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New online course to help make New Zealand workplaces safer

Joint: Open Polytechnic and WorksafeReps
Media Release: Immediate
Date: 14 December 2016

New online course to help make New Zealand workplaces safer

A new health and safety course, offered online through a collaboration between WorksafeReps and Open Polytechnic, will help workplace health and safety representatives gain the skills they need to promote safer work practices.

The Initial Health & Safety Representative Training course is NZQA accredited, and is designed to meet the requirements of new health and safety legislation introduced in April this year.


According to WorkSafe New Zealand statistics, between 2011-2016 the number of fatal work-related incidents (excluding maritime, aviation and road crash related deaths) has continued to remain high, with sectors such as agriculture, construction and forestry reporting the highest number of workplace deaths. Change is needed.

WorksafeReps is the health and safety training arm of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. A core value of this training is that all workers are entitled to safe workplaces and practices, which is why NZCTU has historically been at the forefront of providing this training. Richard Wagstaff, President of the NZCTU says that education is "a key part to unlocking the door to safer and healthier workplaces."

Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s specialist provider of online and distance learning, developed the online course for WorksafeReps, taking the content of their two day face-to-face course, and turning it into an engaging online learning experience which includes video scenarios and animated content to explain key concepts, and help learners relate what they are learning to real-life situations.

The course is delivered through Open Polytechnic’s iQualify platform, which is device responsive, meaning it can be accessed from a computer or any mobile device.

“One of the biggest benefits of delivering the Initial Health & Safety Representative Training course online is that it means workers now have another quality option to augment the existing training structure, and can undertake this work flexibly and remotely to fit in around other commitments,” says Open Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig.

Paid leave to complete the training is built into the legislation and having an online option does not reduce this entitlement.

Open Polytechnic also provides accreditation for the course, which includes assessment of the learning outcomes.

To find out more about completing the Initial Health & Safety Representative Training course online, head to: http://bit.ly/2hFDvNU

Ends

About WorksafeReps

For more information about Worksafe Reps – www.worksafereps.org.nz

About Open Polytechnic

Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance learning, enrolling over 30,000 mainly part-time students per year. The majority of students are adult learners combining work and study, making the Open Polytechnic one of New Zealand’s major educators of people in the workforce.

Website: www.openpolytechnic.ac.nz


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