Effective health and safety training is a fundamental requirement of the law and good employment practice. It touches on questions of organisational efficiency and effectiveness, technical competency, safe working methods, productivity, and the over-arching objective of encouraging a safety culture in an organisation. When considering training, it is important to provide training in a form that is comprehensible to the person receiving it – taking account of different language abilities, educational abilities and learning requirements of those being provided with the training.
It is also important to remember that, although there is no requirement to train non-employees, there is an obligation to provide them (including visitors) with an adequate understanding of the hazards presented by the work carried out on the premises and information on the required precautions to ensure their safety and that of others.
What health and safety training is required?
Employers must ensure that, when they allocate work to employees, the demands of the work do not exceed their individual capabilities; this will include consideration of physical and mental abilities and the level of skill, training and experience they possess. Risk assessments should determine the appropriate level of training for different tasks.
The type of training will vary according to the health and safety issues to be covered, the tasks involved and the person/people receiving the training. Often, the best form of training will be ‘on the job’, allowing the trainee to learn good practice at the place where they work. This may not always be practicable and it may be necessary to supplement this type of training
with some classroom activities.
Is health and safety training a legal requirement?
Employers have a general duty to provide information, instruction and training to all their employees (see Section 2(2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA)). This requirement is subject to the ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ proviso, so an employer is able to consider the costs and benefits of training in relation to the risks involved.
Detailed legal requirements to provide general health and safety training are contained in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW), in Regulation 13(2) where the requirement is for the provision of adequate health and safety training whenever it is needed, such as on:
- first starting with the employer
- employee(s) being transferred
- the taking up of new responsibilities
- the introduction of new work equipment or a change to current work equipment
- the introduction of new technology into the work of the employee(s)
- the introduction of new systems of work or processes, or a significant change to those already in existence.
This training must be kept up to date and refreshed, with the requirement that it is repeated periodically and takes place during working hours.
Under Regulation 14 of the MHSW Regulations, employees also have duties to act in accordance with any training or instruction provided by the employer.
Further to that, the employee must also inform the employer, or any other employee of that employer, of shortcomings or dangers which a person with that level of training should be aware of.
Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety traininglegislation.gov.uk
Health and safety training provider
Centurion Alba Consulting Ltd specialise in Health & Safety training for the small and medium business market, with capabilities to provide a complete range of health and safety training solutions.
Our qualified and experienced trainers can work with your organisation to design and deliver bespoke training programmes or you can purchase off-the-shelf accredited courses regulated by the SQA and OFQUAL. We also have a complete range of online health and safety short-courses endorsed by the likes of ROSPA and the IIRSM.
Centurion Alba is a registered training provider with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and as an IOSH Training Centre, we deliver the industry leading IOSH Managing Safely course.