Health And Safety Training For Staff

Did you know that over 200 people are killed each year in accidents at work, and over one million are injured? This can be greatly minimised, or even better, entirely prevented by ensuring staff have all the necessary health and safety training.

If you are an employer, providing health and safety training to your staff means you can:

• Ensure your employers are unharmed and don’t get ill from work

• Gain a positive attitude towards health and safety for you and your staff

• Meet legal duties to protect your employees

• Raise safety awareness

Training that is effective means:

• Your business can avoid the stress accidents ill health can cause at work

• You can steer clear of financial costs of accidents in the workplace as insurance won’t cover this.

• You will avoid damaged products, injured/ill staff or a loss in production

Who needs health and safety training?

Training can benefit everyone in a company, no matter what industry they work in. However, industries that require extra special safety training are areas such as construction or sports.

Employers in every industry should give new staff basic health and safety information such as arrangements for first aid, fire, evacuation as well as any company rules.

In more safety driven sectors, like construction, this basic training needs to be far more in depth. It needs to cover things such as manual handling, scaffolding, forklift driving or asbestos awareness training.

Should I keep training records?

It’s not a legal requirement to keep training records, but it is a good idea to keep track of it, and have staff sign it off as this way, you will know which members of staff still need it. Also, it means you will be able to easily access information regarding refresher training.

When is refresher training required?

Some skills’ refresher training is compulsory after a certain amount of time; for example, first aid training is required every three years to ensure their certification stays valid. Bear in mind however, that if an employee does not use their skills regularly, their competence in that area will decline so it’s best for him or her to ‘top up’.

Unfortunately, accidents in the construction workplace are far more likely than any other area so make sure your staff are fully trained in everything they need to be. There are lots of safety training companies out there who can provide multiple training courses.

Health and Safety Plan Template for Site Safety

Every time work is contemplated, attached to it is a plan to secure the workers, crew and the public’s health and safety. This plan should have sufficient detail so that every aspect of the work plan has a corresponding health and safety plan.

A health and safety plan template is a plan that focuses on the safety of all the people engaged in a project. This is a template of what is going to take place, the people who will be in charge, the possible safety problems, precautionary methods to avoid any safety issues, plan of what to do if these safety measures fail, a contingency plan when the aforesaid plan also fails, safety rules in the place of work, what protection equipment to use, how to manage any safety risk and plans and schedules of inspection.

It would also be great to show tables of management reviews showing schedules of planned review dates, the scope of such reviews and who will conduct the review.

Just like a normal template for a plan, the health and safety plan template should also have a table of contents, an overview, a body with all the details necessary, a section where the names of the people who will be legally accountable to the whole operation will be mentioned to name a few. Further to this the team who will run the entire operation, a part where the name of the project will be indicated, and whatever else is deemed necessary. The plan should be clear and thorough so that it doesn’t leave room for interpretation.

The Two Columns in a Health and Safety Case Template

Health and safety is important for a business because, among many other reasons, life is more important than anything else in the world. To protect employees is an employer’s moral and legal obligation. Another reason is that neglect of the same would only cause an employer to lose money in hospitalization and litigation. The phrase “prevention is better than cure” is thus applicable.

It would be prudent to create a plan to address any possible issue of health and safety. A health and safety case template is one of the ways on how to showcase such plan. This template is in a form of a table of two columns. The first column is a description or a title representing the second column. This table could include the name of the plan, the description of such plan and the people who are the key players in the plan.

Also included could be the steps to be taken in all types of predicaments, contingency plans, the pertinent laws to be complied with and the requirements the employer must accomplish.

A health and safety case template must be shown as a proposal to the authorities concerned subject to their approval before anything else is started. This is preliminary to any work because in any type of work, risky or not, health and safety must be secured with no compromises.

The Hazards of Health and Safety Management

The health and safety regulations are very demanding and all organisations are responsible for compiling with the current legislation. Most business owners and managers take responsibility for the health and safety of their employees and consumers very seriously – giving it the highest priority.

And with an increasing number of people claiming compensation for all kinds of accidents in the workplace or on the move, they have a lot to lose if they get it wrong. What’s the worst that can happen? If someone has an accident resulting in serious injury or death at work, business owners and managers could:

o Have to close down their business until all health and safety management issues are addressed
o Be sued by the victim or victim’s family for substantial compensation
o Be heavily fined by the courts for breach of Health and Safety Legislation
o Be sent to prison

So if you’re a business owner or manager you must do all you can to minimise the risk of any of these things happening to you.

