Health & Safety Induction Training

Health&SafetyTraining1The case of the worker killed on their first day at work (see opposite), highlights the importance of providing health and safety induction training, writes Simon Toseland, Head of Health and Safety at Workplace Law.

Training is a vital part of the health and safety programme of every organisation and needs to be constantly reviewed and updated.

Induction training should always be provided to employees, trainees, contractors (including agency workers) and volunteers, including those on work experience.

It is recommended that the trainee signs a record to the effect that the training has been received. This record may be required as evidence in the event of any legal claim, particularly if an accident should occur. A typical health and safety induction programme would include the following:

  • The health and safety policy of the organisation;
  • The name of the company’s health and safety adviser;
  • Accident reporting procedures;
  • Fire arrangements;
  • First aid arrangements;
  • Location of welfare facilities;
  • Any prohibited areas; and
  • Any particular hazards and risks that employees should be aware of, which may include correct use of Personal Protective Equipment, Manual Handling, Display Screen Equipment or details of any Hazardous Substances.

Legal requirements:
Induction training is a legal requirement under health and safety legislation. It is covered generally under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations but also specifically under other Regulations such as Manual Handling, COSHH and Asbestos.

The level of training an individual receives will vary, depending on their seniority in the business and level of competence, and should take place at various intervals, e.g. on induction and refresher. Employers must provide training during working hours and not at the expense of employees. Special arrangements may be needed for part-timers or shift workers.

When deciding on its training needs an organisation would need to consider the following:

  • The results of risk assessments
  • Compliance with legal requirements
  • The findings of a health and safety audit
  • Particular training required by the organisation’s insurance company

Additional training may also be needed following a single or series of accidents or near-misses, the issuing of an enforcement notice, or an increase in the employment of more vulnerable employees (e.g. young or disabled persons).

Attempts should always be made to measure the effectiveness of training. The use of evaluation forms is a common method. However, one could also use data from compliance with a particular procedure or improvements in safety performance (such as a reduction in accidents) as a good indicator.

Health&SafetyTraining3Other forms of health and safety training:
Job-specific training: To ensure that persons follow a safe system of work while carrying out a particular task.

Supervisory and management training: Those responsible for the direct actions of others should have a much greater understanding of health and safety law and how it is applied in their workplace. Many accidents are as a result of health and safety failings of managers, which have included:

  • Lack of health and safety awareness, enforcement and promotion;
  • Lack of supervision and communication;
  • Lack of understanding of their responsibilities; and
  • Lack of knowledge of the health and safety performance / culture in the business.

Specialist training: For very specialist roles, and requires an examination on the skills that have been taught. Examples include first aid, forklift truck, crane operation and scaffold inspection.

Further information
Health and safety training: what you need to know:

Health and Safety Training Policy and Management Guide, v.3.0

Introduction to health and safety course


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