Equipment in the Workplace: What is a Certificate of Competency?

Equipment in the Workplace: What is a Certificate of Competency?

Imagine the following: a warehouse supervisor asks the first employee he sees to move a pallet from the aisle, where it’s in the way, onto the racking where it belongs. The employee is eager to impress and looks around for the nearest lift truck.

Scenarios like this are common. Yet, there is something missing. Something vital. If you identified that confirmation of competency is missing, give yourself a high five! The scenario is lacking a lot of details, but it never explicitly states whether or not the worker who is about to drive the lift truck is competent. When it comes to equipment operations, competency is key!

What is Competence?

Competence is: “having adequate or requisite abilities or qualities.” That definition applies to workplace safety in a general sense. But, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) offers a more detailed definition of competence in Section 1(1):

“Competent person means a person who,

  • Is qualified because of knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance,
  • Is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
  • Has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health and safety in the workplace;”

Training and competence go hand in hand. Why is training part of competence? Because being trained and competent may help reduce the instance of workplace accidents and injuries. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), lack of training or improper training is a leading contributing factor to lift truck accidents in Canada. Ensuring that all operators are competent will reduce the number of equipment accidents in the workplace, and it’s a is a key part of demonstrating due diligence.

Who Needs to be Competent?

Equipment operators need a certificate of competency for equipment inspection and operation. Certificates of competency are earned through successful completion of theoretical training and practical equipment evaluations.

To pass a practical evaluation, practice is essential. But, how can this be done without a competency certificate? Have a competent operator supervise less experienced workers while they practice safe operations. Remember, everybody must start somewhere. OSG recommends at least eight hours of experience handling equipment before having an evaluation.

How is Certificate of Competency Earned?

A certificate of competency is earned after successfully completing training. Equipment operators must also pass a practical evaluation on the equipment in their workplace. OSG offers theoretical training delivered on various platforms, and practical evaluations at your workplace. Or, theory training and practical evaluations can be facilitated by workers who hold a certificate of competency and who have completed an OSG Train-the-Trainer program.

To get more information about theoretical training, booking practical evaluations, or competency certificates, contact us.

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