Over the last 5 years, an average of 200 workers annually have been killed in accidents at work. Many more have suffered serious injury or illnesses caused by, or made worse through, actions at work.
Preventing accidents and ill health caused by working activities is a key priority for everyone and the provision of adequate workplace training and information can have a significant impact on improving health and safety performance.
Every employer has a legal duty to ensure that their employees are adequately trained for the work activity they undertake. Relevant legislation applicable to training requirements includes, section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) (in particular see paragraph 194 of the PUWER ACOP).
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 identifies situations where health and safety training is particularly important, eg when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating. Like many employers, you may not be in a position to provide this training on your own, in which case you will need competent help. If possible, you should appoint one or more of your employees.
Kentra are a Training Provider and we can help with this, we provide over 100 different training courses and here’s a link to our course brochure. We also provide Instructor training courses, so if you wanted to appoint an employee to be an in-house instructor we can help with this too. Not forgetting our on-line training options – www.http://kentraonline.com/ ideal for that new starter to get the basic health and safety certifications.
The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 require you to consult your employees, or their representatives, on health and safety issues. Representatives appointed under either of these sets of regulations are entitled to time off with pay for training in their duties.
The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990 ensure that learners doing work experience are covered by health and safety law. There are a number of other regulations that include specific health and safety training requirements, eg asbestos, diving and first aid. As well as other health and safety regulations specific to various workplace tasks i.e. LOLER for lifting operations.
Everyone who is involved in a work activity should receive appropriate training:
- owners and employers;
- managers and supervisors;
- the self-employed*
* If a person working under your control and direction is treated as self-employed for tax and national insurance purposes, they may nevertheless be treated as your employee for health and safety purposes. You should take steps to ensure that they also have been appropriately trained.
Remember, Contractors and self-employed people might not be familiar with your working environment and safety systems that you have put in place for regular employees.
- take into account the capabilities, training, knowledge and experience of workers; and
- ensure that the demands of the job do not exceed their ability to carry out their work without risk to themselves and others.
Some employees may have particular training needs too, for example:
- new recruits need basic induction training on 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 special attention to their needs, so their training should be a priority. It is also important that new, inexperienced or young employees are adequately supervised;
- employee representatives or safety representatives will require training that reflects their responsibilities;
- some people’s skills may need updating by refresher training.
Your risk assessment should identify any further training needs associated with specific risks.
What is training?
Training means helping people to learn how to do something, telling people what they should or should not do, or simply giving them information. Workplace Training isn’t just about formal ‘classroom’ courses.
Why provide health and safety training?
Providing health and safety information and training helps you 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.
- 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. Don’t forget that your insurance might not cover all these costs.
How can I do it?
Firstly, you should show your commitment so the people being trained recognise that the training is important. You should consult your employees or their representatives on the planning and organisation of the training. You should make sure that you properly prioritise and plan the training needs for your business.
You may have appointed somebody to give you ‘competent assistance’ and they should be able to help.
Try the following five-step approach:
STEP 1 Decide what training your organisation needs
You should identify the skills and knowledge that people need in order to do their job safely. By comparing these needs against their current skills and knowledge it will be possible to identify any gaps. Using risk assessments, historical accident/incident data and previous training information will show where training may be required. Awareness training can benefit everyone within your business including managers and supervisors. How to manage H & S, who has responsibility, identifying hazards and risks, controlling the risks and the cost to the business if things were to go wrong are all important factors when considering the type of training needed.
STEP 2 Decide your training priorities
The law require you to carry out specific training e.g. first-aid training, so this must be one of your top priorities. Others should include those where lack of information and/or training might result in serious harm, courses that will benefit the largest numbers of staff. New staff/ recruits or those new to the working environment should be considered a priority as well as people changing jobs, working practices or taking on new responsibilities, or if they are using new equipment.
You should consult with your employees or their representatives for their views, as this will help you to prioritise the correct training.
Training should be provided during working hours and not at the expense of your employees. Special arrangements may need to be arranged for part-time or shift workers.
