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5 Tips For Working Successfully With Sub-Contractors

5 Tips For Working Successfully With Sub-Contractors

Organisations are increasingly including subcontractors in their internal training so everyone is aligned under a single Health & Safety framework.  Not only is this beneficial for alignment of safety behaviours,  but from a WHS compliance perspective you have a duty of care to everyone who walks on site – and this includes your subcontractors.

Here are 5 things you should do to meet your WHS obligations and make partnering with your subcontractors run smoothly.

 

1. Know your obligations

Do you know your legal obligations when it comes to your subcontractors?
If you don’t know how can you plan to be compliant?

PCBUs (Persons Conducting Business or Undertaking) must ensure the health and safety of all workers at work in the business or undertaking:

  • who are engaged or are caused to be engaged by the PCBU – this includes subcontractors.
  • whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the PCBU.

You can also check out our video below “WHAT AM I ACCOUNTABLE FOR?” about your general obligations.

2. Align subbies with your Safety Culture

Get them involved in your internal safety training. They can’t meet your standards if they don’t know what your standards are. Training should focus on how to build a partnership with your subcontactors, rather than micro-managing your subcontractors.

3. Appropriate supervision

Have regular project meetings to address whether your subcontractors performance is meeting the project’s safety and quality requirements. Keep a record of your communications which you share with subcontractors so everyone is clear on who needs to do what, when and how.

4. Two-way communication

There should be two way communications between you and your subcontractor. Always be approachable and communicate clearly and succinctly so there’s no room for miscommunication or errors.  When the lines of communication are easy and each side knows the expectations, issues can get resolved more quickly and more gets accomplished.

5. Give them feedback

When you need to give your subcontractor feedback, do it in a way in a way that encourages continuous improvement rather than blame, remediation instead of retaliation.

Want to learn how to manage subcontractors?

Lean to effectively manage WHS site risks and performance by learning how to effectively select, manage and monitor the complex and difficult world of subcontractors.

Find out more and download the course outline below or call us on 1300 453 555.

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What makes good adult learning?

What makes good adult learning?

We work everyday with large companies with diverse groups of learners and talk a lot about what makes good adult learning. How do you build and facilitate really great learning experiences?

It’s common to have group of learners in our training who work on the frontline who are technically proficient and may have left formal schooling in their mid-teens. They know their jobs well and are considered functional experts, but when they come into a training environment, there are many reasons they may not want to take part.

Firstly, context. They don’t see the value of the training they’ve been asked to attend, especially if it’s not a required technical license. Organisations need to explain to learners why the organisation is undertaking the training, what the training seeks to achieve, why it’s important to have everyone in the organisation on the same page and most importantly give learners the WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – what will that leaner take away that will enrich them?

Coming into a learning environment with pre-conceived ideas of how the training is going to go is not something restricted to frontline workers – we see barriers to coming to the training room in many all levels.

Tertiary educated people often come to training with the idea that everything they needed to know for the work environment was covered in their formal education. Again, they may lack understanding of the context for the training. Alternatively, some are concerned that their shortfalls might be shown up in a certain way during the learning experience. The latter is termed ‘imposter syndrome’ – the fear of being exposed that ´maybe I’m not as brilliant as everyone thinks I am, and I’m going to be found out any second!

As adults we can carry any negative experiences of past education and learning into the training room –a good trainer will move through this with learners. Sitting for a day concerned about being “found out”, anxious that you should be doing something else, or feeling you’re in an environment where you can’t make mistakes because you’re supposed to be the ‘expert’ is not a positive place to learn from, and gets in the way of fully engaging.

As workers, we often work in areas we are comfortable and can exhibit competence and tend to avoid areas we feel exposed for what we don’t know. However the learning environment is different – it’s there to show where there are gaps in knowledge.

So how do good trainers address this?

When we start our training we undertake a learner comfort ‘piece’.  A trainer or facilitator’s responsibility is not only about transferring learning but about building learning comfort for learners.

The learning environment should challenge us to take different perspectives and a great trainer is an expert at creating an environment where people feel safe going beyond their comfort zone. We try to make our training an open space for learners to be okay to talk about it, but often it takes a lot for the learner to do that until we build trust with each other, which is one of our team of trainers strengths.

