A common belief is that EEHA Refresher training is mandatory every 2 years.
This is Not True! There is no specified interval requirement when it comes to EEHA refresher training. It is recommended by many organisations but not mandatory. If you ask me, I will do a CPR refresher every year, not because it is mandatory, but because I would like to know what to do in the event of an emergency when someone needs CPR. If I am working in Electrical or any construction industry, then the chances of me or my co-worker needing CPR is higher in comparison to someone working in an office environment.
Similarly, EEHA refresher, like any other refresher training, should be done regularly to keep up to date with the changes in regulation. Another thing to do would be an AS 3000 refresher but no one seems to be interested in it as it’s not recommended by companies or the licencing board.
EEHA Refresher Helps Keep Risk at Bay
The myth about EEHA refresher being mandatory probably started with an RTO that wanted to get recurring students. Doing a refresher is always a good thing but if tradesmen do not decide to do it themselves, or do not take pride in their work, then the industry will sometimes make it mandatory as Hazardous area work is a high-risk work environment. It is better to refresh and be safe than regret and have an accident because someone didn’t pick up on the fact that an Exp equipment was installed in Zone 0.
Recommendations as per EEHA Standards
AS/NZS/IEC 60079.14 only states that “appropriate continuing education or training shall be undertaken by personnel on a regular basis” The term regular basis can be decided by the industry, your organisation, your recruitment agency, safety board. Every profession needs to have continual professional development. As mentioned earlier, some tradesmen do it by themselves and some must be forced to do it. It is not easy for your Company or the insurance company to determine that you have been investing your time in professional development. They would require a third party e.g., an RTO like Ausinet who would do the training and test your knowledge and certify that you are competent. This letter or certificate is then used by your company to feel confident about your knowledge and comply with their safety policies.
EEHA Refresher Online or Offline
This training could be done online or face-to-face or over zoom/skype/teams etc. It is not how you do the training that matters, but it is the judgement made by the RTO that you are still competent, and your skills are current.
EEHA Refresher Training Duration
EEHA refresher training typically takes one day for someone who is in the industry and is working in a Hazardous Area environment every day. It could take longer for someone who has not been in the industry for a couple of years or has been on a break. Remember it is not the duration but the competence that matters. We have all worked with that odd electrician who did his 4 years but has no clue. We have all seen drivers that make us question how they ever passed the driving test. All I can say is take pride in what you do and keeping up to date with your profession will become a hobby and an enjoyable journey.