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Prosecution Increases the Need for Health and Safety Training for Managers

Accidents Pose a Threat at All Times

Unfortunately despite all of the procedures, safeguards, policies, care and attention that is afforded and put in place, mistakes and accidents in a place of work still happen. These factors, combined with health and safety training, can only reduce the potential for accidents; it can never completely eliminates the possibility entirely.

Health and Safety Legislation is in Place to Protect People and the Environment

As developed nations have continued to introduce legislation which serves to protect workers, so too have the consequences become more severe for managers who fail in their responsibilities for complying with this legislation and regulations, and fulfilling their duty of care towards employees, members of the public and the environment.

For those managers and directors who are negligent or deliberately flout legislation and regulations, rather than just facing warnings and fines, there is a very real risk of criminal proceedings and prison sentences for serious health and safety breaches.

Managers Need to Understand Health and Safety Requirements

It is essential then that not only do managers need to ensure adherence and compliance with legislation at all times, but they also need to be sure that they have a thorough and correct understanding of exactly what these legislative requirements are and what is demanded of them with regards to keeping people and the environment safe from harm as far as is reasonably practical. The threat of prosecution therefore increases the need for health and safety training for managers, as without being taught about the legislation they will not be fully aware of everything it contains and consequently what is expected of them. A lack of knowledge has been the cause of many accidents, and the same is true when it comes to managers not understanding what is required from them and subsequently not implementing it in the workplace.

The Need for Proactive Research and Health and Safety Training

The ever-present threat of prosecution means that managers and directors should not simply wait to hear about entirely new legislation or amendments to existing regulations, but instead need to actively learn the information and ensure that they keep up-to-date with changes which will impact the industry in which they operate. Whilst some requirements may apply to all workers regardless of industry or job title, and so find their way into the media, there may be changes which are industry-specific and may require a little proactiveness to find.

Not only do managers have a responsibility for improving the fortunes of the company from a financial perspective (assuming that the business is a commercial, for-profit organisation of course) and putting in the associated time and research that this entails, but they also have a duty to also carry this out with regards to health and safety. Whilst this may not be time spent which provides any financial benefits for the company (although it can be argued that it does long-term), it is still necessary to fulfil all legal requirements and minimise the potential for prosecution. Attending comprehensive health and safety training courses will fulfil a large part of this objective, as will engaging the services of an external health and safety consultancy company who can advise on the responsibilities of management.

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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