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Articles on Safety Procedures

We’ve put together some articles you may find helpful.

  • The 7 MUST ASK questions to decide if an emergency response/safety training provider is the right fit for your business
  • 5 fatal mistakes of Confined Space entries
  • The 6 steps to save $1,000,000 from your outsourced Emergency Services Officers
  • The 5 frightening statistics of fire safety in the workplace
  • The 4 Workplace First Aid statistics that you need to know
  • The 5 falls from heights statistics that you must know
  • What is a Confined Space?
  • Who Needs to Undertake Confined Space Training?
  • Who Needs to Undertake Height Safety Training?
  • Who Needs to Undertake Fire Warden Training?
  • Preventing Confined Space Fatalities within the mining industry
  • Provide First Aid Training – Do you need it in your workplace?
  • What sort of incidents should your First Aiders be able to respond to?
  • Oxygen and Defibrillation Training
  • Who should instruct First Aid Training Courses?
  • Confined Space Training – Do We Need it in our workplace?
  • Chief Fire Warden Training – Does our organisation need a Chief Fire Warden?

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The 7 MUST ASK questions to decide if an emergency response/safety training provider is the right fit for your business

1. How many learners did you train in the last 12 months?
2. Are you a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and describe your Quality Management system to us?
3. How do you ensure that the training is relevant to our workplace and our industry?
4. What training options do you offer to be flexible to our requirements?
5. Please provide a background and CV for each of your safety trainers/assessors who may come to our workplace?
6. What fees do you charge (course fees, travel fees, certificate fees and/or any other applicable fees?)…are there
hidden fees?
7. The single most important question of all…..
DO YOU BACKUP ALL OF YOUR TRAINING COURSES WITH A NO QUESTIONS ASKED 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE?

How many learners did you train in the last 12 months?
In our experience we have found that very small RTO’s with 1-4 people often don’t have the capability or flexibility of the larger RTO’s and can rely very heavily on 1 person to deliver all training which can have challenges around availability. A training organisation that trains 5000+ learners per year should have a minimum of 2-3 full-time trainers (5+ full-time employees) and have a reasonable quality system and the infrastructure required to meet your demands.

Are you a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and describe your Quality Management system to us?
Not all RTO’s are created equal….some have full-time Quality Assurance and Compliance personnel with a systematic approach to Quality Management…whereas some organisations have little in the way of quality management systems and purchase a quality manual and training materials off the internet!

Questions to ask a potential training provider to determine if they ‘fit’:
*Is the company you are talking to actually an RTO?
*Is the training nationally recognised? Or is it just informal training (and if so, does it adhere to the same quality systems as
accredited training?
*Do you have a dedicated full-time Quality Assurance Manager?
*Do you hold external accreditation for your Quality System such as ISO9001-2008?

These questions can help you determine if your RTO’s idea of quality are conducting learner evaluations or if they have an independently audited and certified ISO9001-2008 quality management system and a dedicated full-time Quality manager.

How do you ensure that the training is relevant to our workplace and our industry?
Your training provider should tailor the course content directly to your company procedures and policies and not run generic training courses. Your training provider should get to know your permits, policies, procedures, equipment and culture and include this in your training program to ensure learner acceptance and knowledge retention. Your training provider should do their best to ensure consistency of attending trainers to ensure that they get to know your site procedures and the methods of work.

What training options do you offer to be flexible to our requirements?
A great training provider should work with YOU and PARTNER with you to identify cost saving measures to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck with every training dollar. Look for a training provider that has a history (and client referees to back it up) of partnering with clients to save them money.

Does your training provider offer you alternative methods of training with the aim of saving you training dollars, like:
*The provision of a full-time ‘outsourced’ trainer/assessor to your organisation. If your organisation is completing in excess of 7 days of safety/emergency response training per month and particularly if you are in a remote environment, an outsourced trainer/assessor option may save you $50,000 -$100,000 per annum!
• The provision of a partnership/auspice/co-provider agreement, whereby your company partners with an RTO so that your employees can deliver nationally recognised training through your partner RTO on-site with your own trainer/assessor personnel at your own pace giving you with enormous flexibility.
• Conducting training course out of normal daytime hours for your shift working personnel.
• Bringing equipment on-site (such as a confined space simulator and safety/rescue equipment) to conduct training on-site and to reduce the need for your personnel to leave site and go to a training providers facility.

Please provide a background and CV for each of your safety trainers/assessors who may come to our workplace?
After hundreds of interviews with organisations across all industries within Australia, we have found that the SINGLE LARGEST AREA OF NEGATIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT SAFETY/EMERGENCY RESPONSE TRAINING IS THE KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE AND LEARNER INTERACTION SKILLS OF THE TRAINER.

We believe that trainers should have an absolute minimum of 3 years (ideally 5+ years) of related industry experience in the area of which they are teaching. For example, 3 years of participation in mines rescue/military service within emergency response or emergency response services (such as a firefighter or paramedic) is a good base level of experience for your trainers to have. A standard of 3+ years means that these personnel haven’t just ‘attended one emergency’ but rather they have a strong background and have responded to dozens of emergencies.

What fees do you charge (course fees, travel fees, certificate fees and/or any other applicable fees?)…are there hidden fees?
We all hate hidden costs such as credit card surcharges, airline excess baggage and other extra fees. These fees frustrate us, yet often we pay these fees to many training companies because they force us to!
Does your training provider have an easy to understand bill where you have all of the information laid out in an easy to understand manner for you to read and budget for? Or does the invoice include other additional fees such as certificate printing fees, learner manual printing fees, administration fees, contract fees etc.

Ask your training provider for the EXACT TOTAL PRICE for the training to be conducted and then refuse to pay anything more.