All our trainers spend the first part of any program engaging all learners in different ways, identifying learner’s styles and addressing any concerns in the room. Our trainers have a lot of experience, great content and interesting ways of connecting with learners across different audiences.

Another aspect that can’t be underestimated is the sense of community that builds when training groups come together and barriers come down as the training progresses. This can be a powerful experience both when groups are cross functional or are teams that work together in the same role every day. The ability of trainers to present ideas, ask curious questions and create a space for learners to explore and question themselves and each other can create a deep understanding and connection between colleagues that can drive change in organisations.

When talking to prospective clients, we are always very clear on our strength in engaging the learners – how well we deliver on effective adult learning.
Great program content is nothing if it’s not delivered well – our trainers are experts at being able to make things very practical, relevant and put the learner front of mind, which also means our trainers have the skills to be able to adapt their approach to what’s happening in the moment.

Could your internal trainers use these skills?

Many organisations undertake internal training or transferring of information on a daily basis –  whether it be group training or one on one transfer of job skill information from one employee to another. For your internal trainers, understanding adult learning and how to create the best environment for people to take in information is important.

We have programs that can assist your employees responsible for training or upskilling others in your organisation to achieve this successfully.

You can support your staff who train others with these programs:

Train the Trainer Program – 2 Days >>

TAELLN411 Address Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Skills – 1 Day >>

 

Financial Fundamentals – Making Sense of the Numbers

Financial Fundamentals – Making Sense of the Numbers

“Understanding the numbers” often creates a feeling of dread in leaders who are experts in their field, but haven’t come from a financial background.

From understanding budgets, profitability and financial jargon, the ability and confidence to understand the “money side of things” is a foundation skill for managing projects and performance. Many organisations (rightly) promote people into leadership positions because they excel at their job but find it difficult to access the right support to boost their leaders understanding of the financial aspects of management.

Our new one-day ‘Financial Fundamentals’ program has been designed to demystify jargon, create relevance and understanding plus give learners what they need to do know in order to make effective decisions. By the end of the day learners will know how to; determine the resource requirements for a job, efficiently and profitably acquire and allocate resources, manage budgets, measure results and produce reports.

This program helps people to understand how the decisions they make on a daily basis can affect the project profitability and the overall bottom line.

Topics include:

Demystifying financial language

  • Developing business acumen
  • Understanding financial jargon

Developing a profitability mindset

  • The real cost of business and improving site profit
  • Procuring goods and services
  • Managing subcontracted labour

Budgets and work orders

  • Planning and projecting budgets
  • Managing financial risk
  • Project collaboration

Making commercial decisions

  • Making decisions under pressure
  • Managing variations and scope creep

Monitoring and reporting

  • Monitoring performance against the agreed scope
  • Reporting project outcomes

This program is built on the competencies of the nationally recognised unit BSBADM409 Coordinate Business Resources, which is a unit of the BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management. Participants will leave with a statement of attainment for this unit, which can count towards the Certificate program.

Want this program customised for your workplace?

We can customise this program for your specific industry and workplace and deliver it on-site all around Australia.

Call us on 1300 453 555, internationally on +613 9510 0477 or use our contact form.

Why train face-to-face in an online world?

Why train face-to-face in an online world?

For all the benefits of having the world of knowledge stored in your pocket, why is face-to-face training still ‘a thing’?

Why do countless organisations still undertake face-to-face training – and is there a place for instructor-led training  and online learning to work together for the best learning outcome?

Let’s explore…

Why face-to-face has a place:

Humans are complex, we learn in many dimensions

Human behaviour is complex.  Generally, we don’t like making changes to our behavior – especially if it’s going to make us uncomfortable in the process, even if it’s of benefit to us in the long term.

To install new habits and skills –  usually the purpose of the training we do – you need to artfully engage all learners on multiple levels. That’s often difficult when you’re sitting in front of a screen.

A good facilitator can capture a group within the first 20 minutes of any session. They’re experts at understanding human behaviour, ‘reading a room’, challenging learners in a way that helps them expand their thinking,  and giving every learner what they need to get the most out of a session.

 

Personal interaction

Human beings are social by design – it’s called face-to-face for a reason!

The depth and quality of conversation is unparalleled in face to face training. Conversations are richer and allow for ‘in-the-moment’ dialogue between participants, away from the misinterpretation that can happen online.

