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Complying with the Health & Safety at Work Act and regulations - Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I train my operators?

What kind of training is required?

What if my operator holds a licence endorsement?

What exactly is an OSH certificate?

How can I comply with the Act?

Can I do my own training?

How do I get on-site training?

What if we use several different types of machine at our company?

Is the LOADSAFE training program approved by OSH?

What does "certified" mean?

What type of documentation must I keep?

How often must refresher training be given?

Must I retrain employees that have been operating equipment for many years?

How can LOADSAFE benefit me?

Why should I train my operators?


The best reason to train and certify mobile plant operators is to improve workplace safety. We have a moral obligation to ensure workers don't injure themselves or others.

As well as that, legislation requires that workers must be adequately trained in the safe use of equipment in the place of work.

Failure of the PCBU to exercise due dilligence can result in heavy fines and/or loss of insurance cover. This can be even more disastrous if a serious incident occurs with fines up to three million dollars and even imprisonment for company officers!


What kind of training is required?


Formal theory, practical demonstration and hands-on supervised training must be provided and documented.

Prior to operating unsupervised in the workplace, the PCBU must evaluate the operator's performance and determine the operator to be competent to operate the equipment safely.


What if my operator holds a licence endorsement?


The HSWA requires that all operators must be properly trained in the safe use of the equipment and unfortunately, holding a license endorsement does not certify this at all.

Licence endorsements only cover skills related to driving on those places that are deemed to be a road by NZ Transport Agency (and enforced by NZ Police).

Operating safely in a work environment with a wide range of tasks that have nothing to do with driving on a "road" is a whole different thing! It falls under WorkSafe jurisdiction.


What exactly is an "OSH" Certificate?


An "OSH" Certificate is the historic name for the record of training that was issued to forklift operators trained by an OSH registered instructor prior to 2007.

In May 2007, Competenz became responsible for the auditing and registering of forklift trainers under the Approved Code of Practice for Training Operators and Instructors of Powered Industrial Lift Trucks (Forklifts). Competenz is the trading name of New Zealand Engineering, Food and Manufacturing Industry Training Organisation

The Code of Practice outlines a minimum standard of training that should be provided by forklift owners, managers and trainers of forklift operators.

The use of the terms 'OSH approved' or 'OSH certified' is no longer supported by WorkSafe or the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment MBIE.


How can I comply with the HSWA and regulations?


Training to a standard that meets or exceeds the requirements of the applicable safety law or regulations is often regarded as "compliance training".

The Act and any applicable Codes of Practice and/or regulations for the machine or job type must be taken into account when conducting training and competency evaluations.

Certificates are issued as proof of training completed to a certain and records must be kept for future reference. Investigators can check these records to see exactly what was taught to and learned by the trainee and any of this documentation can be used as evidence in court if required.

Can I do my own training?


As an employer, you may deliver your own on-site safety training. All you need are suitable training resources, documentation and someone qualified and experienced with the equipment and training techniques. This applies to any plant and potentially dangerous equipment from saws to log loaders,  presses to bulldozers etc.


What if we use several different types of machine at our company?


By law, the PCBU must ensure that each operator is trained and evaluated for each specific type of machine that will be used. For example, someone authorised to operate a front loading rigid forklift may not have been trained to use a reach truck or articulated forklift. They are different machines with different risks.


Is the LOADSAFE training program approved by WorkSafe?


WorkSafe (MBIE) does not certify, accredit or approve any forklift training programs or trainers. However they do approve Code's of Practice and regulations that clearly describe the required content of training programs and LOADSAFE training is designed in accordance with all relevant documentation.

The responsibility rests with the PCBU to ensure that each operator has received the necessary training and has been evaluated and proved competent to operate the equipment. The PCBU must then authorise that person to operate the specified equipment.

LOADSAFE only uses instructors or assessors that are experienced, qualified and registered with the appropriate Industry Training Organisations. That means they are regularly audited by an independant governing body.


What does "certified" mean?


A certificate is a record of learning issued by an approved assessor as proof that a person has passed tests of knowledge and/or operating ability.

Certification should contain information including but not limited to; the name of the person, the date of testing, an expiry date, a description of the machine type and the identity of the person(s) who conducted the assessments and what was covered in the programme.

Once a person has been properly trained and certified, a PCBU may then authorise that person to operate the specified equipment.


What type of documentation must I keep?


The CoP requires that each operator be properly trained and authorised. Once the PCBU is satisfied that an operator has been properly trained, they may then authorise that operator.

LOADSAFE provides electronic certificates and authorisation templates.


How often must refresher training be given?


We recommend that refresher training be provided every two years or when:

  • The operator has been observed to operate the machine in an unsafe manner.

  • The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident.

  • The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the machine properly.

  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type of machine.

  • A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the machine.

Must I retrain employees that have been operating equipment for many years?


A PCBU does not need to retrain a worker in the operation of equipment if they are satisfied that the operator is sufficiently experienced and has been evaluated and has proven to be competent to operate the equipment unsupervised.

The operator would only need additional training in those areas where his or her performance indicates the need for further training and for new types of equipment and areas of operation.

The LOADSAFE system is an ideal solution for getting your operators in compliance without making them go through an expensive and time consuming training program.


How do I get on-site training?


A worker can be designated as the company trainer or the PCBU can hire an outside trainer to come to the workplace to conduct training.

Designating a worker as trainer gives the PCBU the most flexibility and costs less since training can be conducted when most convenient for the trainer and the operator(s).


What if I don't have the documentation or expertise to do it myself?


We research all relevant codes and regulations and operator manuals when developing a customised inhouse course. We can provide coaching tools and documentation so you can effectively log all training events.

Contact us if we don't have the right course for you listed on our site, it may be in development.


How can LOADSAFE benefit my company?


Whereas external trainers usually require minimum attendance at a time that suits them, LOADSAFE will reduce your actual training costs as well as operational costs due to training.

Things like downtime and wages while on courses are reduced because individual operators can complete the training during slow periods, breaks or even during their own time from home.

To reduce your training costs further, LOADSAFE makes it possible for a PCBU to implement their own practical training programs. LOADSAFE takes care of the formal theory training (non site-specific). The PCBU can then appoint a qualified employee to coach others.

Either way you keep your worker training within normal hours and on-site while maintaining productivity.


Key components of our Safe Operator Training Courses are;

  • Health & Safety law and responsibilities explained

  • Fundamentals of safe operation including machine dynamics and stability

  • Pre use inspections and hazard awareness

  • Safe operation of the machine and associated components

  • Safe handling of loads

  • Safe task procedures

LOADSAFE can also custom design courses for any dangerous equipment, hazardous tasks or process. Contact Richard 027 2219717 for a discussion or quote.


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