You should be able to have an exact price based on the number of participants and the location and the duration of the training course. There are some unscrupulous providers who have a very low daily training rate…but BE CAREFUL as by the time they charge you additional fees…they can cost you 100% more!

The single most important question of all…..
DO YOU BACKUP ALL OF YOUR TRAINING COURSES WITH A NO QUESTIONS ASKED 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE?
Ask your potential training supplier ‘Do you have an unconditional 100% money back guarantee?’ and ‘Will you refund our money in full if we are not completely satisfied with the contents of the training course?’

If your training provider has an UNCONDITIONAL NO QUESTIONS ASKED 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE they are putting their business and their reputation on the line to ensure that the training is of a high quality and meets your specific needs. If your provider has a money back guarantee then you TRULY have nothing to lose by giving them an opportunity…the risk sits with them and not you. Does your training provider offer a full and unconditional money back guarantee with no questions asked? If not…do they really standby their training?

Summary:
This paper is an educational tool to give you the knowledge and skills to make an effective decision on what training provider best fits your needs. I hope you read this document and this helps you in making an informed decision. I wish you the very best with your safety and emergency response training and hope that this tool helps you avoid mistakes and obtain great training outcomes for your team!

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5 fatal mistakes of Confined Space entries

1. The prime causal factor for 92% of confined space fatalities in the last 15 years in Western Australia was ‘inadequate confined space entry training’
2. Over 90% of confined space fatalities had ‘inadequate supervisor knowledge and supervision’ as the secondary cause of the fatality.
3. Contractors who work within confined spaces make up 60% of fatalities within confined space statistics
4. Only 15% of organisations that suffered a confined space fatality had ‘appropriate confined space procedures in place’
5. Internationally, 60% of confined space fatalities have occurred when personnel have tried to rescue injured personnel from within confined spaces

After reviewing various Australian and international confined space safety research papers and conducting some of our own research by reviewing the last 15 years of recorded confined space fatalities within Australia, the statistics above paint an alarming picture of the causes of confined space fatalities within Australian workplaces.

After examining these fatalities (as recent as 2011), it is staggering to note that the prime causal factor for 92% of confined space fatalities in the last 15 years in Western Australia was ‘inadequate confined space entry training’.

Our research found that:
• Confined space training reduces the risk of a confined space fatalities as employees learn the identification, hazards, risks and safety control measures applicable to confined spaces
• By ensuring that your organisation has confined space procedures in place that suit your work environment you will reduce the risk of a confined space incident
• By providing regular confined space supervisory training for supervisors of confined space entries, the likelihood of an accident reduces
• Contractors are at a far higher risk of incident than employees with a regular workplace. We assume this is because they are less familiar with the site specific confined space hazards present
• There is a substantial risk of rescuer fatalities if confined space workers are not adequately trained in the potential hazards that could be present during an incident and the safe rescue procedures to follow to rescue injured personnel.

This quotation was taken from an American safety journal article and best sums up the risks of un-trained personnel attempting a rescue of an injured person within a confined space -“Other than vehicular accidents, more multiple fatalities occur during confined space entry work than any other type of work performed in the United States today” (De Vaney, 1997, p22).

If you want to substantially reduce the risk of a confined space incident at your workplace, invest in relevant confined space training for your confined space workers and supervisors and ensure that they have adequate confined space safety procedures in place. By providing your staff with confined space entry training, trained confined space supervisors and confined space safety procedures you will increase the knowledge of confined space safety within your organisation and you will improve the confidence and competence of your staff in conducting confined space work safely.

Summary:
This paper is an educational tool to give you the knowledge and skills to decide on the most appropriate confined space safety control measures for your workplace. I hope you read this document and this helps you in making an informed decision for the betterment of confined space safety in your workplace. We wish you the very best with your workplace safety and we hope that this tool helps you to understand some of the research from within this field.

Steve McLeod
CEO
Fire & Safety Australia
1300 88 55 30
Contact
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The 6 steps to save $1,000,000 from your outsourced Emergency Services Officers

1. Have your outsourced ESO’s complete the site safety and emergency response training
2. Have your outsourced ESO’s complete the on-site servicing of all basic fire equipment(Fire Hose reels, Fire Extinguishers & Fire Blankets)
3. Have your outsourced ESO’s act blast guards during blasting operations
4. Have your outsourced ESO’s run all mine site inductions for employees and contractors
5. Have your outsourced ESO’s act as ‘safety coaches’ at your mine
6. Have your outsourced ESO’s complete a vehicle compliance inspections, PPE & Equipment inspections as well as Drug and Alcohol testing

1. Have your outsourced ESO’s complete the site safety and emergency response training

Mine sites generally have an annual safety and emergency response training budget of between $100,000 and $300,000 which encompasses training programs from fire extinguisher training to confined space training to emergency response training. If you contract your ESO provider to provide this training by the on-site ESO’s, you will effectively save your entire annual training bill!

There are some ESO contract providers who are also Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) and who employ ESO’s with a Cert IV TAFE certificate that can act as trainers. Whilst such organisations are rare they do exist and can save your mine hundreds of thousands of dollars per annum. This also aids in ESO retention and career development which ensures you have consistent personnel at your mine site.

2. Have your outsourced ESO’s complete the on-site servicing of all basic fire equipment (Fire Hose reels, Fire Extinguishers & Fire Blankets)

Most mine sites have an annual fire equipment servicing spend of between $100,000 and $300,000 to inspect and perform basic servicing of Fire Extinguishers, Fire Blankets and Fire Hose Reels. If you contract your ESO provider to provide these services you can effectively save 80% of your annual bill (20% of the normal annual expense would be required for fire servicing equipment and parts).

To perform these basic fire inspections an ESO requires a Cert II Asset Maintenance and the skills required to complete the work. The work is basic in nature and many ESO’s with a full-time fire service background have these skills and qualifications.

