Entura makes a welcome return to in-person and onsite dam safety training

May 20, 2021

Entura is continuing its efforts to educate and empower the water industry with a return to delivering in-person, onsite training thanks to the easing of COVID restrictions in Tasmania.

Entura’s clean energy and water institute (ECEWI) recently delivered its first in-person, onsite dam safety course at its Cambridge office in Tasmania since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eight participants from TasWater attended the ECEWI dam safety awareness refresher course, which included classroom training held at Entura’s dedicated training space. The training was conducted by Entura’s senior civil engineer and accredited trainer, Shao Ng.

Shao reinforced the participants’ awareness of key components of dam safety. Topics included identifying risks such as embankment dam erosion, seepage, turbidity, cracking, and concrete dam defects, as well as key items to inspect and possible remedial actions.

TasWater participants were also able to visit a dam site at Flagstaff Gully near Hobart to apply their classroom learning in the field.

“All the participants were keen to learn and update their skills throughout the classroom training, which was topped off with a practical site visit,” said Shao. “The training was a success, with immediate relevance to the participants’ daily jobs.”

This training course was the first of many upcoming onsite refresher training sessions that ECEWI will deliver for TasWater, with the aim of training 100 participants by the end of 2021.

“For TasWater, ECEWI can deliver training particularly efficiently as we have a longstanding and strong working relationship with TasWater, and know its assets very well through our ongoing projects,” said ECEWI’s Program Coordinator, Leesa deGroot.

These will be conducted through a mix of face-to-face onsite training and MS Teams theory sessions, with practical sessions to follow. This will allow more people to be involved at one time and reduce the impact on participants’ work requirements.

ECEWI also recently conducted an accredited training course in Launceston for TasWater, Tasmanian Irrigation and the TasWater Capital Delivery Office. The two-day course consisted of a day’s theory session, assessments to show competency in these areas, and a visit to a dam site where students could demonstrate practical competency. The three units of competency are mapped under the national water package. ECEWI is one of the few RTOs in Australia to run these skillset training packages.

As well as local and national training opportunities, ECEWI is currently organising a 15-day remote training program with participants in the Philippines, scheduled for August.

“This very large training program will cover many different disciplines and will be a challenge,” said Leesa, “however, we look forward to delivering remote training to this overseas cohort and continuing our contribution to a safer dams industry throughout the Indo-Pacific region, despite ongoing international COVID circumstances.”

In November 2020, ECEWI conducted a remote six-day seminar with the Malaysian National Committee on Large Dams (MYCOLD), which will be followed with an in-country training session in late 2021 in Malaysia, depending on the coronavirus circumstances at that time.

Offering tailored training to the power and water industry through ECEWI is one way in which Entura supports resilient infrastructure for sustainable communities,” said Amanda Ashworth, Entura’s Director of Strategy, Sales and Commercial.