Working with peers in real life (IRL), and supported by a live facilitator, also gives us instant feedback both verbal and non-verbal which leads to a richer learning experience.

 

Face-to-face can be more accessible.

Doing a qualification or training via online delivery favours those who can sit, watch and type – often for a long period of time. While this works for some, other learners may have barriers with language, writing or technology – or a combination.

A facilitator can also quickly pivot the tone, examples or explanations used, and the type of assessments and activities required based on the needs of the participants in the room – often in the moment, based on what the facilitator observes.

For others – particularly if undertaking an accredited course over a long duration – the self-discipline to complete an online program becomes a factor. This is both a financial  risk to the organisation if learners don’t complete their training, as well as a missed opportunity for the new learning knowledge to create the required change.

Research has shown that online learning has a lower completion rate. A study by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education looked at completion rates of higher education students and found only 44% of online learners finish their studies compared to 77% of on-campus students.

Quicker results and intense focus

Online learning can be positioned as ‘quicker’ and more convenient however this relies on your people actually finding the time to do the work and complete the necessary assessments.

When you train people face to face and make the time to invest in them being in the room, there are fewer distractions and a higher likelihood of participation, completion and retention.

Learners can get ‘in the zone’ and give 100% of their attention to the program, leading to more successful outcomes.

 

Integrated assessments

Students of accredited qualifications delivered solely online often give feedback that it’s a struggle to complete. Usually they will need to complete assessments for every unit, often demonstrating the same competency over and over again as it repeats in different units. This means they have to do more, for no additional learning benefit.

Integrated assessment means the facilitator may assess learners once for a competency that can then apply across all the units, resulting in a reduction of time and duplication, without compromising on the assessment quality.

 

Group dynamics

For organisations, face-to-face training can be a team building opportunity. It allows you to ‘cross-pollinate’ people from your organisation or give work teams a platform to work together to collaborate in a different environment, away from workplace distractions. It’s also surprising how much your people will learn from (and about) each other as they bring their insights and experiences to the training room.

So how do we use online learning?

We believe online learning works best as a support to what happens in the training room so we have designed an online portal with simple user functionality and the ability to generate detailed and usable insights.

We use our online portal in two key ways:

Pre-Work and Refresher Programs

Our online learning portal is used to prepare your people (prior to their program) – to be open and receptive to what they’ll be learning –  through short online pre-work, which can involve informative video content, answering questions and giving feedback.  After the face-to-face program, our online portal can support your people with a refresher program to make sure the learning sticks -so you receive a return on your training investment.

Culture Surveys & Analysis

We help organisations measure and analyse their current level of ‘Safety Culture’ or ‘Leadership Culture’ through online culture surveys and analysis. Our surveys are designed to take the pulse of what your people believe (and how this impacts their behaviours), so we can partner with you to design programs and interventions that make a difference – and what can be measured can be managed. We then get people to complete the survey again after their program and are able to track and analyse how thoughts, attitudes and behaviors have changed as an outcome of the face-to-face program.

Want to find out more about our online portal?

Safety Dimensions and Leadership Dimensions offer clients an Online Learner Portal with capabilities in the areas of culture surveys, program pre-work and online refresher programs with the ability to measure an organisations safety and leadership culture maturity, prepare learners prior to the commencement of a program, and embed and reinforce the learning after a program has finished.

We do this on our cross-platform, web-based and secure learner focused online portal, designed and customised for the needs of each client.

Find out more about how our online portal can add value to your learning programs, call us on 1300 453 555, email info@safetydimensions.com.au or click the button below to read more.

Soldiering On? Codeine Products Now Prescription Only

Soldiering On? Codeine Products Now Prescription Only

Is your workforce “soldiering on” through colds, flu and pain with products that contain codeine?

From 1 Feb 2018 they’ll need a prescription for over-the-counter medicines containing codeine. This has implications for organisations who conduct drug and alcohol testing and for industries and occupations where a worker could kill or seriously injure themselves, another worker or a member of the public.

Have you updated your workforce regarding the change?
Has it been discussed at Toolbox talks?

THE BACKGROUND

What is codeine ?

Codeine is the most common form of the opiate (morphine-like) class of drugs, a narcotic used to treat pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It is used in common over-the-counter pain relievers.

Effects include drowsiness, confusion, erratic behaviour, tiredness, poor concentration, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, and sweating. Side effects of Codeine can seriously impact Workplace Health & Safety, especially for jobs that involve driving, machinery and high risk work.