3. Have your outsourced ESO’s act blast guards during blasting operations

Often during blasting operations the mine will use its internal staff or external contractors to act as blast guards to guard roadways during blasting operations. This takes mine personnel away from production activities and is a disruption for these personnel. ESO’s are perfectly skilled to complete this task because they know the layout of the mine, they have the authority required and they have emergency response skills and equipment should the blast go wrong.

By having your ESO’s complete this task you are probably saving the time equivalent of 400 hours per annum for your workers (assuming one blast per week) which is an estimated cost saving of $50,000 per annum.

4. Have your outsourced ESO’s run all mine site inductions on-site

Most mine sites run an internal or a contracted external mine specific safety induction. Normally running between ½ a day and 1 full day, these inductions have several effects:
1- They require payment to external contractors or internal staff to run these sessions
2- The external contractors may on charge the cost to your contractors who on charge this back to your mine
3- Your mine loses some control over the location of the training and the site knowledge of the trainers

If you contract your ESO provider to provide this induction training by the on-site ESO’s, you will effectively save your entire mine induction bill. This induction can then be taught by your ESO’s whom have a very strong knowledge of the sites safety and emergency response procedures. This decision can save you $100,000 – $200,000 per annum

5. Have your outsourced ESO’s act as ‘safety coaches’ at your mine

Safety is paramount within the Australian mining industry. Mining remains a high risk environment and mine site safety teams are always under pressure to be in ‘all places at all times’. Many mine sites are not fully utilising the skills, qualifications and experience of their ESO’s. Many ESO’s have both safety qualifications and real world safety and emergency response experience.

If ESO’s have a dual role of emergency response/safety coach, then they are able to provide on-site walk arounds, work area inspections, audits and act as a ‘safety coach’ within the mine. This is an ideal role for ESO’s as they understand the safety procedures at the mine and can develop a close relationship with the mine operators. The ‘safety coaches’ can use their knowledge and skills to work as part of the safety team to effectively increase your numbers of safety personnel on-site.

This concept can add a lot of added value to mine sites and lead to cost savings by not needing to hire additional safety personnel if all of your ESO’s act as safety coaches. On a large mine site with a safety team of 4 people, this could potentially save the mine hiring a full-time role of $150,000 per annum.

6. Have your outsourced ESO’s complete Vehicle safety,PPE and equipment compliance inspections and Drug and Alcohol testing

Vehicle safety, effective PPE and fitness for work standards are incredibly important within the mining industry. Mines have specific procedures related to these three key items above, however monitoring the compliance of mine site personnel and contractors is often not carried out as often as it could be due to workloads.

Your on-site ESO’s can easily complete monitoring of these three standards as part of a daily inspection. Items may include:
• A specific KPI for vehicle inspections to ensure that the vehicle meets the mines specific requirements
• Inspection of PPE and/or tools and equipment to ensure that it has been tagged as fit for service.
• Completion of a specific number of Drug & Alcohol tests for the site.

This added value in time saved for your safety team is approximately $100,000 per annum.

Safety is paramount within the Australian mining industry and on-site ESO’s have the skills and time available to complete regular inspections against these three standards.

As you can see, the ideas above are unique and not offered by many ESO providers. My question is why?? Is it because they are not wanting to innovate and add value? We believe that ESO suppliers who want a true partnership with their clients should always be looking for ways to add value (not just when times are tough and their contracts are at risk).

If you add up the 6 identified areas of savings above and successfully implement these with your permanent ESO’s, you will be on your way to saving $1,000,000 per annum. If you believe that this is challenging you should investigate working with an ESO provider who offers this service and continually innovates their products to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve.

If you are not certain that your existing ESO supplier is capable of saving you up to $1,000,000 per annum…perhaps you should talk to us.

I look forward to hearing from you

Steve McLeod
CEO
Fire & Safety Australia
1300 88 55 30
Contact

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The 5 frightening statistics of fire safety in the workplace

1. Less than 50% of building occupants feel confident of knowing what action to take and where to evacuate to during an emergency
2. Less than 50% of building occupants feel confident in how to operate a fire extinguisher
3. Less than 25% of people when randomly tested can locate their nearest fire extinguisher from memory without searching the building
4. Over 50% of the people who operate a fire extinguisher do so incorrectly or dangerously (i.e. not using the correct extinguisher, not sweeping across the fire, not continuing to spray after the fire is out
and not aiming at the base of a fire or using the incorrect fire extinguisher)
….AND THE MOST FRIGHTENING STATISTIC OF ALL…
5. Only 13% of people are aware that different types of fire extinguishers must be used on different classes of fire and of the very dangerous effects of using the incorrect fire extinguisher on specific classes of fire

After reviewing various fire safety research papers and conducting some of our own research to test the accuracy of these findings, the statistics above paint an alarming picture of the state of emergency preparedness and readiness within Australian workplaces.

Our research found that workplaces are underprepared for emergencies that may occur on-site and employees are not confident in the procedures to follow during an emergency situation or how to use fire extinguishers.

How can workplace fire safety training benefit your organization? What is the impact?

Both Australian and international fire statistics show that:
95% of all fires are found to be extinguishable if the correct fire extinguisher is applied promptly. Fire extinguishers are located throughout Australian workplaces as part of their compliance with Australian Standard AS1851 and the Building Code of Australia (BCA), however the majority of people are fearful of fire extinguishers or do not understand how to operate a fire extinguisher in an emergency.

Fire extinguishers are quick and easy to use if personnel are provided with a basic level of fire extinguisher training so that they can identify the class of the fire that is burning, identify the appropriate fire extinguisher to use and effectively operate the fire extinguisher in a range of circumstances.

