Toxfree wins award for safety and efficiency success
Toxfree has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner in The Australian Business Awards 2015 for Innovation for their ‘Train Right – Let’s Communicate’ initiative.
The Australian Business Awards are a national, all-encompassing awards program honouring Australia’s business, innovation and technology leaders through the recognition of their ground-breaking vision, innovative products and exemplary execution of projects, technologies, service, programs, systems and other initiatives. The program engages with leading corporate, government and non-government organisations providing regional recognition with a global significance through an established set of business and product award categories.
The award recognises Toxfree’s achievements in improving safety and efficiency throughout all operations. To guarantee experienced personnel are competent and proficient in the use of specialist equipment, Toxfree has established a training and skill verification on site to address a real time working environment. Due to the risks associated with high noise work environments, such as noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), Toxfree has introduced an initiative called ‘Train Right – Let’s Communicate’.
This initiative is founded on the introduction of communication headsets (Class 5 approved hearing protection) where conversation is paramount in high noise work environments, whether the sounds are sudden or prolonged. The approved headsets enhance clear and concise communications between the trainees/operators and trainer/assessors, where both communication and hearing protection is critical in a training environment, whilst still blocking out the harmful background noise and protecting the operators hearing.
The “Train Right – Let’s Communicate” initiative originated from a suggestion put forward by an operator. The operator had previously participated in the High Pressure Water Jetting Assistant course which was undertaken in a simulated working environment and had limited work place hazards associated with the task.
Taking on-board the feedback received, observations were undertaken by the Health Safety Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Advisor, Project Manager and Operations Supervisor who assessed the training techniques used in a simulated work environment. Through these observations, discussions took place with the Managing Director of TrainRight Industrial Services (Aust) Pty Ltd regarding the use of electronic headsets and the effectiveness of these items.
During the initial phase of using the electronic headsets, constant feedback was sought from the trainer/assessor on the true effectiveness of this initiative. Positive feedback was received. It was pleasing to note that there were no difficulties or challenges experienced during the rollout of this initiative. The client involved also sought feedback on the initiative and it was noted that they also observed the training undertaken. Positive feedback was received that the training was undertaken in a real working environment which allowed for scheduled work to be completed without inordinate costs being incurred.
The operators were very responsive towards the initiative as it was a new training technique they were not accustomed to. They were eager to trial it without being exposed to excessive noise and the risk of noise induced hearing loss due the environment the training was taking place in. The success of the initiative was borne through the consultation and communication phase where the operators were consulted and their feedback taken on board to identify a workable solution. Another leading indicator to the success of the ‘Train Right – Let’s Communicate’ initiative is that it was proposed by an operator which was reviewed and supported by management. This projected a positive response to the workforce that management do consider operator health and safety and will consider all proposals for change put forward.
Steve Gostlow, Toxfree Managing Director says: “at Toxfree our values are safe, reliable and sustainable and our safety innovation ‘Train Right – Let’s Communicate’ is a relatively simple and novel approach to ensuring communications are enhanced when undertaking industrial service activities, predominantly when undertaking training and skill verification in high noise environments. The innovation was developed in the field by the Toxfree industrial services team and TrainRight Australia. This award highlights Toxfree’s ongoing encouragement to improving safety in the workplace by encouraging staff to put forward new initiatives that can be researched further to ensure a safe work place and as in this case, evolved to reduce the risk of noise induced hearing loss”.