Despite rumours that the current government is keen to reduce the burden of health and safety on businesses, the issues around good health and safety practices in the workplace continue to be relevant to firms of any size across the UK.
Providing adequate training ensures that people working for you are equipped to work safely without risking their own health or affecting that of fellow workers or customers. Training also creates a positive attitude to health and safety issues, promoting good working practices and ensuring that your company remains compliant with relevant legislation.
Apart from legal requirements good training and implementation of appropriate practices can help to reduce time lost to illness as a result of accidents, saving considerable amounts of money.
Primary Health and Safety Legislation
The current primary legislation in relation to workplace safety is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This has been amended and expanded by subsequent legislation, in particular the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’. This legislation creates a more detailed H&S framework and identifies key points where training should be implemented.
What Training and When?
Generally the most common time to introduce Health and Safety training is when new employees start working for you. The Health and Safety training can be part of an overall training or induction package or a separate section, depending on the level of risk within your industry. Additionally training should be implemented when existing employees take on new roles or are likely to be exposed to new, or heightened, levels of risk in their day-to-day abilities.
Training can be undertaken by your own staff or by private training companies who offer accredited courses. For small firms the ability to deliver your own training is often limited and outsourcing Health and Safety training is a common and practical solution.
All employees are required to be responsible for their own and others’ safety and this requirement applies to managers, supervisors and business owners too.
NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety courses are nationally recognised qualifications and are ideal as an introduction to workplace health and safety. More specific courses including those relating to fire risk management and for specific industries, such as catering or construction, there are a range of suitable NEBOSH courses from established training providers which should be considered by firms whose employees work in these fields.
Safe Places and Positive Vibes
While basic training can be provided by employers the advantage of nationally recognised qualifications is important. The NEBOSH General Certificate provides a greater understanding of the legal framework and responsibilities of both employees and employers and they tend to foster a positive, proactive attitude in your workforce towards the regulations and the need for good practice.
Occupational health should not be underestimated by employers, in terms of potential costs and adequate training should always be a key priority.