Our research found that:
• Fire safety training increases the knowledge and emergency response actions of building occupants when confronted with a fire or emergency situation.
• By conducting annual evacuation exercises (as is a mandatory requirement under AS3745-2010), building occupants will obtain more confidence in following emergency procedures for their workplace and they will better understand what emergency actions to take for themselves and their workplace colleagues.
• By conducting regular fire safety training, building occupants improve their knowledge about the location and operation of site firefighting and emergency equipment.
• After attending a basic fire extinguisher training session (where each participant operated a fire extinguisher on a real fire) over 90% of people operated the fire extinguisher correctly on their second attempt and they were 33% more effective in extinguishing the fire (they selected the correct fire extinguisher, they cooled the area after the fire was out and they aimed at the base of the fire).

By providing your staff with basic fire safety training you will increase the knowledge of fire safety within your workplace and grow the confidence and competence of your staff in responding to an emergency and you are encouraging your staff to extinguish small workplace fires before they grow large and potentially interrupt your business operations.

Summary:
This paper is an educational tool to give you the knowledge and skills to decide on the most appropriate emergency response training requirements for your workplace. I hope you read this document and this helps you in making an informed decision for the betterment of safety in your workplace. We wish you the very best with your workplace fire safety and we hope that this tool helps you to understand some of the research from within this field.

Steve McLeod
CEO
Fire & Safety Australia
1300 88 55 30
Contact

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The 4 Workplace First Aid statistics that you need to know

1. Only 13% of employers are compliant with the First Aid national code of practice (This code of practice requires employers to implement training for first aiders, first aid procedures and have sufficient first aid kits and signage)
2. Over 65% of employers are unaware of their obligations under the First Aid code of practice
3. Only 31% of Australian workers feel confident in how to response to a workplace first aid emergency
4. Less than 50% of workplaces offer First Aid training to their employees

The statistics above paint a picture that illustrates Australian workplaces aren’t adequately prepared for First Aid emergencies in the workplace. Further the majority of Australian employers are unaware of their requirements under the national code of practice.

First Aid training is one of the best control measures to ensure that your workplace is adequately prepared for first aid emergencies that may occur at work. First Aid training must be relevant to the industry and workplace to ensure that it is well accepted by all course participants.

Our First Aid research found that:
• Employers should ensure an accurate first aid training register is maintained and regularly reviewed to ensure compliance with the code of practice
• The majority of workplaces are ill prepared to effectively deal with an incident at work
• First Aid training improves the confidence of workers to respond to an on-site First Aid emergency

If you want to substantially reduce the risk of your workers not knowing what to do during a First Aid emergency, you should consider a 4 point approach to First Aid safety and compliance:

1. Offer first aid training to all interested staff and ensure that adequate numbers of people are trained to act as First Aiders and a First Aid register is kept up to date
2. First Aid response procedures are written and kept up to date as a protection for First Aiders at work and as protection for the employer
3. Adequate First Aid kits and signage is in place according with the code of practise
4. Regular emergency response drills should be conducted to ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality

Summary:
This paper is an educational tool to give you the knowledge and skills to decide on the most appropriate First Aid safety measures for your workplace. I hope you read this document and this helps you in making an informed decision to reduce the likelihood of workers not knowing how to respond to a First Aid incident your workplace. We wish you the very best with your workplace safety and we hope that this tool helps you to understand some of the research from within this field.

Steve McLeod
CEO
Fire & Safety Australia
1300 88 55 30
Contact

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The 5 falls from heights statistics that you must know

1. In Australia worker fatalities from falls from height average 10 people each year

2. Australian companies lose over 108,000 recordable days per annum due to falls in the workplace and the average days lost time due to a fall is 93 days (2009-2010 statistics)

3. Over 32% of falls resulted in a serious injury (‘serious injury’ defined as an injury of a fracture or more serious injury)

4. In construction, over 20% of all recorded injuries are from falls and this industry has the largest number of falls and historically the largest number of falls from height fatalities

5. The largest contributing factor to falls from heights in the last 2 years has been the improper use of ladders (cause of over 30% of falls).

After reviewing various Australian workplace injury and fatality records, the statistics above paint an alarming picture that falls from heights are still a very large cause of injuries and fatalities within Australian workplaces.

Our research found that:

• If personnel use height safety equipment aprpropriate for their work situation they are at a much lower risk of injury.

• In the majority of fatal falls from height the work could have been performed on the ground. If people whom work at height complete height safety training they are less likely to be injured from a fall as they understand the Regulatory and safety requirements to safely work at height.

• If your organisation has supervisors who understand the legislative requirements of conducting work at height and the different height safety systems that can be used safely, it is less likely that workers would be put at risk of an injury producing fall.

• If adequate height safety procedures are in place and workers are instructed properly they are less likely to place themselves in a situation where they could fall from height.

• Contractors are at a far higher risk of incident than employees with a regular workplace. We assume this is because they are less familiar with the sites falls from height hazards.

• The majority of workplaces are ill prepared to rescue a suspended worker after a fall from height and have insufficient training and equipment to perform a rescue.

If you want to substantially reduce the risk of a fall from height at your workplace, invest in relevant height safety training for your workers and supervisors and ensure that they have adequate height safety safety procedures and equipment in place.

By providing your staff and supervisors with height safety training, height safety procedures and appropriate protective equipment you will improve the confidence and competence of your staff in conducting work at height safely.

Summary:

This paper is an educational tool to give you the knowledge and skills to decide on the most appropriate height safety control measures for your workplace. I hope you read this document and this helps you in making an informed decision to reduce the likelihood of falls from height at your workplace. We wish you the very best with your workplace safety and we hope that this tool helps you to understand some of the research from within this field.

Steve McLeod
CEO
Fire & Safety Australia
1300 88 55 30
Contact

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What is a Confined Space?

