There can seem like a never ending list of options for training your workforce. Unless you’re a seasoned health and safety professional you might find it a bit of a minefield working through the options – accredited, non-accredited, elearning, blended learning, face to face – knowing the right route can take a lot of research. Yet, putting it off can have devastating effects.
Helpfully, the HSE recently reissued INDG 345 – Health & Safety Training, A Brief Guide.
In a nutshell, the HSE say that training is required to:
- ensure that people who work for you know how to work safely and without risks to health;
- develop a positive health and safety culture, where safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone;
- meet your legal duty to protect the health and safety of your employees.
And, effective training will:
- will contribute towards making your employees competent in health and safety;
- can help your business avoid the distress that accidents and ill health cause;
- can help you avoid the financial costs of accidents and occupational ill health, such as damaged products, lost production and demotivated staff.
The HSE finish off by providing guidance on what health and safety training different levels of employees require (Directors, Managers, Supervisors, Workers & Contractors) they suggest:
You do - Whether you are an employer or self-employed, are you sure that you’re up to date with how to identify the hazards and control the risks from your work? Do you know how to get help – from your trade association, your local Chamber of Commerce, or your health and safety enforcing authority? Do you know what you have to do about consulting your employees, or their representatives, on health and safety issues? If not, you would probably benefit from some training.
Your managers and supervisors do - If you employ managers or supervisors they need to know what you expect from them in terms of health and safety, and how you expect them to deliver. 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.
Your employees do - Everyone who works for you, including self-employed people, needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. Like your supervisors, they 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.
Contractors and self-employed people who may be working for you do - Remember, these people might not be familiar with your working environment and safety systems that you have put in place for regular employees.
Choosing the right course
Through our experience with large multinational and SMEs there’s an essential axis to the calculation and that’s Risk. We believe that risk level and role should be evaluated in order to determine what you need to provide.
Here’s our risk-based guide to training your workforce.
|Your Risk Level|
High (Heavy Engineering, Construction, Agriculture)
|Medium (Light engineering, logistics)||Low (Retail, Hospitality)
|Workers, Operators, Shop floor staff||IOSH Working Safely||IOSH Working Safely||Internal training, Site induction
|Supervisors||Internal training, Supervisor training
|Managers||NEBOSH Certificate / University of Portsmouth Certificate
||Bespoke Health & Safety Training
|Safety Representatives||NEBOSH Certificate / University of Portsmouth Certificate
||NEBOSH Certificate / University of Portsmouth Certificate|
|Health & Safety Manager/Responsible Person||NEBOSH Diploma / University of Portsmouth Diploma
||NEBOSH Diploma / University of Portsmouth Diploma||NEBOSH Certificate / University of Portsmouth Certificate
|Directors||Either IOSH Leading Safely or IOSH Safety for executives & directors. You can find out which one is best for you in this blog.|
You also need to make sure you have the right level of competence for your business, you can find out what this looks like in this blog.