The training scheme for Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) construction site personnel run by the Gauteng Master Builders Association (GMBA) is progressing well, according to Doug Michell, the GMBA’s HSE Officer.
Initiated to address the serious shortage of HSE personnel, the eight-month training scheme kicked off in February 2009 with an intake of 21 students.
Michell says the students have now completed courses covering the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations, fundamentals of safety, conflict management, working at heights, scaffolding, site inspections, hazard identification and risk assessment, as well as effective planned task observations.
“The Institute for Work at Height sponsored four days of practical training for the cadets which proved extremely popular. I believe this should become part of every HSE officer’s skills development programme,” says Michell. “The comprehensive training included aspects such as scaffolding, rope access, fall arrest systems, suspended platforms, and the use of mobile- as well as truck-mounted elevated work platforms.”
GMBA members also participated in the training programme by taking the cadets onto their sites for a month to gain practical experience. The students then had to complete an assignment designed to demonstrate what they have learned.
“Generally, the quality of presentation was good, with some outstanding contributions. The host companies’ assessments also proved favourable,” Michell adds.