The definition of Confined Spaces is quite often misunderstood in Australia. Quite often I am asked by personnel in different industries “What is a Confined Space?, Is a ceiling space a confined space? What about a room with only one entry or exit? Does a small entry or exit make a room a confined space?’ These questions are very common.
The best way to understand the required legislation regarding Confined Spaces is to complete a Confined Space Training course with us, but in this article I’ll outline the basics of the definition of a confined space as covered in AS/NZS 2865:2009.

So what is a Confined Space?

Let’s have a look at the Australian Standard definition for Confined Spaces and then I’ll individually address each criteria.

Australian Standard AS/NZS 2865:2009 defines a ‘Confined Space’ as:
‘An enclosed or partially enclosed space that is at atmospheric pressure during occupancy and is not intended or designed primarily as a place of work, and-
(What does all of this legal terminology mean? Let’s start by breaking it down in more detail).

‘An enclosed or partially enclosed space’- Well first of all we are talking about a space that is enclosed or partially enclosed. We aren’t generally talking about open spaces like aircraft hangars, factories or school class rooms. But rather spaces that are enclosed or partially enclosed. Note: This does not have to be a small sized area.
‘..is at atmospheric pressure during occupancy’- In this standard we aren’t talking about underwater diving, flying in aircraft or operating in submarines. Each of these have their own specific hazards and risks and are not part of this standard. Instead we are talking about spaces that are at normal atmospheric pressure.
‘..is not intended or designed primarily as a place of work’- This is where it starts to get interesting (and in class, arguments start to happen!). What we need to ask ourselves here is ‘what was this space originally designed for?’.
Was the space designed for personnel to work in there or not. If YES- then it’s probably not a confined space. If NO then so far it exhibits the characteristics of a confined space.

EXAMPLE 1.
A Storm Water Drain – Is this designed primarily as a place of work?
ANSWER-NO – But what if you are a water board employee whose job description is for ‘storm water drain maintenance’. Does this change the definition? What about if you spend 40 hours a week inside these drains? Does that change the answer?

NO! A Storm water drain was not designed primarily as a place of work…..rather it was designed to carry water from roads, through drains and into the ocean.
Commonly people say to me ‘but we work in there 30 or 40 hours per week’ – Well sorry but this doesn’t matter. Rather it’s all about what was the space designed for, not how often you are inside.

EXAMPLE 2.
School Classroom – Was it designed primarily as a place of work?
ANSWER- YES. You could easily work 40 hours a week in a school classroom. It was designed for personnel to sit in, work in and move about. There are no dangerous gasses, restricted entries or exits or low levels of oxygen.

KEY POINT:
It’s not how often you work in a space that determines as to whether it’s a Confined Space, but rather what was the space DESIGNED FOR!

is liable at any time to-

(i) have an atmosphere which contains potentially harmful levels of contaminant;
(What does this mean?)
Well if the atmosphere in the space is ‘liable at any time’ to have a harmful atmosphere then it may be defined as a confined space. Examples of harmful contaminants include low levels of oxygen, high levels of oxygen, explosive gasses, methane gas, Hydrogen Sulphide, Carbon Monoxide etc.

The only way to determine if there are hazardous gasses is to do a gas test with a calibrated Gas Detector. If there are dangerous gasses present and the above criterion are met- it is normally defined as a confined space.

(ii) have an oxygen deficiency or excess; or
(What does this mean?)

Well if there is an oxygen deficiency – there is not enough oxygen to feed our cells and allow the body to function properly. This is dangerous to the body. Under AS/NZS 2865:2005 Oxygen Deficiency is defined as below 19.5% Oxygen concentration.

Well if there is an oxygen excess – then there is more than 23.5% Oxygen. Whilst you may think this won’t damage our lungs (and you would be right), the main reason that too much oxygen is dangerous is because there is a higher probability of Fire and/or Explosion. Increased levels of oxygen can lead to objects/clothing/hair/gasses burning hotter, faster and more explosive.
NOTE: If there is an oxygen reading outside 19.5% and 23.5% Oxygen, or there is a potential for this to occur generally the space will generally be regarded as a confined space.

(iii) cause engulfment; and
(What does this mean?)

Engulfment- Is termed as drowning or suffocation in solids, liquids or gasses. Circumstances where this may occur include being buried in grain or sand, drowning in water, having incorrect isolation (leading to drowning, suffocation or asphyxiation).

NOTE: Engulfment can lead to death. If there is a risk of engulfment normally the space is defined as a confined space.

(b) could have restricted means for entry and exit’.
(What does this mean?)

Well this is the area of the definition that causes most confusion. I constantly get asked as to whether confined spaces ‘need one entry and exit’, ‘have small exits’, are ‘small in size’. All of these are false.
Confined Spaces can have many exits, they may be over 100m long or in height and they may be very large in size. So size is not the issue.
Upon reading closely the AS/NZS 2865 definition uses the words ‘could have’. Therefore a space does not have to have a small entry/exit to be considered a confined space.

NOTE: Many confined spaces such as pits, tanks, boilers etc have very small entries and exits. This alone does not make a space a confined space – however it is a significant part of the definition.

I hope that the explanation above of ‘what is a confined space’ helped you understand the confined space definition. Often standards and regulations are written in complicated language.
To understand these complex documents properly and to ensure you are working safely engage Fire & Safety Australia to complete nationally recognised Confined Space Training at your workplace.
FSA’s Confined Space Training courses will give you the knowledge and understanding required to safely work in confined spaces and supervise those who do.
Please email me if I can assist you or your organisation further.

