Fifty-seven Early Childhood Education (ECE) trainee teachers recently completed an in-house training onOccupational Health and Safety Awareness conducted by the Fiji National University’s (FNU) National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC).
 
The second year students are enrolled into FNU’s Bachelors in Education for Early Childhood completed the one day training at their respective campuses.
 
ECE programme coordinator Sangeeta Jattan said teachers work with young children and they need to ensure that their learning environment is OHS compliant for the safety of the students.  
 
“OHS training is part of our curriculum. This is an assignment task for EDU635: Physical Development Health and Wellbeing,” Jattan said.
 
The OHS modules I -II comprise of OHS training that is legally required under the Health & Safety at Work (Training) Regulations 1997.
 
Module I is designed to provide health and safety reps as well as all workers with information and provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) 1996. Module II provides information on key areas in OHS Technology namely, manual handling, ergonomics, industrial noise, machinery guarding and physical, biological and chemical hazards.
 
Director NTPC, Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata said the Centre conducted short courses in a diverse range of areas through its three formal training divisions: Division of Business and Information Technology, Division of Executive Management and Hospitality Services and the Division of Technical Training.
 
He said the OHS programme (Module I and II) has been gaining momentum with interests shown from various divisions and departments within the University as well as other organisations who have requested public classes and in-house training.
 
Dr Tagicakiverata said OHS is the responsibility of all workers, and they should all be able to identify potential hazards in the workplace and prevent injury.
 
OHS Senior Instructor Mohseen Dean said more organisations were becoming aware that improved workplace conditions and higher productivity go together. 
 
He said OHS was linked closely with developments in managing workplace safety and health through the joint initiative of employers and workers.
 
“Organisations are sending their teams across to be trained on the modules and other related OHS courses. We have just completed OHS awareness training for the ECE trainee teachers. These teachers should be able to go into their schools to implement and practice what they have learnt from the training,” Dean said.
 
“In the last public OHS Modules I and II training for January,  I had 24 participants from various organisations. The numbers are increasing and this is a positive sign of companies becoming aware of the importance of OHS in a workplace.”
 
The NTPC is mandated to spearhead skills training in Fiji and provides in-service trainings and consultancies, offering more than 2000 short to medium courses each year with the objective to continuously build a healthy national workforce.
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