This brief health and safety training guide for the workplace will outline the steps that you need to take to make sure that your employees will receive the appropriate health and safety training for their position. In this guide, you will find information on who needs training, what form this training should take and how you can organise it as an employer. Also, if you are an employee or a representative of one – you might find this guide helpful.

The Importance of Health and Safety Training

Health and safety training is not just about taking a formal course in a classroom – it is about making sure that employees know what they should or should not do. It is about coaching employees so that they lean how to do things safely and correctly.

What are some of the advantages of providing health and safety training to your employees?

It is your legal duty to protect the health of your employees, so offering training is not only advantageous – it is essential.

Your Legal Requirements

You are required by law to ensure that your employees receive whatever training is necessary (as long as it is reasonably practicable) to ensure their safety at work – according to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.

In addition to this, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999 has identified the situations in which education is most important. These situations include when a new employee starts work, when an employee is first exposed to a new risk, or when the skills of the employee may need updating.

Many employers are not able to provide this training themselves, so they hire a consultant to provide specialist help. There are many different independent consultants to choose from, offering high quality training in a number of different formats.

According to the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations of 1977 and the Health and Safety Relations (Consultation with Employees) of 1996 – it is necessary that you consult employees on health and safety issues. Any representatives who are appointed for your staff under these regulations should be entitled to time off from work with pay, so that they can receive training for these duties.

Also, it is important to note that any students who are completing their work experience are covered by law – as established by the Health and Safety Regulations (Training for Employment) of 1990.

Of course, your workplace might be subjected to other specific regulations that are related to your business, such as asbestos concerns or different types of workplace first aid training.

Self Employed People

If you have someone working under your control and direction, yet they are considered self-employed when it comes to tax and national insurance purposes, they will still be considered your employee when it comes to health and safety. It is important to take the required actions so that you can ensure their safety while carrying out work for you. Of course, each case will need to be decided by a court of law – so when you are employing workers on this basis it is recommended to seek legal advice to make sure you know where you stand.

Who is Health and Safety Training For?

Training isn’t just important for employers, it is crucial for everyone in the workplace – including you, whether you are an employee, manager or contractor.

Employers

It is important for employers to be aware of training and regulations, so that they can identify and control the risks and hazards associated with their work. Also, employers should know how to get help from a local Chamber of Commerce, a trade association or a health and safety enforcing authority. It is crucial for employees to understand their responsibilities when it comes to consulting their employees on related issues.

Managers and Supervisors

It is also important for managers and supervisors to understand health and safety, so that they can manage employees in a safe way. They might also need to have training in specific hazards that are related to your industry and how to control these risks. They need to be very well informed when it comes to practices in the workplace, so that they can pass on this knowledge to the employees that they are in charge of supervising.

Employees

Every employee needs to understand how to work safely and carry out their tasks without risking their health. They should be aware of your health and safety policy and their place in it. Also, employees should know that they can come to you if they have any concerns. An “open door” policy should be in place when it comes to safety and employees should feel comfortable expressing their concerns with you.

Any Contractors or Self Employed People Working for You

If a temporary contractor or self-employed person is working for you, you are responsible for their health and safety. Keep in mind that they might not be familiar with the hazards in your particular working environment, so they need to be informed of the specific safety systems you have in place. Make sure that these types of contractors and temporary workers are given a safety briefing and that their safety in the workplace is being monitored. The CCNSG Safety Passport is suitable for contractors requiring basic knowledge, SSSTS for site supervisors and the SMSTS for site managers.

Your Responsibilities

What are your responsibilities when it comes to the workplace? First of all, you need to:

How to Be a Positive Leader

The first step is to make health and safety a priority in your workplace – demonstrating that you are committed to ensuring the safety of your employees. If you need to, you can appoint a consultant who can assist you. Remember, you need to provide training during working hours and it should never be at the expense of your employees. This might mean that you need to make special arrangements for your shift workers or part timers.

Determine the Appropriate Training

What Are Your Most Important Training Priorities?

Finding the Right Training Resources

You can choose to hire an external training provider, or provide the training in house, depending on your needs. There are many options out there for the format of your training, from open and distance learning to classroom training to giving information or instruction or even computer based and interactive e-learning.

Don’t forget to consider workers who might not speak English as a first language, workers with poor literacy skills and those with disabilities such as hearing loss or sight impairment. A different method of learning or translated materials might be necessary in this situation to ensure that all employees are able to receive the important safety information.

There are many resources out there that you could use when providing health and safety information to your employees. These include trade unions, National Occupational Standards, private training organisations, further education colleges, independent consultants, employer bodies or bodies that award qualifications. If you decide that you need help from external sources, these are all great resources for training.

Delivering the Training

Once you have determined the resource that you will use to provide your company with health and safety training, make sure that your employees will understand the information and that a number of methods are used to put the message across. Also, make sure that if you hire a training provider they have the resources that are needed, a suitable venue and enough time to prepare themselves.

Checking In that the Training Has Worked

After providing your employees with training, it is important to check in and make sure that the training has actually worked.

As an employer, it is not just recommended but absolutely essential that you do everything reasonably practicable in order to ensure that your workers are informed about safety practices. You have a responsibility to protect their health – so that they can carry out their work without risk of accident or injury.