Safe Workplace Mentoring at Waratah

Accordingly, since there is not going to be a classroom instruction component, we will rely on the use of experiential participation to convey the desired outcomes. By combining a key relationship for an individual employee with his or her mentor and focusing that mentor on both teaching good safety practices on-site as well as modeling the appropriate standards of safety, our plan will assist Waratah’s OHS committee in its quest to have the highest safety record in the industry.
The area of Waratah’s operations that will be targeted for the mentoring program will be the field service/machine maintenance section. We have selected this operational division because it takes place away from the company’s primary facility, and places workers in an environment that is outside of the control of Waratah’s management. The employee will be performing repair and maintenance tasks on Waratah’s equipment that is located at a customer’s job site and the implementation of a mentor will help to prepare the employee to face unknown workplace conditions while efficiently and effectively repairing the mining machines.
Teaching. The mentor will be required to be a teacher of safe workplace practices. Waratah has a good safety record and has developed an effective OHS structure. The mentoring component will enhance the program by recruiting qualified supervisors from within the company to be teachers of safe behavior. The qualifications to be a mentor will be that the individual must be a supervisor or higher-ranked member of the management team, must have been with the company for at least one year, must have a good rapport with employees, and must undergo a mentor training regimen of classes that prepare the mentor for accurately relaying information in the workplace setting while retaining an amicable relationship with the employee. This combination of technical skills and people skills will be the foundation for the program.
Modeling. In addition to teaching employees, the mentor will be required to model safe behavior at all times. Over the course of the mentor-led visits to repair equipment at customer sites, the mentor will not just tell the employee how to be safe, but will demonstrate safe practices so that the employee learns good OHS practices both inductively and deductively. The mentor will be expected to instruct the employee on assessing site conditions and engaging in safe repair practices, but will be expected to demonstrate a safety mindset at all times.
Organization. Further, the mentor will organize the learning process for the employee by focusing upon maintaining a good working relationship at all times, having a prescribed number of mentor-led site visits, conducting specific repair exercises, and generally demonstrating the value of always thinking about safety. Once the mentor is satisfied that the employee is properly trained, the employee will be certified to conduct customer site repairs without direct supervision.
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