Health and Safety Training – Are Your Employees up to Standard

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( — May 17, 2017) — ‘Health and safety’ might not have the greatest reputation, but this is about far more than red tape and bureaucracy. The most recently released statistics on the matter show that workplace injury and illness cost £14.1 billion in just one year in the UK.

Health and safety regulations are designed to help cut that and every business needs to take them seriously if they want to avoid having their own issue that is costly from a reputational, emotional and financial point of view.

Luckily, we’ve come a long way. From safer working practices – such as alternatives to sand blasting that make the world of work less dangerous – to better rules to identify what is and isn’t safe and tackle unscrupulous employers who put their profits before safety. 

Yet any business is only really as safe as the people it employs. You can have the safest equipment on the market and the most robust procedures possible, but if they aren’t used to good effect by your staff then your efforts will be in vain.

So, how do you know that your employees are up to standard when it comes to their attitude to safety? Ask yourself the following questions to find out: 

When did my staff last have safety training?

All staff must be given the safety training they need to do their job and they must also receive refreshers every now and again to ensure this knowledge is fresh in their minds as they carry out their tasks on a daily basis. Training also needs to be updated if you decide to alter your working practices or bring in some new equipment, for example. Keep a training record to stay on top of this. 

Do staff know how to report issues?

If an employee spotted a potential hazard in the workplace, would they know what to do about it? Indecision or confusion here could lead to a problem escalating. Communication really is key to keeping safe; everyone should know who to talk to and employers need to have a channel through which to disseminate information to staff. Make sure that your health and safety policy is up to date, includes clear information on reporting and communicating details about workplace hazards and that staff know where to access this as and when required. 

Are staff proud of where they work?

This might sound like an odd one but it’s actually pretty important. An engaged and motivated workforce that has pride over its work will be one that wants to help each other and identify and sort out health and safety problems before they become a big issue. Staff that don’t care won’t share their concerns.

Employees who have an up-to-date training record, who understand the health and safety policy and how to report issues and have a sense of responsibility and duty in their work will be ‘up to standard’ and well-placed to ensure that your business is as safe as possible.