Get to grips with health and safety in the workplace

Make sure you have rigorous health and safety management polices and procedures in place and carry out regular audits & inspections to make sure they’re working effectively. Carry out a comprehensive health and safety assessment and take out appropriate liability insurance to cover all areas of risk.

Create and implement a business-wide health and safety strategy, designating responsibilities and reviewing on a regular basis. The strategy should address:

o Health and safety management

Designate individuals to be responsible for health and safety in different areas of the business and workplace and ensure each is adequately trained as a health and safety specialist in their area.

Get an independent health and safety specialist to carry out audits & inspections so you can be confident you’re doing what you should to keep everyone safe.

o Health and safety legislation

Have a thorough understanding of all aspects of Health and Safety Legislation and keep up to date with changes as they occur – claiming ignorance of safety legislation won’t count if things go wrong.

o Health and safety assessment

Assessment and management of risk in the workplace is a major responsibility. If you have more than 5 employees, you must keep detailed, up-to-date records of a regular risk assessment for each area of work and workplace premises.

Remember, it is your duty to have a plan for minimising or eliminating all identified risks.

Other organisations can help, like the local Police and Fire Service who can provide expert advice about crime prevention and fire safety risk assessment.

What next?

If you have any doubts about the quality of your health and safety management, it’s vital you do something about it. There is a lot of useful information online but make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date.

Many businesses buy in consultancy for health and safety to make sure they’re getting it right. A health and safety specialist should be a fully qualified professional with an in depth knowledge of health and safety legislation and experience of how it applies to your type of business.

They will provide independent health and safety audits & inspections to check you are conforming to safety legislation, health and safety procedures and risk assessment processes. The message is clear – don’t take unnecessary risks when it comes to health and safety at work. It is a legal requirement that you look after the welfare of your employees.

Is A Health And Safety Officer Important In A Workplace?

Accidents can happen when you least expect it. Among the top causes of accidents in workplaces will include employee errors, equipment insufficiencies, and bad practices. It is strongly recommended that employing a health and safety officer is very crucial in cutting down the number of accidents by as much as 50%.

Employers are actually bound by an act that imposes general health and safety duties for employers, employees and others like designers, landlords, and manufacturers. This further means that businesses are required to hire a competent person to act as their officer. This will ensure that the requirements are being met. It also allows the higher management to focus on other targets that relate to productivity, profits, and costs.

Roles Of A Health And Safety Officer

To prevent accidents, work-related illnesses, and injuries – This is the primary role of these officers. They must create as well as implement policies according to the latest legislation. Moreover, they have to make sure that these policies are properly implemented by employees and the management.

To perform regular inspection and risk assessment – They have to make sure that any defects or hazards are immediately dealt with. Often, they keep an accident book and will always record and comprehensively investigate any accident. Most important, they will recommend improvements in safety standards whenever necessary.

To train staff in safety issues – Moreover, they will give them advice regarding protective clothing and equipment. They will also act as a key point of contact for any member of staff who has any concern about the workplace’s safety.

Other roles of these professionals will include safeguarding machinery, control of hazardous substances, working with display screen equipment, fire safety, occupational health, environment health, and manual handling.

Important Skills

Typically, these professionals will work with all employees of a business. He must clearly and concisely communicate any directions on how to properly handle unsafe materials. Computer skills are likewise beneficial so they can record every detail of the safety tests they performed. Problem-solving skills are also necessary so they can successfully find solutions for any unsafe conditions in the work environment.

Occupational Health and Safety Industry Best Practices

The primary objective of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is to ensure that safety at work is achievable in every organization big or small. By complying with this act, you can address issues that may pose danger to your employees, well before any untoward incidents occur.

Workplace inspections serve a critical role in fulfilling this objective and in maintaining a safe, productive work environment where your business can flourish. These are planned walk-through activities carried out in the work premises to critically examine various factors. Some of the aspects that may be covered are materials, buildings, equipment and so on which may potentially pose danger.

One should call in competent, experienced, safety consultants to outline how an effective safety inspection should be carried out for your workplace. Keep in mind that the nature of business, the kind of processes involved here, the kind of equipment being used etc have an impact on which aspects need to be covered during your workplace inspections.

