Occupational health and safety (OH&S) are a major focus of all Tjeka Training Matters’ construction training courses. Individuals who have completed the company’s various training programmes are able to perform their respective tasks correctly, which includes in a healthy and safe manner.
A case in point are the 11 employees who are completing a plumbing Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) programme at Tjeka Training Matters’ state-of-the-art training and trade test facility in Randfontein. When they have completed this programme, they will be qualified plumbers who are permitted to install, replace, maintain and repair plumbing installations. They will also be aware of the many risks that plumbers face when applying their trade and are, therefore, able to take the necessary precautions. OH&S risks in plumbing include eye injury from flying particles; slips, trips and falls, especially when working in wet environments; and burns from hot equipment parts, steam lines and the release of hot water or steam. Certainly, another work-related OH&S risk is the incorrect use of hand and power tools and without the proper personal protection equipment (PPE).
Therefore, Tjeka Training Matters insists that its learners only learn while using the best tools on the market. For example, the ARPL candidates had the opportunity to work with a range of Milwaukee power tools. Tjeka Training Matters has a longstanding partnership with Upat SA. Upat SA is the South African distributor of this leader in jobsite solutions that has a proud tradition of improving safety of users through product innovation.
Moreover, they received instruction in the correct use of Milwaukee power tools from Upat SA’s Donovan Roux. He immediately set the tone of his presentation by stressing the importance of OH&S on all worksites. This was also a sound opportunity to introduce the ARPL candidates to Milwaukee’s safety glasses and work and jobsite gloves, among the best in the market.
“It is important that before you even start working, you have your own and colleagues’ health and safety in mind. This includes ensuring that you are wearing the correct PPE and know how to correctly use our tools with all their safety features. We want all users of our power tools to be safe. Health and safety are on top of mind for Upat SA and Milwaukee and
this is a culture that we promote across the many worksites where our power tools are being used,” Roux said.
Frans Toua, Chief Executive Officer of Tjeka Training Matters, says, “Proper construction training includes a strong focus on OH&S. It is of grave concern that there has been a marked increase in the number of unqualified individuals performing plumbing work in the country. This places occupants of buildings and entire communities at risk. Moreover, without the correct skills, these individuals expose themselves and other members of their teams to the many risks associated with the profession. The employees who are completing the ARPL have received the best plumbing training which includes a strong focus on OH&S that is very much line with that of the organisations for which they work.”
The group of ARPL candidates included eight employees from Randfontein Local Municipality and three members of Anglo American’s staff, notably all women who want to develop their plumbing careers.
Tjeka Training Matters’ ARPL programme provides an alternative path for seasoned individuals to obtain a recognised qualification in various building- and civil-engineering construction trades. The ARPL programme has been identified as an important way of addressing a dire shortage of skilled tradespeople, including plumbers, in the country. Moreover, it is a way of absorbing talented individuals working in the informal sectors into the formal industries and, in this way, also driving transformation of the construction industry.