Do employers need to train staff on health and safety?

March 27, 2012 · Posted in Legal 

The Health and Safety Executive within the UK has recently recorded over 200 people annually are killed whilst executing their working duties. Over two million suffer illness, injury or disease that is a cause or aggravated by their working conditions. Preventing accidents and ill health in the workplace thus remains a big priority for both employers and employees.

It is crucial that employers consider health and safety training for all staff without regard for the working environment. It makes no difference whether you working on a building site or in an office, there can be hazards in every environment and we must recognise this.

Employers can protect themselves from prosecution and from civil compensation claims by adopting a thoughtful health and safety regime. Training is a big component of this sort of regime.

Through providing the required training to employees, employers can ensure that their staff are not exposed to injury or illness. You can produce a positive health and safety culture where the entire workplace is mindful of the risks associated with their job. Training will contribute towards making your employees more informed and a lot more conscious of their surroundings.

It could be that an employer is unaware of the extent that staff are exposed to dangers in the workplace. Equally, a boss might not understand fully how to go about training their employees. It is strongly advised that companies consult with either the Health and Safety Executive or private consultants who are able to advise them more fully about what they could do to comply with basic health and safety legislation.

Once you have identified what training your organisation needs, you need to then choose the training priorities. Top priorities would include those aspects of risk in which a lack of information or deficiency of training might cause injury or harm being suffered by staff. If in doubt, consult employees or their representatives to take a take on exactly where the danger areas lie within the working environment. When you have made a decision, select the best training method to get the message across to the team. This could involve one-to-one sessions or group sessions, which can be delivered either by knowledgeable members of staff or independent consultants. The most important thing would be to be sure that any trainer is sufficiently competent to carry out the job.

Once training has been delivered, it is important to record this and also to then arrange for a refresher or update course after a certain length of time.

If you are self-employed but work with a team of people regularly that happen to be within your instruction and control, then you should consider your responsibilities in the same way that any employer would do. If there are any employers who also deal with self-employed subcontractors, they should consider treating the person as an employee when it comes to any health and safety training.

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