Steve McLeod
Managing Director
Fire & Safety Australia
1300 88 55 30
Contact

Email me your details and our personnel will contact you to provide Confined Space Training that:

Meets your legal obligations
Is cost effective based on your budget
Is nationally recognised
Is interesting and ‘hands on’
Is directly tailored to the needs of your personnel.
Is conducted by professional emergency services personnel
Our training staff are all experienced firefighters, paramedics and emergency personnel. We can provide you with up to date, compliant and cost effective professional training services.

Call us now on 1300 88 55 30 or fill out your details here so we can get started with your company today!

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Who Needs to Undertake Fire Warden Training

It is a legislative requirement for employers to provide for their employees safety during both normal work times and during emergencies in the workplace. Employers should appoint personnel to act as Fire Wardens in the workplace to marshal staff, contractors and visitors to safe places in the event of an emergency. Employers should look for reliable Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) like Fire & Safety Australia that can provide nationally recognised training.

Training should be nationally recognised and take into account the requirements listed in Australian Standard 3745-2002 Emergency Control Organisations for buildings, structures and workplaces. This training should be based upon the unit of competency PUAWER005B Operate as part of an Emergency Control Organisation.

Course Subjects should include:

Training Requirements
Investigating the fire / alarm / incident
Raising the alarm
Emergencies that may require evacuation
Firefighting Safety Procedures
Bomb Threat Procedures
Building Fire Safety
Fire Warden Identification
Fire Wardens procedures & responsibilities
Building Fire Alarms & Communications Systems
Developing Evacuation plans & procedures
Emergency Co-ordination
Human Behaviour in emergencies
Post-Evacuation Activities
Our nationally accredited Fire Warden Training program will equip your personnel with the skills required to safely evacuate your workplace. Regular evacuation training will ensure that your personnel are ready to deal with any workplace emergency.

Emergencies covered include Fires, Bomb threats, Chemical Incidents and Terrorism. Our Fire and Safety Trainers can also be booked to act as observers / instructors during your Building Evacuation drills. We will prepare a written report after your drill has finished highlighting suggested areas of improvement.

The selection of the type of training to be carried out must be based on the tasks that wardens are required to complete. Will Fire Wardens be required to evacuate the elderly or infirm? Will Wardens have an effective ratio of 1 Fire Warden : 10-15 occupants or less? Is your workplace looking after small children or persons with disabilities? Does your workplace have hazardous materials onsite? Will Fire Wardens need the skills required to operate Fire Extinguishers and Firefighting equipment? Will Fire Wardens be regularly completing evacuation drills?
Regular Training is an effective control measure in the minimisation of the risks that a sudden, unplanned evacuation can bring. Regular Fire Warden Training and emergency scenarios should focus on enhancing skills by exposing personnel to a variety of different emergency evacuation situations. Regular Training is a control measure that cannot be ignored to prevent injuries and panic during unexpected evacuations. Do yourself a favour and enquire about Fire Warden Training for your workplace today, with minimum course numbers starting at 5 personnel.

Article by Steven McLeod
Managing Director
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Preventing Confined Space Fatalities within the mining industry

When was the last time you reviewed your Confined Space Risk Assessments, Procedures and Training? Are you confident that all confined spaces have been identified at your site? Do you know and understand what tasks your personnel currently undertake within confined spaces?
Within the mining industry workers regularly enter confined spaces such as furnaces, bag-houses, ore bins, chutes and grinding mills in conjunction with their day to day work. Sadly Confined Space fatalities and injuries still occur. The only way to protect your workers from death and serious injury is to ensure that you place confined space safety as a top priority.
To reduce the likelihood of fatalities and injuries to your workers you must regularly perform confined space risk assessments, update confined space procedures and undertake nationally recognised confined space training.

Confined Space Identification & Risk Assessment
Hazard Identification within our industry is part of daily work life. However confined space work must demand more specific attention. Australian Standard AS/NZS 2865 : 2001 Safe Working in a confined space places the responsibility of Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment squarely on the employer or their representative. The listed objective is to eliminate or minimise the need to enter confined spaces. The only way for employers and occupational health and safety professionals to comply with AS/NZS 2865: 2001 is to undertake regular hazard identification and task based risk assessments.
Rather than completing a risk assessment of a particular confined space, risk assessments should be ‘task based’ and specific attention should be given to the task that is being performed within the confined space and the elimination (where possible) of that task. By completing risk assessments this way, effective control measures can be developed for each task taking into account the work that is required to be done. Only with task based risk assessment can a full and effective risk mitigation strategy be developed.

Risk assessments of confined spaces over time will not drastically change, however tasks that workers complete may indeed change as new technology is introduced or as new personnel are introduced. If the confined space working group completes a Risk Assessment/Review that is ‘task based’, all hazards involved with the task should be assessed thereby reducing the likelihood of confined space fatalities and injuries in the workplace.

Confined Space Procedures
Too often the extent of an organisation’s confined space procedures are limited to a near verbatim extract from AS/NZS 2865. However Confined Space procedures must specifically take into account the work tasks required to be done at your worksite. When developing procedures it is critical that a working group be established which takes participants from Management, Occupational Health & Safety Professionals, Workers and Emergency Response Teams.
The working group should then form together at least annually to produce a comprehensive guide to confined space operations. Different sites may require different procedures. Whilst a safety standard may encompass a number of sites, each site should have task based work procedure based on work performed. By regularly involving your Confined Space working party and professional advice you can standardise work tasks and reduce the likelihood of confined space fatalities and injuries.

Confined Space Training
Training should be nationally recognised and take into account the requirements listed in Australian Standard 2865: 2001 which includes the hazards of confined spaces, assessment procedures, control measures, emergency procedures, safety equipment and legislative requirements.
The selection of the type of training to be carried out must be based on the tasks that workers may be asked to perform. Will personnel be required to undertake standby duties? Will the person carry out atmospheric monitoring of the confined space? Will personnel be required to undertake the rescue of casualties from a potentially hazardous environment?
Regular Training is an effective control measure in the minimisation of risks for confined space operations. Regular Training and emergency scenarios should focus on enhancing skills by exposing personnel to a variety of different situations. Regular Training is a control measure that cannot be ignored to prevent confined space fatalities and injuries within the mining industry.

