Exploring the Importance of White Card and other Safety Training in Construction
The construction sector is one of the most high risk not just in Australia but globally and in most countries there is a mandatory safety course that construction workers must embark on before beginning work on a building site, Oz is no different. Construction employers often grapple with how to minimise expenses while improving productivity and increasing profits but they often overlook one very important aspect – Safety and in particular Safety Training.
In Oz we are required to complete the White Card course as proof that we are aware of the dos and don’ts of construction site safety, including what the law says but this mandatory training course should not be undertaken just as a means of fulfilling a legal requirement, it is also a valuable resource for workers who are about to begin work in a work environment rich with hazards and risks.
There are certain hazards that are common to almost every construction site whether it is a mining construction site, construction of an apartment building or road construction project and there are also those that are unique to certain sites. The White Card course teaches workers the general hazards that can be expected when working in the construction industry but additional site specific training is also required because no 2 sites will be the same, employers need to therefore address these individual hazards which may be unique to the site.
The White Card Course
The White Card course is the general construction safety training course which is mandatory for construction workers in Australia. Fortunately potential construction workers who do not wish to return to a traditional training environment but wish to complete the course can do so by simply logging onto www.whitecardonline.com.au following the prompts and completing the course online.
There is no hassle to register or stand in queues to register, neither is there any money wasted on transportation costs, textbooks and stationery, students simply register and pay online and begin the course which is administered online.
Most students choose to complete the course in just one day, usually taking just 3 or 4 hours but you can also complete it over a longer period of time without having to repeat any of the work. The system remembers where you leave off each time and when you sign in, you can simply pick up where you leave off.
Once you have completed the online portion of the assessments, you complete a short verbal assessment by calling into our call centre in Brisbane during office hours.
Thereafter you will receive a small credit card sized white card in the mail which must be retained as proof that you have completed the course. This White Card will allow you to work on a construction site anywhere in Oz and doesn’t limit you to working in any one specific state or territory.
Site Specific Training
Although our White Card course has been developed by experts in the construction health and safety industry, it is a general safety course meant to lay the groundwork for the safety knowledge that you will build up over time working on a construction site.
It is up to the employer or person undertaking the business to ensure that all workers have received any additional safety training that may be necessary. This training commonly called Site Specific training will teach workers about the hazards that are specific to their work site and job descriptions.
Such issues as emergency response procedures developed for the site, safety plans etc. will all form part of this site specific training which will obviously differ from site to site. No 2 sites are ever the same, so the hazards and strategies associated with them will also differ.
Employers Additional Responsibilities
Once workers have received the site specific training as well as the general construction induction training, the first thing employers should do is identify the hazards on site. Hazards may be common to the construction industry or unique to your specific site. Employers must consult with workers when identifying these hazards because some hazards may only be known to those workers involved in the specific task. Those responsible for safety should also go through injury records to identify the most common risks.