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An Introduction to Health and Safety Training


Why is There a Need for Health and Safety Training?

A smiling safety person wearing a protective hard hat

There are many people who think that health and safety training today is not necessary, but the truth is that the number of accidents at work have reduced ever since the government and other authorities have made some changes and recommendations in the training process. It is also a fact that despite the rapid progress in the field of technology, accidents and other mishaps in the workplace are still possible and something that happens on a regular basis.

There are many things that result in these unpredicted accidents. For instance, factors like power issues, mechanical faults, carelessness and negligence of employees are some of the things that result in workplace accidents. It is worth mentioning that in many of these cases, the ignorance of the employees was the main reason why these accidents occurred. When employees don't know how to react properly in certain situations, we can expect accidents.

In some cases, the accidents could not have been prevented, but their intensity would have been lower. The best way to avoid such accidents is to take a health and safety training course provided by certified and experienced providers. Of course, there is more than one reason why someone should take health and safety training sessions regardless of their working environment (office or factory) and we will highlight some of them in this article.



Safety Training for Dealing With Emergencies

First and foremost, when employees finish a detailed course of health and safety training, they will be prepared to handle almost any type of difficult situations if there is an unexpected crisis in the workplace. Since the employees will be trained to manage the emergency situation they will not start panicking and they will calmly apply the steps they have learned.

The employees will rely on their intelligence, knowledge and skills to find a solution for the problem and take full control of the unexpected situation. This means that they will become capable of saving the office and those found in the office during the accident.

Finally, even if the accident occurs and cannot be avoided, they will know how to minimise the damage caused by that accident, including limiting the impact upon human life.



Health and Safety for Factory Workers

The same goes for factory workers. They also need to take a full training program related to health and safety. If they have not completed such a training program, then they won't be able to manage an unexpected problem in the plant. A full health and safety training program will help them understand the essence of various problems that usually occur in their specific working environment. We should all be aware that not every type of accident can be simulated during these training sessions, but with the skills and knowledge they acquire through this course, factory workers will know how to adjust their knowledge to any type of situation and manage the emergency situation in the best way.

Health and safety training programs are good for both employees and employers. This type of training will make employees feel valued, improve the public image of your business and you will also comply with the law and regulations.



Basic Health and Safety Training

Health and safety training can vary greatly in complexity and the amount of information that is imparted or needs to be learnt, in terms of both the amount of different topics covered on the course (e.g. fire safety, COSHH, manual handling etc.) as well as the depth, complexity and level of detail the course goes into on each area.

Accredited health and safety training courses need to follow specific syllabuses which may mean they are too long in duration or too much of an 'information overload' for those who are just looking for basic health and safety training. The NEBOSH General Certificate is typically ten days in duration, plus an additional revision day and with exams on a twelfth day, and covers a number of specific areas in detail. Whilst it provides a good overview on a number of areas, for someone requiring basic health and safety training, this may be too much, especially if this is their first introduction to health and safety in the workplace. A course such as the IOSH Managing Safely which is only three days in duration may be more suitable, although even this might be too much, and having an assessment and project to complete at the end may be off-putting for some.

Those looking for basic health and safety training tend to be looking for a one or two day course which covers the essentials, and provides a basic level of knowledge upon which to progress at a later date should they (or their employer) require it. Here at the BCF Group, we offer a range of health and safety training courses which cater for all levels. As well as comprehensive qualifications like the NEBOSH Diploma, we also offer our own courses lasting between half a day and two days which focus on a specific subject such as sharps training, working at height, conducting a fire risk assessment etc. For those not wishing to specialise too much on one area, and require a basic health and safety training course which can be applied to virtually any industry or job role, our Health and Safety Awareness and Health and Safety for Managers courses are the best option.

Whilst accredited courses need to follow specific syllabuses in order to satisfy the assessment criteria, our non-accredited courses can be tailored and adapted to your exact needs and requirements. Bits can be added or removed, and made specific to your industry so that your employees get the most out of the training, rather than having to sit through large sections of theory which isn't relevant to them and their job role.

Not only are the course syllabuses not set in stone, but the day's training does not have to be all on that topic. Many of our clients arrange one or two days of bespoke health and safety training and combine sections from a number of our courses. For example, a day's training for factory or warehouse workers may be a mixture of fire safety, manual handling training and permit to work training.



Why is Health and Safety Important?

The following article provides an introduction and brief overview of the important points of health and safety training in a nutshell.


Health and Safety Training is Vital for All Businesses

In any workplace the health and safety of your employees is a priority. Research shows that 148 people were fatally injured in work related accidents in the UK in 2012/2013, over 640,000 suffered work place injuries and 1.1 million people were affected with a work related illness. The large number of accidents and ill health can cost a business severely in the long run when it comes to business continuity.

Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace is paramount and health and safety training is the perfect way to establish this. Whilst this can take a lot of commitment and time and may affect resources initially, in the long run this will have major benefits for your company.



Benefits of Investing in Health and Safety Training

All heath and safety trainers should be competent in the safe management of the business and understand the importance in ensuring the well being of your employees. There are a large number of benefits in investing in health and safety training and these include:

  • Helping to avoid pain and anguish caused when there are accidents at work and ill health
  • Allows employees to spot ways they can improve health management
  • Employees can identify hazards and adopt safe working practices
  • Allows a positive safety culture to be developed where the concept of unsafe working practices are deemed unacceptable
  • Ensures you meet your legal duty to ensure the safety and well being of your employees and visitors to the company

Managers Need to Understand Their Health and Safety Responsibilities

When it comes to establishing a health and safety training protocol it's important for the manager of this to have both theoretical and practical experience. You need to have the ability to establish procedures to ensure there are people who have the right knowledge and skills to manage occupational risks. You can not leave it to luck to see whether anything happens.

It is required by law for every business to provide information, training and supervision to staff to ensure the ability to work safety, whether it is front line staff, managers, supervisors or chief executives. Whilst this may cost time and money, it will in effect save a lot of money in the long run as it cuts the risks of accidents and ill health which can have a detrimental effect. This in turn will help to guarantee the long term success of your company.

At any business there are a large number of roles and you need to assess the resources available in order to ensure you can meet your requirement for health and safety training. All training has to be paid for by the employer and should be done within work hours. Depending on the kind of locations your staff will be exposed to and any potential dangers i.e. chemicals or dangerous materials like asbestos you will have to put suitable safety methods in place. An office for example will have exponentially less dangers then a working factory with open machinery.

Once you have drawn up a suitable training schedule with designated trainers, you should make your employees aware of this and all related protocols. Ensure regular testing for all staff so they are aware of the requirements and know what to do if anything was to occur.



Our health and safety consultants have many years' of experience in not only teaching health and safety, but in the workplace too as health and safety officers and other related occupations, allowing them to truly engage with delegates on the course.

Whether you require basic health and safety training, an accredited health and safety qualification, or a comprehensive consultancy package, we can help. To discuss your particular requirements, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or contact us online by clicking on the "Contact" tab in the menu at the top of the page.






Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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