ATA director Alastair Farish points out that the company is providing additional coursework that is accredited by the British Safety Council (BSC). “The newly-developed course is unique to South Africa, as it offers additional coursework not seen anywhere else in the country,” he explains.
Farish points out that one of the most important aspects of creating the new course was to make it more internationally-
What’s more, Farish notes that it is a BSC requirement to undertake a practical workplace assignment, which provides the trainee with essential hands-on experience before becoming officially-qualified. “As part of the BSC requirements, the trainee is expected to complete an assignment in the workplace environment, in addition to writing an ATA theoretical exam,” he continues. “This provides the trainee with a more in-depth and practical understanding of his newly-acquired skills and responsibilities.”
In addition to the BSC-accredited training, ATA’s 10-day Health and Safety Officer Course is accredited as a skills program by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA).
“The overall product offering of this course makes it unique, as there is a focus on health and safety – spanning a total of six days, with the remaining six days covering first aid, fire fighting, evacuation planning, HIV AIDS awareness and course assessments,”
He notes that the course is ideally-suited to Section 16(2) appointees – a title given to an employee who has been delegated the responsibility for a company’s health and safety compliance by the chief executive officer (CEO).
“Under Section 16 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the CEO is entirely-responsible for the health and safety of all the company’s employees. However, under Section 16(2) of the Act, the CEO has the authority to delegate that responsibility to another manager under his direction and supervision. This person is known as the 16(2) appointee, who can benefit greatly from this course, as it covers details on the Department of Labour, legislation, H&S policies and management systems, incident accident investigation, hazardous risk assessments, ergonomics, Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COID), lighting and ventilation, etc,” explains Farish.
He does; however, note that the course is also ideally-suited to individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of health and safety. “There is immense potential for anyone looking to develop a career in health and safety in South Africa, as there is considerable room for growth in this area,” he explains. “The ATA Health and Safety Officer training course provides the trainee with essential theoretical and practical experience, which helps to build up a strong portfolio, and ultimately creates the stepping stones towards attaining recognition and experience in this developing field.”
Farish points out that time was the biggest challenge in putting together the new training course, which is available at ATA’s training centres in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. “A team of trained paramedics and firefighters, spent months during the course of 2010 working on the new-and-improved 300-page curriculum. After months of scrutinising, the team has managed to fine-tune the content into a comprehensive H&S training package that puts trainees in the best position for implementing effective H&S measures” he concludes.
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