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Mobile Classroom: A travelling safety road show

When workers are unable to leave the jobsite to attend a health and safety course, IHSA can come to them.

IHSA understands that sending course participants away for a day or more of training may take them away from their work for too long. That’s why it maintains a mobile classroom that can be driven to any worksite. Workers can receive valuable training and take only a minimal amount of time away from their job to do it.

IHSA’s Mobile Classroom travels to worksites and company facilities all over Ontario, bringing health and safety training and subject-matter experts right to the workers and supervisors who want to receive training. The various courses that can be taught in this mobile facility range in length from an hour to half a day.

Inside the climate-controlled interior of the trailer, you’ll find chairs, a podium, and audio-visual equipment. Trainer Peter Bervoets conducts a variety of courses in the Mobile Classroom, including

  • Basic Electrical Safety
  • Aggregate Safety
  • Pre-trip Inspection
  • Young and New Worker Safety Awareness
  • WHMIS
  • Mobile Crane Operator 0-8 Ton
  • Lift Truck Operator
  • Lift Truck Safety for Construction

The Mobile Classroom also offers Site-Specific Hazard Awareness Training, a unique program that looks at site-specific hazards on a particular worksite, shows how workers are working with these hazards, and then provides training on how to reduce these hazards. This course is based on the needs of the particular company. Many companies see the value in this option and use it frequently. In 2010 more than 6,000 workers were able to take advantage of the IHSA Mobile Classroom.

Before the session, Peter tours the jobsite and takes videos that illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the site. He makes sure not to identify individual workers but rather to show work practices that either serve as examples to be followed or that could be improved.

Then he presents his training session in the Mobile Classroom, showing the participants what he saw on the worksite. This is a great chance to see real examples of the hazards in day-to-day operations.

A recent participant in one of the hazard awareness sessions was Mike Roccasalva, who is the residential high-rise manager with Structform International. The session he attended took place in downtown Toronto, where Peter pulled the mobile classroom up to the site of a new condominium being built.

“What I like about the program is the mobility. IHSA comes to the site and everyone has an opportunity to go through the classroom,” he says. Not only is this convenient for companies, but in Mike Roccasalva’s view being able to use actual scenarios from the worksite is a helpful tool in guiding firms to emphasize health and safety.

“There is a tremendous value in this. The way the instructor presents himself and the video that was taken that day and or the day before makes it real for people. The men can relate by seeing their workplace on video and recognizing what is right and wrong about their work practices. The instructor makes us feel like he is one of us and not just an authority when he points out what’s good or bad. The men can then either pat themselves on the back or discipline themselves as they leave the classroom.”

The Mobile Classroom is available year round, but it gets booked up quickly. And it’s first-come, first-served.

For more information, please call IHSA Customer Service at 905-625-0100 or toll-free at 1-800-263-5024.

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