Why is health and safety training important?
Accidents, injuries and health problems associated with work not only leads to pain and suffering, but it also has huge financial costs. Therefore best practice is to make health and safety a priority. That way you can better protect your staff and your business.
To do this, you need to have your health and safety policies in place and one key consideration must be staff training. By ensuring staff have the right sort of training, you can greatly reduce the risk of work-related accidents and ill-health occurring.
What are the benefits of health and safety training?
Who needs health and safety training?
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires you to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of your employees.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 expand on this by identifying when there is a particular need for training for instance when a new staff member starts work. Often employers find the best way to deliver training is to outsource it to competent H&S experts.
Who is responsible for health and safety training?
Ultimately the employer is the person responsible for health and safety in the workplace.
As an employer, you need to know how to identify hazards in the workplace and how to control and manage risk. A ‘competent person’ can help here. This is someone who has sufficient training and has the skills and knowledge needed to assist you in managing health and safety. You could consider appointing a competent person from within your workforce, or, alternatively you might look to outsource this. If you appoint internally, there are Health and Safety Competent Person training courses available to ensure the right level of competence for your business.
Everyone who works in your organisation is entitled to be able to carry out their work safely and without risks to their health.
All staff have a duty of care towards themselves and anyone else who may be affected. It is the responsibility of the employees to cooperate with employers and with co-workers to help everyone carry out their work safely and without risk to their health.
A minimum requirement is to appoint a person to take charge of first aid arrangements. This person will be responsible for looking after first aid equipment and calling emergency services if it is needed.
There is no regulatory requirement for an appointed person to undertake first aid training. In fact, it is important to know that a ‘first aid appointed person’ is not a ‘first aider’ and therefore should not attempt to give first aid unless they have been trained.
Fire Wardens/Fire Marshals
As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to ensure you have trained fire wardens or fire marshals. The number you need depends on a number of factors including the number of staff and the layout/size of the premises.
If you are in doubt, a Fire Risk Assessment will help you establish your organisation’s requirements.