Health & safety management standards.
It is a fact that many accidents occur within the first week of an employee starting with a company. Most accidents also occur when employees undertake tasks that they are not competent to perform.
When businesses are busy, it’s all too easy to look for a quick fix rather than the best solution or to overlook key issues. Having a health & safety training system in place helps you take control and reduce risks.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, businesses are required to provide “information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, the health and safety at work of employees.”
Site health and safety inductions are a legal requirement, and each person should receive a site induction at every new site they work on. Inductions are a great way to provide employees with the site specific health and safety rules and requirements, and any particular hazards they need to be aware of. Legislation includes: – Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999.
Employers should include essential health and safety training not just for new staff, but contractors and site visitors; plus ongoing and refresher training for other staff.
A health & safety management system should take the form of either:
- a recognised national standard
- a sector-specific framework
- in-house standards, procedures or codes
These provide a framework for developing your system. They help you identify the key issues to allow you to produce a system that’s right for your individual business.
The employer responsible for implementing a health and safety system must ensure that:
- New employees and contractors must complete a health and safety induction prior to starting any activities in the workplace,
- All employees and contractors are given relevant information on the risks to their health and safety and specify what control measures are in place to protect them,
- Employees and contractors never undertake any activities or tasks until they have received a specific site health and safety induction,
- Employees and contractors have sufficient instruction and training relating to the of equipment, machinery, dangerous substances and transport equipment on site,
- No persons on site should undertake tasks they have not been trained for,
- All employees, contractors and visitors attend health and safety training in accordance to their needs,
- Health and safety induction records need to be signed and dated by all parties (electronically or in person.) Records of all agreements and training results stored and monitored accordingly,
- A training needs analysis is conducted for all employees and will identify all aspects of health and safety training required,
- All identified training is carried out,
- Training is kept under review,
Induction training – system basics
Health & safety induction training for employees, visitors and contractors must be carried out prior to starting any activity in the workplace. Standard induction topics are: –
- Company health and safety policy
- Specific workplace/site rules
- Emergency procedures (such as fire drills, first aid kit locations, accident reporting etc.)
- Relevant risk assessments and safe systems of work (including COSHH, manual handling)
- Job specific information
- Employee’s responsibilities
- Personnel (Names and locations of key staff)
- Site map/plans (including noise exclusion zones as well as general facilities)
- Local area rules and instructions
- Site safety isolation and lock off points – (if applicable)
- Personal protective equipment – (if applicable)
- Asbestos – (if applicable)
- Inspection regimes
Plan your training structure
A good way to visualise the planning of your system is to use the cycle below. This will help you assess the requirements of your system and if you are covering the standard requirements.
Image source: Croner
- The first step in the cycle is to decide whether training is the solution to a particular health and safety issue.
- Identifying the training requirements means establishing the particular training needed.
- Setting the objectives for the training involves looking at the current state of the employees’ knowledge, skills or attitudes, and determining what changes the training should achieve.
- Determining the training strategy. Consider the organisation’s policies towards training, resources, the time available and other considerations. This will include deciding on the method of training, eg on or off the job, classroom-based, computer-based, etc. to met the training needs.
- The final stages are the implementation of your companies health & safety system and evaluation stages.
An effective health & safety training system leads to many benefits for both the company and the employees. Positive outcomes include:-
- Increased productivity; solving a health and safety problem may also solve a quality or production problem.
- A reduction in accident and illness rates, this usually leads to a reduction in sickness absence.
- Improvements to attitudes and behaviour, staff who have more positive attitudes towards safety are more likely to behave in a safe and thoughtful way.
- Safety training opens channels of communication which can bring benefits beyond simply improving health and safety.
Site inductions are an important aspect of health & safety management, and can help familiarise new starters with the arrangements, hazards and rules specific to their role and working environment.
Accidents can happen at any time and risks are especially high when a worker/ contractor first visits a new site and may not be familiar with the layout, team or work taking place. Ensuring your system meets the standard requirements is crucial.
Read Our Guide To Induction Systems. We explain everything you need to know and what you need to avoid in order to make your company’s induction program a success. In our helpful guide.