Rail project alliance deploys innovative safety coaching
The Kingsgrove to Revesby Quadruplication (K2RQ) Alliance is using a different, more personalised approach to safety training and coaching on its project to expand rail capacity on the East Hills line in Sydney’s south. The project, which is expected to be completed in early 2013, involves the construction of a second pair of tracks to separate local and express services, and is part of the NSW Government’s Rail Clearways Program designed to improve capacity and reliability on the CityRail network.
Working with specialist safety coaching and training organisation PaQS (People & Quality Solutions), K2RQ is focusing on empowering personnel to take personal responsibility for their actions on-site.
K2RQ Alliance Human Resources Manager Shane Kennedy says that about 60 staff have so far completed Level 1 of PaQS’s program, which is known as Advanced Safety and Quality Awareness (AS&QA). Kennedy says the course “teaches participants how to become safety aware”.
“Our employees have embraced the PaQS program because it’s new and different from any training that they’ve completed before.
“The program develops individual attitudinal safety awareness by empowering staff to accept personal responsibility for their own safety behaviour.” Kennedy has praised not only the content of the training, but the method of delivery.
“The major challenge with the training was that many of our workforce personnel do not use computers. So the training was completed using hardcopy workbooks instead of online. Participants are confronted with a wide range of possible answers to on-site scenarios which reflect varied views and judgements that are neither right nor wrong.
“The feedback I received from participants was that they enjoyed the personalised coaching and enjoyed the experience of being taken through their responses via their own Advanced Safety & Quality Awareness workbook.
“This reinforced their own learning and got them thinking about their safety and those of others both in the workplace and at home.
“Participants also said they are now more conscious of their personal safety outside work, particularly when driving or even mowing the lawn, and some also shared the workbook material with other members of their family.”
PaQS’s safety psychologists provide organisations with the tools and support to achieve and sustain their own safety cultures. Company representatives are trained as safety coaches, who then return to their organisations to implement specialised safety training.
“After completing the course in Advanced Safety & Quality Awareness training with PaQS, I have returned to K2RQ better equipped to coach and teach others,” Kennedy said.
“The key for me is the idea of continuous improvement that is built into the coaching and training process. The training has a number of levels and we’ll be moving on to the next level shortly to ensure we continue to improve.”
Carl Reams, Managing Director of PaQS, says that most safety training courses focus on the processes and procedures whereas PaQS’s training is based on applied psychological theory and continuous measurement.
“Our training focuses on culture and individual empowerment rather than the processes and procedures behind safety. Our method is based on a holistic culture model of willing participation and responsibility. This type of coaching model creates an environment for constructive and positive industrial relations as well as an atmosphere of team support, job satisfaction and lower stress, and therefore increased productivity,” said Reams.
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