands before touching their faces, eyes or mouth.

More specific training covers areas such as Australian Standards that classify lasers by wavelength and maximum output and exposure to light from lasers. They are also asked to explain disposal procedures for chemicals.

In the event of an emergency, employees are asked to explain the four main steps to manage the incident. They are asked what they should do if they think it is unsafe to enter an area, and who needs to take leadership in making the scene safe. If power lines are involved, they are asked what is the closest distance for approaching the lines? And in the event of a fire, what type of fire extinguisher should they use.

Finally and importantly, they are asked why it is essential to clean up a site, what kind of work generates dust or fumes and how that can be minimised, what kinds of work will generate unacceptable noise and how can you minimise this, why is it essential to keep noise to an acceptable level, what kinds of waste will be generated in your work, how should they dispose of chemical waste, should you handle and dispose of sharps, what kinds of waste can be recycled or re-used and what types of environmental hazards must be immediately dealt with and reported to their supervisor.

The NBN Safety and Awareness Course is a mandatory induction program for any worker on the NBN. Designed by NBN and offered by AlertForce, the NBNAcc14001A NBN Safety and Awareness online course certifies workers are trained in health, safety and environment.

AlertForce is approved to deliver NBNATC1201A face-to-face. In addition, AlertForce currently has the only approval to deliver the course online.

The online training delivery for this course is more time efficient than other methods, meaning this version of learning can save business money. Whether they choose to do the course face-to-face or online, completing the course is mandatory for all NBN workers. The course is designed to give workers, both experienced and newcomers, useful knowledge to help make every NBN worksite a safe one.

Working for NBN Co or on the national broadband network and require safety training? Go to http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/nationally-recognised-nbn-safety-awareness-course/  for latest courses.  
  • Reference source for this article: AlertForce’s ‘NBN Safety and Awareness Course’ (NBNATC1201A).

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