Is It Too Late to Provide Health and Safety Training After an Accident?
The main purpose of providing health and safety training to workers is to minimise as far as is reasonably practical the chances of them suffering from an accident in the workplace or suffering ill-health as a result of working in a particular place or doing a particular task. Unfortunately the risks can never be completely eliminated even with all the health and safety training and preventative measures in the world in place, meaning that accidents in the workplace will occasionally happen.
So does it mean that if an accident occurs then it is too late to provide health and safety training? Absolutely not. In fact, there is most likely a much greater need now than there was before as whilst the past cannot be changed, it is important to try and prevent the same incident from happening again in the future with the potential to impact more lives. If an accident or incident did occur, it is highly probable that existing safety measures, controls, knowledge, working practices or competency of employees is/are insufficient and need to be re-addressed. This may mean additional training, a revision to policies, more effective monitoring or a consultation with workers about the conditions that they are encountering and experiencing in the workplace.
Even when there has not been an accident, it is imperative that neither management nor employees become complacent and think that their health and safety measures are 'finished'. Changing circumstances such as aging machinery, new employees starting or even worker boredom as days pass in which little happens can all too easily lead to an accident happening when it is least expected. Procedures, controls measures and monitoring systems need to be regularly updated along with providing health and safety refresher training to workers at regular intervals.