In Australia, A White Card is A Necessity
Construction sites can often place people at risk. Numerous hazards are present in these areas, that is why health and safety precautions dealing with these risks must be put into place and thoroughly followed at all times.
To work in construction sites and to do construction activities is always risky and dangerous. It can’t be avoided for any worker to put himself and his co-workers at risk while carrying out his job. So as to avoid accidents, harms and injuries to occur, it is best for all persons working in construction sites to go through an intensive training, such as the Construction Induction Training or simply known as the ‘white card training’.
According to the Workplace Health and Safety Legislation of Australia, all persons working under the construction industry must complete the white card training course and get a White Card. White card courses can be completed online (on the internet) or in a traditional classroom based training. If taken face-to-face, the law requires the training to take no less than 6 hours. However, if the training is obtained online, training doesn’t have any limit in time and length, since you have the freedom to complete the course on your own preferences. White card courses discuss duty of care, safety on construction sites and environment, proper emergency procedures, WH&S act, health and safety laws, appropriate behaviours in construction areas, management of risks, identification of hazards and threats, WH&S reporting processes and communication methods, safety plans, WH&S officers, to name a few.
The cost of white card training generally depends on the training provider, since each has their own breakdown of the cost and expenses. Nevertheless, white card online training is around $40 – $80 while in person training may cost a little higher.
As soon as a participant is done with the training and has successfully passed the assessment, a white card shall is issued. It will certify that the beholder is capable of working in a construction site and handle any task safely and with lesser risk of harm and danger. The previous construction induction cards of some states and territories of Australia, such as the green, red and blue card, have now been replaced by the new white card. Yet, old induction cards are still accepted. All construction site workers present in the field must carry their white card with them at all times. Although the white card may seem just like any other ID or card, it is the only document that can verify your completion of the white card training. Any person or worker is not allowed to visit or enter construction sites without being able to present a white card (even if you have one that you have just left at home). Visitors may enter as long as they are accompanied by any individual with a white card.
But the most common question is, do I still need to get the new white card even if I have completed the course before and I already own an induction card? The new white card was put into place so as to harmonize the construction induction training in all Australian state and territories. It aims to provide successful participants with a nationally recognized white card. Certainly, a nationally recognized white card widens your career opportunities since you are able to work anywhere in the country. The older induction cards are still accepted, but they are only recognized in the specific state or territory where you have accomplished them.
If you weren’t able to work in construction for at least 24 months (2 years), you are also obliged to re-take the construction induction training wherein this time, upon successful completion, you shall receive the new National White Card. Without this card, you are not allowed to obtain work in construction sites, regardless of your experience and construction skills.