STEP 3 Choose your training methods and resources
There are many different methods of training, from informal instruction on the job, open or distance learning or computer-based and interactive learning. As well as the external training we provide at Kentra, which can also include training you to be your own in-house instructor.
However, you need to make sure that the training needs of all of your workforce, including migrant workers who might not have good English, also people with poor literacy skills or those with disabilities, such as of sight or hearing is covered.
STEP 4 Deliver the training
Any instructor or tutor needs to make sure the information is easy to understand and delivered using a variety of training methods. Course preparation is particularly important for people who are not experienced trainers.
Our Kentra Instructors have many years training experience and utilise, a number of training techniques and training aids during our courses.
STEP 5 Check that the training has worked
It is important that you check that the training provided has the desired outcome. Have your employees understood what you require? Do they now have the knowledge and skills needed to work safely and without risk to health and how they have been trained to?
It is also good to check if there been any improvement in the organisation’s health and safety performance and if not maybe further information or additional training is needed. Keeping a record of the most suitable training method used, will also help with planning of future training progammes and helping you manage ongoing staff improvements. Training records need to be kept, even if it is in-house training, so you can monitor when refresher training is required.
Your workplace training should also recognise that some people may have particular or additional training needs such as
- new recruits;
- people changing jobs or operating different plant and machinery;
- people taking on extra responsibility;
- young people;
- agency workers
- migrant workers (including making provision for non-English speakers).
When deciding what type of workplace training requirements you may require and how that training might then be implemented, there are a number of significant steps in the process:
- evaluate what training your organisation needs;
- prioritise your needs;
- choose your training methods and resources. i.e. whether outsourced or in-house
- ensure delivery of the training;
- evaluate the training to ensure it has been effective
- ensure a system is in place for refresher training, for when it is appropriate.
Plant operator training
The training requirements for drivers of vehicles and plant eg shovel loaders, excavators, fork lift trucks (FLTs), telehandlers etc. in a waste and recycling setting will be no different to other industry sectors (eg general manufacturing, construction and agriculture). Driver competence is judged on the basis of experience, recognised training (formal training – either delivered in-house or externally) and testing of knowledge and ability.
No-one should be allowed to drive (operate) a vehicle or plant unless their employer has authorised them to do so in writing. The employer should not authorise a driver unless the driver has received adequate training and the employer is satisfied that the driver is competent to operate the particular type of vehicle or plant.
Only training for fork lift truck training is as defined by an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance (L117) Rider operated lift trucks: operator training. There is clear guidance as to what is expected regarding training course content, testing, as well as standards for trainers (including recognising certain accrediting bodies to accredit and monitor organisations to train instructors and/or train, test and certificate operators in relation to fork lift trucks). Employers have to demonstrate they have either complied with the ACOP or complied in some other equal way.
Although the ACOP and guidance (L117) does not apply to shovel loaders, excavators and other plant per se the training principles and checklists outlined within L117 can be applied to other plant. Hence, for other vehicle types training should be to a similar standard using the ACOP and guidance as a benchmark.
Training cards or certification from recognised training schemes help demonstrate competence. But employers are perfectly entitled to devise and operate their own in-house training schemes – this is especially the case with some larger companies.
While employers may operate their own in-house training schemes, they should have similar content to the more formal training courses that are available. Furthermore, they may find it useful to have the courses delivered by an Accredited Training Provider, we are registered with NPORS to deliver Nationally recognised Awarding Body Training for over 100 different courses.
First Aid training
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide suitable first-aid equipment, facilities and personnel to enable immediate assistance to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work.
We work with a company called SO Coach based in Northwich, Cheshire, with 20 years experience Simon has an overwhelming passion for the the First Aid and Mental Health First Aid Training he provides. Simon’s design and delivery is structured, he utilises a blended learning approach and that’s always on-brand, fresh, relevant, engaging and fun.
How we can help
Our courses cover Health and Safety from small tools to mega cranes and everything in-between. We deliver all levels of training from Awareness to the more in-depth Instructor level workplace training and online options too.
Our staff are all trained instructors and love nothing more than talking training, so give us a bell on 01606 832 556 or drop us an email on our ‘get in touch’ page as we can’t wait to help.
The Kentra Training Team