Planning your Inspections

To carry out a truly effective inspection, it needs to be thoroughly planned where every important aspect is taken into consideration. Hiring experienced safety consultants is good move because they can bring in their expertise to point out various aspects that you may not have considered. In addition, you can have your own team enrolled in health and safety officer courses with these experts to learn how periodic inspections should be carried out to curb the risks in the workplace.

Establishing acceptable standards for various workplace activities, processes and the environment, in general, is a key component of workplace safety planning process. With the standards in place, it becomes easier for your employees and your inspectors to quickly identify increased risk in any area well in advance, so that it can be rectified before it causes any harm.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act Guide has been prepared to assist employers, workers, constructors, supervisors, owners, suppliers, and others who have duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The purpose of the OHS Regulation is to promote occupational health and safety and to protect workers and other persons present at workplaces from work-related risks to their health, safety, and well-being.

The occupational health and safety professional plays a major role in the development and application of accident investigations, risk assessments, loss prevention, and safety training programs for workers. They develop programs that will in conserving life, health and property; improve productivity by implementing loss-control programs in consultation with company and labour officials; identify health and safety hazards in the work environment and advise corrective action.

The Importance Of Undertaking The Right Health And Safety Training

Health and safety training in the workplace is very important for compliance with the current requirements of the government along with the avoidance of accidents or any long-term effects to the health of employees. Apart from those obvious benefits, training your workers in these areas will give you reduced insurance premiums, an increase in productivity, a boost to your reputation, and minimized downtime because of absence. Moreover, it will also protect you from being taken to court for negligence or even facing imprisonment.

Today, boosting your current knowledge regarding the health and industry are made easy with the many health and training courses offered online. It is highly emphasized that these courses will help protect your workforce as well as business from the many different dangers existing in any kind of work environment.

4 Health And Safety Training Benefits

Reduced insurance premiums – If you can prove that your workers are well-trained in a wide range of health and safety issues to the insurance company, expect that you can have reduced premiums on your employee or public liability insurance. An organization with knowledgeable and trained health and safety supervisors and managers will less likely to face different claims associated with injury, accidents or illnesses.

Increased business reputation – A single accident in your office may cause the downfall of your business if you are found negligent. Be aware that negligence come in different forms – and these include failure to provide enough training on equipment and asking your workers to work too many hours. As the business owner, you have the duty of care towards your employees to make sure that they are always health and safe, regardless of whether they are working in an office or out on the road. In fact, companies recognizing the importance of health and safety training often have an excellent safety record along with a great reputation to match.

Increased productivity – If your employees are fit and healthy, they will certainly be able to work fast and more efficient. Problems will surely be recognized even before they occur. Moreover, accidents and injuries can be prevented.

Legal protection from damages – All companies must take reasonable steps to protect their employees from illnesses and accidents. In fact, this is a legal requirement. When a business owner is found negligent, he can be held liable or responsible and can either face heavy fines or imprisonment. This training will help make sure that all incidents are well documented, investigated and avoided.

Main Benefits of Allowing Your Employees To Undergo Health And Safety Training Courses

Employees must adhere to the rules of the health and safety at work. After all, they have the duty of care for employees along with all the visitors to their work environment.

Regardless of how small or large your company is, workers face dangers in their workplaces which can threaten their health and safety. In some industries like the mining and oil industries, the dangers are indeed evident. These include exposure to fires, chemicals, breakdown or machinery and explosions. For other fields, dangers might not be very obvious. Working in a restaurant or an office might seem harmless; however, poor ergonomics, psychological stress, and food contamination can actually cause health problems that are sure to hinder productivity. Due to the fact that all hazards are present in all industries, it is very important for companies to provide the right health and safety training for their employees or perhaps allow them to undergo such courses. It is also crucial for them to update such knowledge regularly.

Benefits Of Health And Safety Training Courses

Workplace accidents and injuries can be reduced by educating workers on the basics of occupational health and safety. In return, this can prevent companies from expensive legal battles with employees along with the lifelong support for their families. Moreover, company owners must bear in mind that prioritizing the safety of your personnel can help keep them from leaving your firm and finding another job due to work-related issues.

Aside from that, businesses can also enjoy an increased productivity and satisfaction among personnel by having the workplace safe at all times. It is worth note taking that employees working in a safe environment can greatly focus on their tasks since they need not be worried about their personal safety. Such enhance focus will then lead to better work output, which can eventually result to increase in productivity and profit.

