MB Century says the Competency Assurance Programme it introduced during the past year has changed the firm’s approach to quantifying employee-related risks on work sites, the way it conducts health and safety training and has also improved project planning, staff availability and lowered overall costs.
Development of the system has involved more than 10,000 work hours, training of 28 assessors and the completion of more than 3,000 individual assessments to date.
MB Century says the aim of the initiative was to meet the requirements of new health and safety legislation and to advance the development of its employees. It says the project has also achieved a paradigm shift in which training and experience are understood to be key precursors to achieving competence, rather than ends in themselves.
MB Century says it wanted to achieve a tangible reduction in employee-related risk. The system also had to align with its existing Safe Work Method Statement procedures, provide comprehensive real-time reporting, and provide a one-stop shop for all internal and external training activities and their related competency records.
MB Century is one of the largest drilling and energy services providers in the region. Training benchmarks were not available for most of the specialist tasks carried out by the company so the competency assessment systems were developed in-house.
That process involved mapping all the key tasks in each of the firm’s departments, assigning them roles and grades and developing assessment documentation that would review staff knowledge and task competency.
That resulted in three maps setting out the training and experience required for a safe operator, a competent operator and a qualified operator - the required evidence for compliance with the soon to be introduced Health and Safety Reform Bill.
The PeopleStreme system was selected as the most suitable software, and was available to all staff. The system fully integrates all employee competencies into one. Employees can take ownership and even self-instigate training requests and competency assessment through the system.
MB Century says safety competency training is being applied consistently across all roles. The company has also benefited from the greater evidence available to support rig and project staff selections, less frequent disruptions to work crews than the previous blanket two-yearly refresher training, and simplified project tendering and staff planning.
Employees benefit from comprehensive records of all competencies achieved and supervisors can identify competency gaps to direct training and progression of staff.
MB Century says all decision-making in the system and its application has been documented into policy and procedure, so builds on the company’s previous health and safety improvement strategy.
The company says it is not aware of any pre-existing indicators for competency performance in the energy sector, and feels it is now ‘ahead of the curve’ in this area.
The Health and Safety Initiative of the Year award category is sponsored by the Electricity Networks’ Association