Builders and Contractors - Crane Association NZ Article

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

As the New Zealand construction boom strengthens an already robust economy, the need for first rate health and safety training is crucial.

Leading health and safety training provider Safety ‘n Action is at the vanguard of the industry, delivering over 30 courses nationwide. Five of these train the next generation of crane operators, with courses in overhead gantry cranes, mobile cranes, truck loader cranes, rigging and slinging (dogman), and safety practices in the crane industry. One and two-day programmes are delivered in the workplace by some of the best crane operators in the country.

Amongst the organisation’s eight specialist crane trainers is 2017 Skills PTE Crane Trainer of the Year Norman Kete. After a lifetime as a frontline crane operator, Norman’s career hit a road bump when a non-work related incident left him blind in one eye. It did however present a golden opportunity to share his passion and knowledge with industry newcomers.

“Safety ‘n Action saved me, so I have given back everything I can. Training the students, making sure they understand the seriousness of the job and building up their confidence with operating the equipment,” says Norman. Safety ‘n Action General Manager Sales and

Marketing, Kirsten Long, says that Norman’s dedication is shared by all their trainers. “Our trainers are passionate and experienced. They come direct from industry with the latest skills and knowledge, and lots of expertise in dealing with the diverse range of students that enter the training room, ”she says.

Conducti ng training through an accredited provider like Safety ‘n Action ensures operators are trained to nationally recognised standards, maintaining consistency and equipping workers with skills they can take away.

Safety ‘n Action provides the specialist skills and support students need to excel in the workplace. Weekend programmes are available, and classes are small, ensuring compliance with industry best practice and plenty of individual attention. “We keep classes small for a reason – we don’t take shortcuts.” says gantry crane trainer Jack Noble. “We drive our students on the theory and repeat practical exercises to cement their learning. They respond really well, and we can see how they’ve applied the theory and where the gaps are.”

Jack spent 35 years in the New Zealand Army, primarily in multi -modal logistics, including a stint in Antarctica managing logistic resupply for the United States Antarctic Programme.

“We take our obligations seriously. Our students are trained not just to receive the unit standards, but to be safe and compliant to best practice guidelines, approved codes of practice and the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015). They leave knowing the ramifications of non-compliance, with the skills to perform pre-checks on the cranes and the know-how to formulate effective rigging techniques.”

Safety ‘n Action is the training provider of choice for many of New Zealand’s largest organisations. “Regularly training the likes of Fonterra and James Hardie means we can ensure their operators have the knowledge, skill and confidence to competently operate a gantry crane, without relying on contractors’ schedules.

“Many customers also use us for their permit to work, health and safety representative training, mobile elevating work platforms and height safety training.” James Hardie Training Coordinator Elizma Bekker describes the provider as “professional and easy to deal with”. “Safety ‘n Action are accommodating and flexible to our needs, adapting courses to suit our staffing. Working with them gives us peace of mind because we know our staff receive really good training and they’re happy with it,” says Elizma.