By Aimee Chanthadavong

The Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has released a new interactive learning simulation to change the way service station operators are trained to handle dangerous goods and respond to incidents such as fuel spills at work.

AACS received funding under the WorkCover Assist Grants Program to develop the free online simulation in November 2009 and partnered with simulation and software development SimSkill to deliver the program.

Sheryle Moon, AACS executive director, told Retailbiz that the program will be a step up from the current procedure that is used to handle dangerous goods.

“I think it’s fair to say that text-base learning doesn’t stick with people. So what we’ve done is develop a simulation program, like a computer program, and by developing and rolling it out the retention level will be much greater. It combines video, audio and text together which will get better attention then if only text was used alone.”

In WorkCover’s audits from 2008-09, it found that there were 800 dangerous good incidents at convenience stores with 81 related to fire, 405 were LPG leaks and 315 were fuel spills.

“Most organisations have a procedure sheet as a requirement from NSW WorkCover which indicates that all employees are trained in handling dangerous goods,” Moon said.

“The best we can do is train our employees and train them properly and then of course WorkCover will continue to do its audit and we expect a lower number of incidents in 2011-12.”

The program has been rolled out in NSW and will be expanding into other states over the next 12 to 24 months.