Why is codeine now prescription only ?

Codeine is recognised as a drug of dependency by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This is based on the evidence of harm caused by overuse and abuse of medicines – and that medicines containing codeine for pain relief offered very little additional benefit when compared to similar medicines without codeine. Thus codeine products have become prescription only.

What do the changes to codeine mean and what should your company do?

Given codeine has been in so many over-the-counter medications people may have used every day over a long period, there is a strong need to educate your workforce from a duty-of-care perspective.

Let your people know

Make people aware of the full list of codeine-based products previously available over-the-counter, which from 1 February 2018 requires them to have a prescription from a doctor.  View the list on the right, and see what the common brand names are.

Update your company policy

Depending on your company policy, people using codeine medications may be required to obtain a letter of verification that the use is not of a dependent nature, even if it was purchased before the cut-off date. This would be something to explore quickly, given the change is already in force.

Make people aware of the withdrawal symptoms and where to find help

It is important to be aware of codeine withdrawal symptoms. Without a prescription, some people may run out and suddenly stop taking it which may cause withdrawal symptoms.

Let your people know that if they are withdrawing from codeine, they should seek medical advice, as some of the common symptoms start within a few hours after the last dose and become strongest between 48 and 72 hours.

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Cravings for codeine
  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • A runny nose and sneezing
  • Yawning and difficulty sleeping
  • Trembling, aching muscles and joints
  • Goosebumps, fever, chills, sweating
  • Restlessness, irritability, nervousness, depression

Next steps

For those organisations who conduct drug testing, it is important for you to advise your employees they now require a prescription for any medication containing codeine.  Failure to provide a prescription if codeine is found in their system will be in breech of policy.  You may wish to seek out an expert to help you revise your organisational Drug and Alcohol Policy and educate and inform your workforce.

The easiest and most effective way to deliver this to the workforce is is via an effective Toolbox Talk or Lunch and Learn where you explain the change to codeine use and your company policy, including the implications for a breech.

Safety Dimensions can help you with communicating safety messages effectively through either consultancy or our courses, both accredited and non-accredited. Email us on info@safetydimensions.com.au or contact 1300 453 555.

Need training in communicating safety messages to your people?

Check out our programs below to help you communicate more effectively like our Effective Safety Consultation Program.
Email us on info@safetydimensions.com.au or contact 1300 453 555.

WHAT PRODUCTS ARE NOW PRESCRIPTION ONLY?

Codeine may also be known by a brand or trade name. Some of these common brands are:

Generic Name / Brand names
Aspirin and codeine  / Aspalgin®, Codral Cold & Flu Original®
Ibuprofen and codeine / Nurofen Plus®
Paracetamol and codeine / Panadeine Forte®, Panamax Co®
Paracetamol, codeine and doxylamine / Mersyndol® and Mersyndol Forte®, Panalgesic®1

VIEW THE FULL LIST >>

HELP RESOURCES

More about withdrawal from codeine visit:
https://adf.org.au/alcohol-drug-use/supporting-a-loved-one/withdrawal

NPS MedicineWise
www.nps.org.au

Pain Australia
www.painaustralia.org.au

painHEALTH
https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au

Australian Pain Management Association
www.painmanagement.org.au

Ask Your Pharmacist:
askyourpharmacist.com.au

Pain Link Helpline – 1300 340 357

Healthdirect Australia Advice Line – 1800 022 222
_________________________________

Sources

Therapeutic Goods Association https://www.tga.gov.au/codeine-info-hub
Alcohol and Drug Foundation: https://adf.org.au/help-support/support-services-directory/
Safe Work Australia https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/drugs-alcohol
Arisk Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1uG9Gyf-3U

 

Want to elevate your Toolbox Talks?

Effective Safety Consultation Program

This program focuses on helping participants generate genuine two-way communication.

Get the skills to:

  • Conduct effective and engaging Toolbox Talks, Pre-Start and safety meetings
  • Gain employees’ and team members’ attention and get them motivated about safety
  • Learn how to overcome potential barriers to achieve engaged participation
  • Ensure others don’t just hear, but understand safety messages
  • Show confidence as a communicator and leader
  • Apply effective consultation skills to all meetings

Download the course outline (page 9) in our full course brochure here >>

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