Following the last blog post, I came across this article and thought I might give some insights.
On Friday 19 Jul 2019, ATTA Quality Training Services Pty Ltd, an occupational health and safety training organisation has been convicted and fined $200,000 for falsifying scaffolding and forklift training records.
ATTA Quality Training Services, a WorkSafe approved registered training organisation falsified notices of assessment for students attending courses in scaffolding and forklifts by certifying that the students had attended a full two-day course, when in fact the courses had concluded at lunch time each day.
The notices certified that various mandated modules of the courses had been completed, when the evidence provided from a number of students was that those modules had not been covered.
Improper training leads to operator error
Incidentally, the last blog focused on the subject, “Why is Operator training important.” For example, if forklifts like roads were not inherently dangerous why would these machines be classified as dangerous. Would this, then, point to the human aspect?
The research indicated that most of forklift incidents occur through operator error or ineffective safety control measures within a workplace, that puts pedestrians in the path of a forklift.
Forklift safety was identified by two elements: operational safety and mechanical safety. Both these elements involve the human aspect in managing safety.
Should workplaces extend their due diligence
If a WorkSafe approved training organisation has failed to provide the proper training for what is classified as high-risk work, how do workplaces have the confidence that a worker who presents a license to operate a machine, is fully competent
There were three critical factors that are described in the last blog post, (“Why is Operator training important.”) to ensure forklift safety. The first was proper training. Workplaces were to ensure that all operators received the correct training to operator the various machinery.
Supervisors were to be proactively involved in reviewing and assessing and ensuring forklift operators were competent and compliant in the use of the machinery.
Learning about the ATTA fraudulent case reinforces the need for workplaces to be vigilant in hiring fully qualified and experienced operators. Perhaps checking on pasted history and the quality of training and licenses they hold.
With the mandated modules of the course not completed by the student, it is concerning. Are some operators in your workplace not properly trained or is there an accident waiting to happen?
When ensuring forklift safety, it is vital to be knowledgeable and familiar with the machinery and its functionality and precise actions to take when operating the machine.
Should workplace be implementing and reviewing procedures to ensure that pre-start checks are always carried out? Should there be on-the-job observations to ensure and determine that the checks are done and the operator is familiar and thorough in the inspection process. Accident have occurred where reverse lights were not functioning.
Will the registrations end this practice?
Since 2017, WorkSafe Victoria has implemented a register for independent assessors, in addition to its existing role of registering the training organisations. How effective will this be in the prevention of malpractices? How many students have fallen between the cracks and are posing a risk to safety?
Julie Nielsen, the Health and Safety Executive Director for WorkSafe Victoria’s said;
“Without certified training, inexperienced and possibly incompetent workers operating machinery would pose a potentially deadly risk to themselves and all around them,”
“Registered trainers have a legal responsibility and a community obligation to train workers properly and WorkSafe will not tolerate assessors or organisations who cut corners or fail to play by the rules.”