Keeping a safe and healthy workplace is essential for any business, no matter its size. To ensure that safety standards are met, employers must provide health and safety training to their staff. This training can help employees understand their responsibilities to work safely and how to follow safe systems of work, and thus reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
In this blog, we’ll look at the importance of health and safety at work training, its benefits, and how to create a training plan. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the importance of health and safety at work and how to ensure it is well-provided for in your workplace.
What is health and safety at work training?
Health and safety at work training is any form of instruction or guidance provided to employees to help them understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to health and safety. It should also provide essential information about key health and safety issues in the workplace and on safe working practice for instance instruction on first aid, fire safety, hazardous materials, and other safety topics.
It is important to ensure that employees understand and follow all health and safety protocols and procedures.
This training can be provided in a variety of ways, from classroom-style lectures to remote training, online courses, videos, and handouts.
Decide what training your organisation needs
Your training should be tailored to the specific needs of the workplace. For example, employees who work in hazardous environments may require more extensive training than employees who work in a standard office setting.
Employers should also consider the unique needs of their employees. Young, inexperienced staff, new recruits or people changing jobs for instance, may all have particular, additional training needs.
The goal of the training is to ensure that employees are aware of the risks of their job and know what steps to take to protect themselves and their colleagues from harm.
Why is health and safety at work training important?
Health and safety at work training is essential for any business. Not only does it help keep employees safe, but it can also help employers meet regulatory requirements and avoid costly fines and lawsuits.
When employees are properly trained on health and safety at work, they can identify potential risks, take appropriate steps to avoid them, and respond promptly to any incidents. This can help prevent accidents, illnesses, and injuries and ensure that the workplace is safe for everyone.
Health and safety at work training can provide numerous benefits to employers and employees alike.
Here are just a few of the advantages of providing health and safety at work training:
- Reduce the risk of accidents, illnesses, and injuries
- Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations
- Increase employee morale and motivation by demonstrating your commitment to their welfare
- Improve productivity
- Enhance the reputation of the company
- Protect the company from costly fines and penalties
Common hazards your staff need to be aware of
By informing your staff about hazards, you can help them understand the risks posed by their job. Common health and safety hazards which your employees should be aware of include:
- Slips and trips – the most common of all workplace accidents
- Falls from height – these are the most common cause of workplace fatalities
- Ergonomic hazards such as incorrect use of display screen equipment
- Repetitive strain injuries which often arise from manual handling tasks
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Noise-induced hearing loss
- Electrical shock
What are the regulations?
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers 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 employees.
This is expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These identify situations where health and safety training is particularly important, eg when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating.
How to create an effective training plan
The first step is to ensure your workplace risk assessment is up to date. This will help you identify risks associated with each job role.
List and prioritise your training needs
Have a realistic timeline for completion.
Decide on the most suitable training method
For instance do you want to use a live trainer, an in-house course, a virtual training course, synchronous or asynchronous learning? Will you assign in-house trainers? if so, do they have the right level of competency? If not, you should outsource to an external, specialist training company?
Motivate employees to participate in their health and safety training. This can be done by providing recognition for safety achievements for instance as part of their professional development.
Make sure everyone has the right level of information
Remember to adopt a proportionate approach suitable for the level of risk in your type of business. For instance, a low risk office environment is going to have different requirements to a high risk construction site.
The information should include hazards (things that could cause them harm), risks (the chances of that harm occurring), measures in place to deal with those hazards and risks, and how to follow any emergency procedures:
- Remember, some employees will have additional training requirements for instance, new recruits, young employees or people changing role.
- Safety reps, supervisors and managers require a level of training which reflects their responsibilities.
- Ask your workers if the training is relevant and effective.
- Keep a record of training and plan for refresher training where necessary.
Health and Safety Training Courses
There are a variety of courses available to help employers provide health and safety at work training.
Here are a few of the most popular options:
Health and safety at work training is essential for any business. It can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, and protect the company from costly fines and lawsuits. To ensure a safe workplace, employers must create a health and safety at work training plan and implement it using the steps outlined above.
There are numerous courses and resources available to help employers provide health and safety at work training. With the right training plan and resources, employers can ensure their employees are safe and their workplace is compliant with health and safety regulations.