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Investigating the acceptability of computer based training for local authority health and safety enforcement officer training

Murphy, RG, Ford, NJ and Casstles, H 2002, 'Investigating the acceptability of computer based training for local authority health and safety enforcement officer training' , Journal of Environmental Health Research, 1 (2) , pp. 13-20.

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Abstract

In 1996 the Health and Safety Commission issued guidance to Local Authorities which included a requirement that they had a trained and competent inspectorate. Considerable interpretative skills are required in the implementation and enforcement of health and safety legislation and the recent report by the Better Regulation Task Force on Enforcement (Cabinet Office, 1999) emphasises the importance of a trained and competent inspectorate, particularly with regard to consistency of approach. This paper reports on research commissioned by the Local Authority Unit of the Health and Safety Executive to investigate the role emerging technologies can play in assisting Local Authorities to achieve a trained and competent inspectorate, and to assess the acceptability of computer based training as a delivery medium for Local Authority health and safety enforcement officers. Three computer based training packages were developed and piloted within LAs. The packages were delivered through different forms of computer technology, namely floppy disk, CD-ROM and the Internet. Fifty nine enforcement officers tested the packages and were asked detailed questions regarding the ability of the media to deliver effective training in terms of its reliability, usability and flexibility. In addition, line managers from twelve of the LAs which had participated in the pilot were questioned regarding the acceptability and economic viability of delivering health and safety enforcement training in this way. All three packages were enthusiastically received by both trainees and managers. The findings demonstrate that computer based training (CBT) can provide an effective means of delivery of health and safety training to enforcement staff in the workplace and has the facility (assuming the content remains current) to enable several groups to be trained over a period of time. However it is also important to recognise the demands which CBT introduces, both to the trainees and their managers. Shifting to workplace training requires systems to organise and oversee the achievement of learning objectives as trainees progress through the programme( s) offered. Failure to recognise the resources and support required in managing workplace training may result in alienation and a failure to achieve the learning objectives set.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: computer based training, environmental health, health and safety enforcement officers, internet, professional development, work based training, web based training
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA075 Electronic computers. Computer science > QA076 Computer software
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Environmental Health Research
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 14760932
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2007 09:48
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:49
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/629

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