Health and safety training

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Having your workforce suitably trained and competent to do their job is a key duty for any employer. It is important that employees know what they are doing so that they are able to work as safely as possible.  In fact, this duty is set out in law, in Section 2 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.  This requirement within the Act states that one of the duties of an employer is to provide ‘any required information, instruction, training and supervision’ for their workforce.

There are a range of people who will need health and safety training within an organisation as follows:

  • Firstly, leaders within a business may need training to identify and understand their legal responsibilities. This will include understanding which elements of health and safety (H&S) legislation apply and advice on how to manage the risks employees and customers are likely to be exposed to. This training should also explain how to develop a robust safety culture and will discuss the ‘Plan, Do, Check Act’ model described within the HSE’s guide HSG65 (Managing for Health and Safety).
  • Managers will also require training on identifying the hazards that may exist within their business and then how best to develop suitable control measures in managing these risks.
  • Also all staff will require information about how to work safely and how to raise concerns about any issue they may be concerned about.
  • Additionally, specific training may be required for any contractors coming into your organisation so that they are familiar with the risks they may be exposed to as well as making sure that their activities don’t affect anyone. They will also need to know about any rules or arrangements for managing safety.

What to Consider:

Induction training.  All staff should receive health and safety Induction Training when they start working for you.  This should be specific to where they work and should give them information about where to go to if they need further information and what to do in the event of an accident or emergency situation.

Specific health and safety training.  Some employees, as part of their work, will need specific safety training, such the Fire Wardens and First Aid staff.  This will need to be refreshed to keep then up to date.

Job-specific training.  Some employees will also need to receive ongoing training to support them in being able to do their jobs, such as Manual Handling Training, Asbestos Awareness or training in using specialist equipment, for example, access equipment such as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).  You may also have employees who are exposed to additional risks such as working alone where they may be exposed to potentially violent clients.  If so, it is important that these employees are given the tools to be able to deal with these situations.

RecordsWhen you deliver training, it is very important to keep accurate records as this allows you to monitor if someone needs any refresher training.  Also, this is valuable evidence in the event of a claim or accident.

E-learning solutions / Face–to–Face.  For some training, this can be done remotely via E learning or webinar.  This works very well for some forms of training, however, for more complex information, where there is the need for discussion or interaction, you will need to carry out Face to Face training.

Training matrix.  It is a good idea to set up a training matrix, which lists all of the training required and who needs to carry out each form of training. Employees should be involved in the process for creating this Matrix, so that it fully reflects their needs.

Competence

Finally, there is an obligation for any organisation, under the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, to have access to competent advice.  This individual is what’s known as the ‘competent person’.  It may be that for some organisations, they may need to appoint or train someone ‘in house’ or for larger organisations, they may wish to employ the services of an external consultant.

So what then is meant by a competent person?  Competence is defined as a combination of training, experience and knowledge. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that when considering the requirement for access to competent H&S advice, you should give preference to those within your own organisation who have the appropriate level of competence before looking for help from outside. If this level of competence doesn’t exist within your organisation, we at Pennington Choices may be able to help you.  Our Consultants are Chartered H&S Practitioners with many years’ experience in supporting a wide range of sectors and therefore, are very competent in being able to assist.

How Pennington Choices can help… 

At Pennington Choices we have over 15 years’ experience in providing occupational health and safety services to clients of all sizes across a range of sectors including; property, healthcare and sports and leisure. We know what good looks like, and our clients can support this.

Our expert and qualified Health and Safety Consultants can assist you by acting as your competent person to ensure that you are complying with The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999.

How can I get in touch to find out more? 

If you would like to find out more about our competent advice service, you can do so by getting in touch with our experts today. This can be done either by email to consultancyteam@pennington.org.uk or by calling 0800 883 0334.

You can also find out what your organisation’s current health and safety position is by downloading our FREE health and safety self-assessment here.

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