Under the Health and Safety at Work act 1974 (HSWA) it is essential that business managers or business owners provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as far as is possible, to ensure the health and safety of all employees at their place of work.
This law is further expanded by the management of health and safety training regulations 1999.
Health and safety training should be provided by all employers to raise the awareness of the need to comply with health and safety protocol within any given work place; training should be arranged within work time and should be at the expense of the employer and not the employee undergoing training.
Courses or methods of health and safety training can be provided by any one of the following mediums. Coaching or training courses provided on the job, open courses or distance learning courses, training in a classroom environment or computer based interactive learning courses. These courses can be attended by individuals or groups. Training has to be provided by a competent source or person.
The significance for health and safety training is to avoid as much as is possible, risks and hazards at work, and to be able to identify risks or hazards, it has to highlight the ways to prevent accidents or illness caused by or suffered within the working environment.
Statistics have shown that nearly 200 people die every year at work due to accidents in the work place, 1,000,000 will suffer injury from accidents at work and nearly double that figure will suffer from illnesses which are either caused by or made worse by working conditions and hazards. These numbers make up a healthy percentage of lost working hours to employers.
It doesn't matter at which level you are within a company, from junior to senior manager the need for training is legally required, and this applies to self employed personnel.
If you are in management but do not necessarily possess the skills to provide training yourself, then other avenues as mentioned beforehand should be sort. There are training courses available for senior managers, directors and HR Personnel which provide a clear view as to what their legal requirements are under the health and safety act. These courses highlight the benefits of adopting best practices to enhance work productivity.
The Health and safety at work Act (HSWA) applies general principles which enable specific requirements, within the health and safety at work act, these statutory instruments or codes of practice include (COSHH 2002), the control of substances hazardous to health regulations, (PPE 1992) personal protective equipment regulations and the management of health and safety at work regulations 1999.
Other areas which are covered include; the provision and use of equipment, manual handling regulations, display screen equipment (DSE), all working environments are legally bound to implement risk assessments throughout the work area and not just for those who work there but also for workers from other companies assigned to work together for example, contractors.
Further changes to the health and safety at work act had to be introduced to make it compliant with EU directives, this happened in 1972 when the UK joined the European Union.
Health and safety training should safeguard as far is reasonably practical the health and safety and general welfare of all who work or visit work premises, employers are the most accountable to oversee that health and safety requirements are met, there is also a duty to persons having control of premises, for example commercial landlords, maintenance contractors and managers of occupied office premises to where possible ensure that the methods of entry and exit of those said premises to be without risks to health.
Employees, and self employed personal have an obligation to themselves to adhere to health and safety regulations, avoiding risks and hazards and reporting injury or illness within a working environment, in doing so this reduces the possibilities of accident, injury even death within the work place through bad work practice.
Anna Stenning investigates the responsibility and legal requirement of the employer to provide essential health and safety training in the work place for all personnel.