As an employer, it’s imperative to prioritise safety in your organisation. One of the most logical steps is to send a selected number of employees on a Health & Safety (SHE) Representative training course.
Once an employee is armed with the tools and knowledge to become a SHE Rep, they become the “middle-person”, so to speak, between management and other employees on aspects relating to health, safety, and the general environment of the workplace.
His or her duty is to be proactive and to address problems (hazards to the health and safety of persons) before it becomes serious.
Did you know that humans are directly and indirectly responsible for 98% of incidents that take place at the workplace? This just emphasises the need for SHE Reps in organisations.
The SHE rep is part of the work team and acts as a co-coordinator for safety, health and environment. The rep can act as the link between employees, the employer and, when necessary, the Department of Labour.
All representatives also serve on a SHE committee. Together with management, they meet to discuss any problems and agree on the action that should be taken to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment in the workplace.
Through a health and safety training course, such as the Dynamikos Occupational Health and Safety training course, employees will learn the following from the comprehensive course and manual – complete with tasks, self tests, case studies, and more:
Module 1: The purpose and structure of the Health & Safety Act
Module 2: Causes and prevention of incidents
In this module, the rep in training will learn about the causes and prevention of incidents. An incident is an unplanned (unwelcome) event which can result in injury or damage to people, property or equipment.Incidents very seldom happen because of one single occurrence but are usually the result of a chain of events. It can be prevented through:
Planning – The employer needs to anticipate and/or identify all hazards by surveying the workplace and getting information from specialists. People with the necessary knowledge and skills are appointed to carry out these tasks.
Management Systems – Once the hazards are known, a system of checks and controls must be put into place. This is to make sure that preventative or corrective action is defined and implemented.
Teamwork – The OHS Act recognises that the best way to establish or maintain a healthy and safe workplace is to share the responsibilities. The employer should appoint employees who are familiar with the workplace, and who are willing to act as the link and coordinate safety, health and environmental needs. To prevent incidents every person must know what is expected of them and why.
Module 3: Basic risk assessment
A risk assessment is a careful examination of what, in the work environment, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.
The aim is to eliminate or reduce the risk to an acceptable level. It is therefore the technique of evaluating, not just the likelihood of an event occurring, but also what the outcome will be in terms of injury, loss, damage, or harm.
Module 4: The duty and responsibilities of employers
There are two legal responsibilities on employers regarding the OHS Act. The first responsibility is to prevent injuries, incidents, diseases, or any other health risks from affecting people at the workplace.
Module 5: The general duties of employees at work
Every employee has a responsibility and duty to take ‘reasonable care’ of their own health and safety as well as that of any other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
Module 5 covers the duties employees must follow for their safety and health in the workplace. These duties are explained in detail in this part of the course along with extra points which make it easier to carry out these duties correctly.
Module 6: The SHE representative
Module 7: SHE representative inspections
Module 8: SHE committee
The purpose of the committee is for the employee and employer representatives to meet and to discuss and resolve any safety, health and environmental issues. Together they should initiate, develop, promote, maintain and review safety measures, and make recommendations to the employer that will ensure the safety and health of the employees.
Module 9: Incident investigation
Finally, the last part of the course covers to whom incidents must be reported to, which types of incidents must be reported, and how incidents must be reported.
Dynamikos empowers people with the knowledge and tools to act in a life-threatening situation. Since April 2005, DYNAMIKOS TRAINING NETWORK CC has provided training to educational institutions and clients across the Cape Metropole and surrounding regions. Its high quality on-site training can be tailored to your unique needs and will certainly make a difference to your employees in their workplace and equip them with very necessary life skills.
Dynamikos Occupational Health and Safety Training Participant Manual. Compiled by Wilna van der Walt.