Why work health and safety training is crucial in remote and developing economies

Distance and tough climates don’t stand between AlertForce trainers and our clients. It takes more than a bit of humidity and a few extra miles to stop us going from where we are needed! And we are proud of the relationships we have built up and the training programs we have developed in and around Darwin and in Papua New Guinea where long distances and tough climates are very much a way of life and where work health and safety training have never been more important.

How work health and safety training can contribute to economic growth in PNG

Papua New Guinea is the most populated of the Pacific Island countries. Like many developing economies, the large majority of its population work in farming with the remaining 15% or so working in the market economy. It has demonstrated strong economic growth over the last five years, but research shows that it continues to face a number of significant challenges including weakness in governance, infrastructure, human development, business development, public financial management, security and service delivery. The remote locations of the country’s mining operations present some extremely difficult hurdles to developing and maintaining effective work health and safety.

And yet a robust work health and safety framework accompanied by high quality training is crucial to continued economic growth. In fact, it can be argued that work health and safety is as much a strategic enabler to economic growth as infrastructure spending is. We all know some of the key benefits of work health and safety including increased productivity, increased workforce morale, reduced staff turnover, higher quality of work. In a developing economy, these benefits can take on particular significance given their relative newness and the positive impact they can have not just in a particular work place but on a whole community and economy.

This shift in making work health and safety a core value in any workplace can be a difficult one in emerging economies where many organisations see it as a luxurious add-on or just as a box to be ticked for compliance. Understanding that work health and safety initiatives – especially training programs – not only increase productivity but impact positively on the bottom line, is still something that is not always fully recognised. As Hital Meswani’s research shows, making work health and safety a key performance indicator for business and leveraging a good WHS record as a competitive advantage, is plain good business.

Meeting the work health and safety needs of Darwin and the remote Northern Territory

With its tropical climate and frontier vibe, Darwin can sometimes feel as much a foreign land as PNG does to an eastern seaboard city dweller. Which, of course, is one of the reasons we like going there so much! Through in a laidback atmosphere combined with a reputation for hard work when hard work is required, and Darwin is an always popular destination for our WHS trainers.

While some of Darwin’s recent major projects, like those connected to the Icthys LNG project, are nearing completion, other developments are taking off. For example, non-residential building approvals have increased substantially over the last couple of years and the associated developments will support the construction sector for a number of years to come.

This means there is demand for high quality training in the areas of manual handling, asbestos management, traffic control and HSR training – all areas in which AlertForce can deliver specialised training. In fact, no matter what your WHS or OHS Training needs may be, we facilitate training solutions effectively for your business.

Development projects – both large and small scale – are also taking place in the Territory’s remote indigenous communities where training programs need to be tailored to the specific needs of the populations of those communities. AlertForce is excited to have the opportunity to work on the ground with indigenous trainees who can then use their skills to go on and help build and maintain their communities. We also recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach is not always appropriate or useful. Where, for example, literacy rates may present a challenge to the standard delivery of training modules, our trainers employ a range of teaching strategies and techniques to ensure that the material is delivered effectively.

AlertForce is glad to be part of the move toward safer, more productive and more profitable workplaces in communities which have suffered from a lack of focus on this area. We relish the opportunity to work with clients from diverse backgrounds in a range of locations where trainees can take on skills that then feed back positively into their economies and environments.

Give us a buzz today about your remote location work health and safety needs.

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