All hands onboard the workplace health and safety ship

Caption: President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Howard Politini speaking at the official opening of the workshop. Photo: SUPPLIED.

National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) in conjunction with National Safety Council of Australia Ltd is carrying out a week-long workshop on Work Health and Safety on Nasese Campus this week.

The key message that work health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, was relayed to a group of 30 participants.

President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Howard Politini said at the opening of the workshop that the biggest challenge is persuading colleagues, whether at Board or management level or on the shop floor, that their contribution is vital in helping to effectively control risks to health and safety.

The prevailing health and safety culture in an organisation, he said, was heavily determined by the visible attitudes and behaviours, of directors and senior managers.

“It is important they make a real effort to send out the right messages to those below them ensuring that messages do not suggest, albeit unintentionally, that safety can be ignored and corners cut if necessary.

“A sound safety culture has its basis in the messages that come from the top of the organisation. Senior managers and the board of directors set the overall agenda and need to give a clear vision as to what is expected, preferably with objectives against which progress can be assessed.

“This top-level commitment must be demonstrated through their actions so that all managers and staff can see that health and safety is taken seriously,” said Mr Politini.

Work health and safety, he said, was an important training programme, not only because of its relevance, but because of its link to promoting the wellness of workers and to productivity in business.

The Certificate IV level course is designed to give participants the practical knowledge and skills to enable the provision of valid and timely workplace health and safety provisions.

It also covers a broad range of health and safety functions and responsibilities in the workplace including – identifying hazards, assessing workplace health and safety risks, implementing strategies to control workplace health and safety risks and evaluating an organisation’s WH&S performance.

The course is for safety officers, supervisors, safety advisors, health and safety representatives and workers.

The partnership between NTPC and NSCA was formed in 2006 when the need was realised to benchmark to other countries and bring on board the expertise needed. Over the years, 132 students have undergone training.

Many participants were keen on attaining the Certificate IV in OHS and progressing to receive their Diploma in OHS which the Centre intends to commence later this year.


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