A partnership between Vertical Horizonz (VHNZ), and Meridian Energy is delivering life-saving emergency response training to the Meridian workforce in a bid to reduce serious workplace injuries.
As the largest workplace health and safety training provider in Aotearoa, VHNZ’s partnership and collaboration with Meridian Energy, adapts emergency training for some
of New Zealand’s most high-risk workforce.
Marcus Bathan, VHNZ Chief Operating Officer, says the partnership between the two organisations reflects a deep, mutual commitment to the safety of their people.
“Our company was founded to empower individuals, organisations and industries. We want all New Zealanders to be able to access the tools they need to survive and thrive in their industry of choice. We play our part in this by delivering real training that saves lives,” he says.
“Our values greatly align with those of Meridian, and this has enabled us to work together to significantly upskill their workforce with a practical, purposeful training regime, which includes real-time scenarios that put their learnings to the test,” says Bathan.
A recent training scenario saw Meridian employees perform a difficult rescue of a seriously injured worker requiring medical assistance, followed by a traumatic traffic incident with multiple casualties.
“Real-life accidents don’t follow the rules from a textbook. They’re dynamic, challenging events that require a high level of training and continuous practice. The most effective first responders are those who draw on their training while operating on instinct,” says Bathan.
Bobby Ball, Health and Safety Business Partner Meridian Energy and Principal Co-ordinator, said that Meridian needed quality training that was tailored and fit-for-purpose.
“Meridian identified targeted training as one of our top critical risk controls and VHNZ have proven they can deliver quality training that can really make a difference in a real-life emergency,” he says.
“Through this training, we put a hefty focus on the unique set of problems a wind farm and a wind turbine pose. These problems range from limited access, extreme weather conditions, restricted access to medical assistance, limited rescue team members, and height risk to name a few.
“Accidents happen. And when they happen in the workplace and involve high-risk work, we need to have the best training to ensure our people can navigate a serious accident without causing further harm,” says Ball.
Ball believes that working in collaboration with VHNZ is an investment in the future of the company’s workforce.
“With the ongoing training support from VHNZ in place, we know our Meridian team will be going home safely to their whānau at the end of each day – that’s a huge comfort to every member of our organisation and a benefit that you can’t put a price on. This goes further beyond the workplace with our staff having the confidence to step up to use their first aid skills in their communities as well,” says Ball.
Trainee, Etienne Mostert says the training received and the final day out in the field practising the skills in a real-life situation was invaluable.
“I’m much more confident in my abilities to respond to a serious accident after our training scenario. You never know how you’ll act in a situation like that – but now I feel like I could not only handle the stress but also be an effective team member by providing life-saving help to someone in need,” he says.