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Distribution of Health and Safety Policy Not Enough

The Importance of a Health and Safety Policy

A company's health and safety policy is not only a legal requirement, but is also an extremely useful document. It details a lot of useful information regarding all manner of health and safety issues including the aims of the company with regards to safety and well-being, how it will achieve them, who is responsible for doing what and many other components besides. It is therefore extremely important and should be read by all employees so that they have a through understanding of its contents and what it is aiming to accomplish.

For this to be achieved, the health and safety policy should be available and easily accessible to all employees. Even better, distributing it to them either in print or in electronic format will ensure that they at least have a copy of it in their possession rather than relying upon them actively searching and finding it wherever it happens to be located.

The Need for Health and Safety Training with the Safety Policy Document

However, whilst this is a vital document, the distribution of the health and safety policy is not enough on its own. Managers cannot simply dish it out and sit back thinking that their job is done. To have the desired effect in terms of keeping people and the environment safe from coming to harm as a result of the activities associated with the workplace, simply having a quick read through (if indeed a person even gives it that much attention!) will not be sufficient without health and safety training courses to provide the relevant knowledge to go with the policy document, and provide the opportunity for questions to be asked and clarification given on points contained in the health and safety policy which might be causing confusion and misunderstanding. Not fully understanding certain issues, processes or procedures is one of the biggest reasons behind accidents and incidents occurring which can cause people to be killed, injured, or made ill as a consequence.

Whilst the policy will outline and describe who is responsible for what role in, say, the event of an emergency such as a fire in the premises, bespoke health and safety courses will be able to explain in detail not only what these individuals should be doing themselves to fulfil these tasks, but will also provide this information to everyone else, as it is important that they too know what action and steps are going to be taken in the event of an emergency situation breaking out the workplace.

Remember to Provide Refresher Training

The need for refresher health and safety training is well-established, with refresher courses in place for the SMSTS and SSSTS construction safety courses as an example, where knowledge has to be refreshed to ensure that individuals have not forgotten what they were previously taught.

The same is also true for the information learned from the health and safety policy document. Not only can this be forgotten as time progresses, but as the workplace is a constantly expanding or changing environment it will often be necessary for the health and safety policy to be amended and modified, not to mention any bespoke health and safety training where the content is the same each time and has been for a while. Therefore, companies need to ensure that not only is the health and safety policy itself kept up to date, but also that the safety training which accompanies it is updated to take into account any modifications to the policy.

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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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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