Summary
Confined Space Entry is often defined as dangerous or hazardous work, however it need not be. If organisations complete task based risk assessments, develop effective task based confined space procedures and regularly complete nationally recognised confined space training then the likelihood of fatalies and injuries within the mining industry will be greatly reduced.

Article by Steven McLeod
Managing Director
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Apply First Aid Training – Do you need it in your workplace?

In Australia we have a variety of workplaces, industries and occupations. All employers must ensure the health and safety of all personnel in the workplace at all times. For this reason it is imperative that the employer provide nationally recognised first aid training to train workplace first aiders. First Aid Training courses should be nationally recognised and taught by professional lecturers.

Workplace First Aiders respond to on-site workplace emergencies. Employers should choose reliable Registered Training Organisations with professional and experienced lecturers to deliver Apply First Aid Training at their workplace.

Fire & Safety Australia runs First Aid Training Courses that are delivered by Ambulance Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Responders. Our First Aid Training Courses are designed to equip First Aiders with the knowledge and practical skills required to successfully respond to life threatening emergencies.

Visit our Apply First Aid Training Course page to find out more information and obtain a quote on completing First Aid Training on-site at your workplace

What sort of incidents should your First Aiders be able to respond to?
This depends on what type of industry you are in. Obviously the First Aid Training requirements would be different if comparing a Mine Site against a Child Care centre. Or a large manufacturing centre against a nursing home. However saying this, the following are a list of emergencies that all first aiders (that undertake suitable First Aid Training) should be able to respond to, treat and manage:

Cardiac Arrest (A non- breathing, No pulse and unconscious person)
An unconscious breathing patient
Bleeding – Both veinous and arterial
Fractures – Open and Closed in all areas of the body
Poisoning
Burns
Soft Tissue Injuries
Spinal Injuries
Bites and Stings
Temperature illness (hot & Cold)
Serious Illness: Epilepsy, Diabetes, Stroke, heart Attack etc
Whilst the list is by no means exhaustive it shows that personnel who may act as First Aiders, should undertake First Aid Training to prepare themselves for a wide variety of possible emergencies that could occur on-site.

Fire and Safety Australia’s First Aid Training Courses are designed to train personnel in how to effectively conduct first aid on-site at their workplace or home.

Our Apply First Aid Training Courses are taught by emergency services instructors who have a high level of First Aid experience. Our Apply First Aid Training Courses are focussed on the nationally recognised unit of training HLTFA301B Apply First Aid. This First Aid Training unit of competency comes from the Health Training Package.

Visit our Apply First Aid Training Course page to find out more information and obtain a quote on completing First Aid Training on-site at your workplace.
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Oxygen and Defibrillation Training

Employers should also give some thought to providing training for Oxygen Administration Training and Defibrillation Training. This equipment is life saving and can make the difference between an injured person being saved.

If you work in a heavy industry such as: Mining, Petrochemical, Construction, offshore etc where there are higher risks, Fire and Safety Australia can complete first aid training in:

Triage
Crush Injury
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Suspension Trauma
Chemical Poisoning & Burns
Oxygen Administration
Defibrillation
Advanced Airway Management
Cannulation
IV Lines
Medications etc.
First Aid training should be very site specific. Any reliable Registered Training Organisation should find out details about the workplace prior to conducting First Aid Training. First Aid training is extremely important and can make the difference between lives saved and lives lost.

Visit our Oxygen, Defibrillator, Apply First Aid and Occupational First Aid Training Course page to find out more information and obtain a quote for Fire and Safety Australia to complete First Aid Training on-site at your workplace.

Who should instruct First Aid Training Courses?
Unfortunately there are some training providers who provide lecturers that have only provided basic first aid care and may never have actually performed CPR or used a defibrillator on a real person. At Fire and Safety Australia we take the selection, training and experience of our First Aid Training Instructors extremely seriously.

Fire and Safety Australia’s First Aid Training Course lecturers are all current or retired emergency services members, Defence force members or nurses/health care professionals.

Our First Aid Training Courses can be run on-site at your location for your convenience. Our First Aid trainers will come onsite for 8+ personnel and we can provide your organisation with nationally recognised First Aid Training Courses.

To discuss your organisation’s unique First Aid Training requirements, please contact us and we would love to talk with you about your needs. Be assured that when completing training with Fire and Safety Australia you are working with emergency response professionals with decades of experience performing First Aid Training Courses, CPR, responding to accidents and rescues and medical incidents.

Visit our Apply First Aid Training Course page to find out more information and obtain a quote on completing First Aid Training on-site at your workplace.
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Confined Space Training – Do We Need it in our workplace?

It is a legislative requirement for employers to provide confined space training for any personnel who conduct Confined Space Entry work. All employees that complete confined space work must undertake a confined space training course to adequately prepare for confined space emergencies and confined space rescues that could possibly occur in the workplace.

Where personnel are working in Confined Spaces, the employer must plan for all possible confined space emergencies that may occur and implement emergency procedures to be followed to ensure the safety of all personnel. The only way to do this effectively is to run an on-site Confined Space Training Course.

Confined Space emergencies are very dangerous as they often result in confined space personnel becoming asphyxiated from a lack of oxygen. The human body’s brain cells start to die off after only 3 minutes without oxygen. Therefore if a confined space entrant is unconscious in a confined space, they have only a very small window to be rescued. After approx 10 minutes without oxygen and emergency care, their chance of survival is less than 1%…. – Confined Space Training is a requirement for anyone working in confined spaces.

