Health & Safety Training
Over 200 people are killed each year in accidents at work and over one million people are injured. Ensuring employees are competent to do their job will help to reduce the risk of accidents. Providing health and safety information and training will help an employer to:
- Ensure employees are not injured or made ill by the work they do
- Develop a positive health and safety culture, where safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone
- Find out how health and safety can be managed better
- Meet the legal duty to protect the health and safety of all employees
Who needs health and safety training?
Whether you are an employer or self-employed, it's imperative that you're up to date with how to identify the hazards and control the risks from your work. Help with training can be obtained from your trade association, your local Chamber of Commerce, or your health and safety enforcing authority. Consultation with your employees, or their representatives, on health and safety issues, is equally beneficial to a safe working environment.
Whereas when we think of training we automatically consider the training needs of our shop floor employees we tend to forget that our
Managers and Supervisory staff are as much in need of training as anyone else. They will need to know what you expect from them in terms of
health and safety, and how you expect them to deliver a safe environment for all to work in. They need to understand your health and safety
policy, where they fit in, and how you want health and safety managed. They may also need training in the specific hazards of your
processes and how you expect the risks to be controlled.
Everyone who works for you, including self-employed people, needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. They will need to know about your health and safety policy, your arrangements for implementing it, and the part they play. They also need to know how they can raise any health and safety concerns with you, therefore you should:
- take into account the capabilities, training, knowledge and experience of your workers.
- ensure that the demands of the job do not exceed their ability to carry out their work without risk to themselves and others.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 identify certain times when Health and safety training must be given:
- new recruits need basic induction training into how to work safely, including arrangements for first aid, fire and evacuation.
- people changing jobs or taking on extra responsibilities need to know about any new health and safety implications.
- young employees are particularly vulnerable to accidents and you need to pay particular attention to their needs, so their training should be a priority.
- it is also important that new, inexperienced or young employees are adequately supervised.
- some people's skills may need updating by refresher training.
Risk assessment should be an ongoing practice which will identify any further specific training needs.
In addition to general Health and Safety training there are also other specific regulations where training is required. One risk in particular that requires training is Manual Handling. Lifting and moving by hand is the main cause of reportable accidents in the 'freight by road' industry. There were 279 major and 3,653 over-3-day injuries reported in 2005/06 workyear. Bad backs were the most common injury. Training will help to decide what measure may be needed to reduce the risk.
Measures to reduce risks
Remember, it is your employees that will be carrying out those tasks that are affected by health and safety, so consider:
- asking your employees about what they consider to be the most hazardous lifting and moving jobs.
- consider also whether high hazard manual lifting and moving jobs can be avoided, for example by palletising heavy or bulky products.
- consider whether a load can be changed to make it easier to carry, for example, smaller packages, providing handles or hand-holds.
- consider the use of mechanical aids, such as vehicle mounted hydraulic hoists, portable roller conveyors, pallet trucks, scissor lifts and customised trolleys. These can save a lot of time and money, as well as saving backs.
- roll cages are commonly involved in manual handling injuries. Ensure rollcages are sensibly loaded, properly secured in the vehicle and that pavement access at the delivery end is relatively level and free from potholes and obstructions.
This is but a brief guide, but should assist in giving guidance as to what can be done. For further information, please use the links below.
Health & Safety Training - HSE
Manual Handling in the Haulage Industry - HSE