Today’s business environment seems to be such that it encourages employees to sue – what have they got to lose? The burden rests on the employer to prove that they are not liable for an accident, and in this respect, every business should not only provide adequate training for its employees as a preventative measure, but also ensure that it has been documented … no records = no defence!
Training is one of the most important aspects of health and safety, whether it be in-house or external. We see an ever increasing number of cases where fines and/or compensations are awarded because of insufficient training.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires the employer 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.
This is expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which 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.
There are no set requirements as to how, where, when or what but we have found the following to be a very good starting point.
- Induction Training: This is given as soon as a new person starts and should cover First Aid and Fire Safety arrangements as well as reporting procedure for accidents/incidents/near misses and general health and safety arrangements.
- Task Specific Health and Safety Training: This is given as part of the normal task training and will include Risk and COSHH assessments and controls in place, and will normally be given over the first couple of weeks.
- General Health and Safety training: Normally given within the first 3 months and should give staff a general understanding of health and safety over and above what has been covered in Task Specific Health and Safety training.
- Health and Safety update training: This is given as and when changes have taken place with tasks (changes to Risk or COSHH assessments) or where legislations have changed.
- Refresher training: Refresher training should be given, at regular intervals, to ensure staff’s health, safety and welfare. This can either be done through ongoing Toolbox Talks or through time-set General Health and Safety training (such as yearly, every 2 years, every 3 years etc).
- Records: Records must be kept of all information, instruction or training given as this is part of your defence against any prosecution/compensation claims. Get the staff involved by signing off the record as well.
We are now offering E-Learning through our website on the most ‘must have’ subjects.
They can be bought individually through the website, or to qualify for a 25% discount (minimum purchase of 2 or more), please send an email to email@example.com – this offer is valid for a period of 1 month (end of March).