For this reason, Australian Standard 2865:2009 requires that all employers shall provide for confined space training and confined space procedures for all confined space emergencies that may occur. Generally this means that the employer must provide training for confined space entrants in some or all of the following:

Confined Space Entry Training
Confined Space Rescue Training
Breathing Apparatus Training
First Aid Training
Fire Extinguisher Training
Oxygen Administration Training
Defibrillation
Vertical Rescue Training
Fire & Safety Australia’s 3 Day Nationally Recognised Confined Space Entry Training Courses and Confined Space Rescue Training Course fully covers all legislative requirements for confined space entry and rescue.

It is not good enough to simply have procedures in place to ‘call 000!’. By the time the fire service or other rescue authority arrive on scene to take over a confined space rescue, often it is too late.

Confined Space Rescue is a technical form of rescue and can be potentially very hazardous. For this reason, employers should select Registered Training Organisations that have experience in conducting confined space rescue training.

Fire and Safety Australia currently deliver Confined Space Rescue Training Courses to companies like Virgin Tech, Cement Australia, John Holland, Siemens Water Technologies, Melbourne Water Contractors, Boral and many more small and large Australian companies.

Confined Space Rescue Training Courses normally takes place over a period of 3-4 days (depending upon site requirements). During this time your personnel will undertake practical confined space rescue training utilising equipment like: Breathing Apparatus, First Aid Equipment, Stretchers, Vertical Rescue Systems, Harnesses etc.

The Australian Standard 2865 : 2009 ensures that employers shall provide for the development and practise of confined space emergency procedures for confined space emergencies that could occur in confined spaces.

Quite often we are asked ‘How often should confined space rescue training be completed?’. This question is interesting and there are several points to look at. Firstly, how often are confined space entries and confined space rescues completed at the workplace? If confined space work is completed every day, it is more likely that confined space entrants are familiar with the equipment and procedures. However, confined space rescues do NOT occur ever day.

Confined Space Rescues can be very dangerous with personnel using rope rescue systems and entering into a potentially deadly atmosphere to rescue other occupants. For this reason we recommend at least annual confined space rescue refresher and breathing apparatus refresher training is completed.

To ensure your compliance with OH&S Regulations, AS2865:2009 and safe work procedures enquire below about Fire & Safety Australia’s nationally recognised confined space training courses.

Our confined space training courses are run by former Firefighters and Emergency Services Officers with over 100 years combined emergency services experience. For this reason give us a call and we can discuss the uniqueness of your workplace and how we can help you with confined space training.

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Chief Fire Warden Training – Does our organisation need a Chief Fire Warden?

All workplaces must provide for the health and safety of all personnel at all times including during emergencies that may occur. For this reason a Chief Fire Warden should be appointed at each workplace. To perform their role effectively, the Chief Fire Warden should undertake nationally recognised Chief Fire Warden Training.

It doesn’t matter what size of workplace you work in, a Chief Fire Warden must take charge of the emergency prior to the arrival of the emergency services. For this reason Australian Standard 3745:2002 requires that an Emergency Control Organisation be appointed at each workplace.

An emergency control organisation (ECO) is a system of trained Fire Wardens, Chief Fire Wardens and Emergency Responders that can initiate a response to any on-site Fire or Emergency and get the occupants to safety. These personnel should undertake a nationally recognised training course in Fire Warden Training and Chief Fire Warden Training.

Chief Wardens form a major part of the Emergency Control Organisation. Every team needs a leader and a team of Fire Wardens is no different. Chief Fire Wardens need to be trained in Chief Fire Warden Training over a training timeframe of at least 1 full day.

Chief Warden Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Warden General Duties
Chief Warden duties when responding to an emergency
Building Fire Safety Requirements
AS3745-2010
Emergency Control Organisation Training, Drills and Procedures
Emergency Planning
Emergency Risk Assessments & Audits
How to control the evacuation of your workplace
How to control various types of emergencies that may be possible at your work location.
How to handle people that are mobility impaired and may require assistance
How to use Fire Indicator Panels, EWIS Evacuation Systems, WIP Phones etc
How to deal with bomb threats and threats to safety
How to brief the emergency services
The Chief Warden is in charge of the workplace Emergency Control Organisation and ultimately is responsible for the health and safety of all personnel in the organisation prior to the arrival of the emergency services.

For this reason Fire & Safety Australia conducts monthly Chief Warden training courses in all Australian States (as well as on-site corporate training courses conducted at our client’s workplaces).

Our chief fire warden training courses involve the unit of competency PUAWER006B Lead an Emergency Control Organisation. Our Chief Fire Warden training courses are taught by highly experienced emergency services personnel with real world experience in planning for and responding to emergencies.

Employers should look for reliable Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) like Fire & Safety Australia that can provide nationally recognised Chief Fire Warden Training.

During Chief Fire Warden Training, our sessions include information for Chief Fire Wardens to prepare for and respond to Fires, Bomb threats, Chemical Incidents and Terrorism. Our Fire and Safety Trainers can also be booked to act as observers / instructors during your Building Evacuation drills. We will prepare a written report after your drill has finished highlighting suggested areas of improvement.

Regular Chief Warden Training is an effective control measure in the minimisation of the risks that a sudden, unplanned evacuation can bring. Regular Chief Fire Warden Training and emergency scenarios should focus on enhancing skills by exposing personnel to a variety of different emergency evacuation situations. Regular Chief Fire Warden Training is a control measure that cannot be ignored to prevent injuries and panic during unexpected evacuations.

Enquire about Chief Fire Warden Training for your workplace today by clicking on the Chief Fire Warden Training menu on the left hand side. Minimum course numbers starting at 5 personnel