25th June 2012
All last week I sat in a class room undertaking an OH&S Cert IV course. I thought I knew a lot about safety after having been through an apprenticeship, 20 odd years as a tradie on the tools, working in the mining industry as a Training Manager and then as the CEO of MIGAS. It is really amazing to sit there amongst a bunch of professional people who are enthusiastic and engaged by this course and listen to how much you really don’t know. It gives credence to the saying that “the sum of us is far more intelligent and knows more than just the individual”. I have a pad full of notes about things I’ll need to do when I come back to work to improve our own safety system and OHS responsibilities.
My pad contains a “shopping list” of items such as risk management, induction of apprentices and trainees, job descriptions, individual responsibilities, group responsibilities, Board responsibilities, on-going mentoring, and the further training of our HRDOs [HR Development Officers] so they can service our hosts to the highest possible standard. Safety is an incredibly important part of an apprenticeship. We need to remember as an employer and a mentor of apprentices and trainees that the cohort we are dealing with, young males from 18 to 25, tend to be in the high risk taking demographic. We only need to look at road statistics to confirm this analysis. At MIGAS we take a lot of time to induct our apprentices and then we spend our performance assessment time talking about and instructing our apprentices in not only safety but in all areas of their personal and professional life. An apprenticeship is where we learn the habits, skills and techniques that will keep us safe through our working career starting at how to fill out a JSA [Job Safety Analysis] correctly right through to developing safe working procedures. MIGAS’s commitment to safety is shown by the efforts we are taking in training all of our field staff in the above course and the hands on mentoring we supply to our apprentices and trainees.