The Importance of Health and Safety Training

All work-related activities will at some point expose employees to some form of hazard, these hazards could include but not limited to:

  • Loads which have to be manually handled
  • Working with hazardous substances
  • Working at height (this may even be ground level where the potential of falling in to something exists)
  • Fire safety

New statistics from the HSE show that 147 people were killed whilst at work in the UK in 2018/19. Working at Height still remains the biggest cause of workplace fatalities in the UK with 40 people in 2018/19.

Every employee and every self-employed person is entitled to work in a safe and healthy environment where the risks within that workplace have been assessed and are managed accordingly. The management of health & safety within the workplace lies directly with the employer.

Training can play a vital part in reducing the risk of a workplace accident. Providing effective health and safety training will help to ensure that the people who work for you know how to work safely and without causing risk to themselves or others. As defined Under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty to provide training for their employees to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, their health and safety at work”.

Who needs health and safety training?

You do! Whether you are an employer or self-employed, are you sure that you’re up to date with how to identify the hazards and control the risks from your work activities?

Do you know what you have to do about consulting with your employees on health and safety issues? If not, you would benefit from some health and safety training.

Your managers and supervisors do! If you employ managers or supervisors they need to know what you expect from them in terms of health and safety and how you expect them to deliver.

They may also require training in the specific hazards of your processes and how you expect the risks to be controlled.

Your employees do! Everyone who works for you including self-employed personnel need to know how to work safely. Like your supervisors, they need to know about your health and safety policy, your arrangements for implementing it, and the part they play. They also need to know how they can raise any health and safety concerns with you.

Contractors and self-employed people who may be working for you do! Remember, these people might not be familiar with your working environment and safety systems that you have put in place for regular employees.

You should:

  • Take into account the capabilities, training, knowledge and experience of workers; and
  • Ensure that the demands of the job do not exceed their ability to carry out their work without risk to themselves and others.

Some employees may have particular training needs, for example:

  • New recruits will require basic induction training into how to work safely, including arrangements for first aid, fire, accident reporting and evacuations etc.;
  • People changing jobs or taking on extra responsibilities need to know about any new health and safety implications relevant to the role;
  • Young employees are particularly vulnerable to accidents and you need to pay particular attention to their needs, therefor their training should be a priority. It is also important that new, inexperienced or young employees are adequately supervised at all times;

How can I do it?

Firstly, you should show your commitment so that the people being trained recognise that the training is important. Whether the training you require is specialist i.e. First Aid, Fire Warden/ Extinguisher etc. or online training i.e. fire awareness, manual handing, asbestos awareness etc. HR Services Scotland can assist with your training needs.

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