It has been proven that employees who are very confident of their safety at work tend to become more satisfied with their employers. Such increase in employee morale will also mean an increase in productivity levels. Employers taking measures to keep their workers safe are indeed most likely to earn the loyalty of employees. Hence, valuable skilled workers will less likely to leave and become another part of other companies.

How to Use the PDCA Cycle to Implement an Effective Health and Safety Management System

Occupational health and safety management deals with hazard identification, risk assessment and determination of appropriate controls to enhance the well-being and prevent injury and ill health to employees who are in any form of employment. In order to achieve an effective health and safety management system, organizations should handle these with greater significance. These three aspects form the major foundation for implementing an effective health and safety management system in the workplace and without them, the overall system would surely fail.

The health and safety of employees should be a priority of any employer. Illnesses or accidents among employees will impact negatively on the organization’s bottom line. A healthy worker is a productive worker. Work accidents or ill health among employees results in expensive medical treatments, lost work days and can also lead to damage to property and loss of production. The employer should therefore ensure that the work environment is safe and employees concentrate on their assigned tasks without fear of accidents or sickness. To safeguard the safety and health of all employed persons, employers should implement a safety and health management system in the workplace. This applies to any organization, regardless of type or size.

Having a proper safety and health management system in place means that the organization will comply with any local or national standards and regulations regarding safety and health. The organization will therefore avoid potential fines and prosecutions. This system also provides the organization with a framework to help identify, control and improve the safety and health of its employees thereby ensuring that risks are as low as reasonably practicable. In addition, this will show the employees that their employer is committed to keeping them safe. Absenteeism will also reduce.

An organization can adopt the generic ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ (PDCA) principle to implement a safety and health management system. This principle is an ongoing process that enables an organization to establish, implement and maintain its health and safety management system. This will involve an initial audit to establish what the organization has or hasn’t got in place already, followed by a second audit in order to ensure compliance. Below is an overview of the cycle and how it translates to an effective safety and health management system for an organization.

Plan

The planning stage of the system requires an organization to establish objectives and how they will be achieved, plan for emergencies and responses to them, identify any legal requirements that need to be met, and the establishment of a health and safety policy to show the top management’s commitment to the safety and health of all the employees in the organization and visitors who come to the organization. Top management commitment is required for a good reason; without it, implementation of the system won’t be as successful and neither will the results. The entire workforce should also be engaged in this stage since they are the ones who will be most affected by the health and safety system and their understanding of the system will make them believe in it and increase chances of its success. Using the outcome of the initial audit, the organization will establish where it is compared to where it needs to be, based on legal requirements and standards of good practice. The organization will then need to decide what actions should be taken to reach the desired point. The whole planning process should be documented, clearly stating the responsibilities and what measurement will be used to determine whether the objectives have been achieved or not and the expected timescales.

Do

This is the implementation stage, where the plan is put into action. If the planning stage is done correctly, then this stage will just involve following the procedures that were created. Trainings may be undertaken to improve the safety culture in the organization, hazards will be identified and control measures put in place to mitigate the risks posed by these hazards and safety and health communication can also be disseminated across the organization to make employees make the right decisions to avoid accidents and ill health. Refresher trainings can also be organized to ensure people remain competent, machines and other equipment need to be maintained, proper procedures followed in all operations and proper supervision undertaken where necessary to ensure that employees only carry out tasks they have been trained on and are suited to their competencies.

Check

In this stage, the organization needs to determine how well the plans are doing. Evaluation will be done to establish what went well and what needs to be improved. This will be achieved by measuring the actual results against planned objectives. Performance measurement parameters and procedures devised should be checked against actual results. A good way of doing this is by performing an internal audit of the system. Regular internal audits will give an assurance that the organization is in control of the health and safety management system and give a mechanism towards achieving the objectives. External experts should also be invited to give an independent view of how well the system is meeting its objectives.

Act

In this final stage, action will be taken to improve and close any identified gaps. This will be done with the aim of continuously improving the health and safety management system. The organization will learn from experiences, accidents or errors and take any action to update the system. It is also advisable to learn from other similar organizations and benchmark. Organizations should remember that this model is cyclical and this last stage leads back as feedback to the planning stage. Policy documents, procedures or training plans may need updating accordingly.