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Former Coles employee awarded $1 million after falling from stool

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HC Online | 01 May 2017, 11:17 AM Agree 0
The employee claimed she had no training in using the step and had just watched the way that others had used it
  • Bernie Althoer EGLI ASSESSMENTS PTY LTD | 06 May 2017, 04:57 PM Agree 0
    Incidents such as this indicate the importance of maintaining a documented process and system for recording training. Whilst there may be some assumptions made that a worker will 'know' how to use equipment and resources provided for their work activities, it is important to not only provide those resources but to test their ability to use them.

    On the face of it, it might appear that 'anyone' and 'everyone' can use a resource at their disposal, and whilst some may 'say' they can use such resource, it is important to ensure that they can actually use the resource in accordance not only with the manufacturers specifications, but also in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

    Bad habits do creep into organisations and unfortunately these become accepted as the 'way we do things around here'. It does not mean tha that the procedure is safe of that the worker is meeting obligations, but merely that an employee is 'getting the job done'.

    One might pose the question "Should an organisation invest more time in being proactive and taking proactive action, or should they wait until a claim is made and then try and mitigate the penalities imposed?"

    Watching others undertake or perform a task might not be the safest way of 'getting the job done'. However, the level of risk exposure might increase substantiallly based on the level of training provided. I woud be asking questions such as "Why are you doing that?" and "Who showed you that was the procedure to follow?"

    When it comes to a Court, Commission or Tribunal hearing, there is always going to be someone who will be able to identify some gaps in training and performance. Unfortunately, what happens is that people end up being 'busy'; don't have time to do the task safely and end up putting themselves at risk of injury and their organisation at risk of exposure to litigation.
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