Why Health and Safety Training is a MUST!
More than 142 workers have been killed this year due to work-related accidents, and more than 27.3 million work days lost because of work-related illnesses (UK Health and Safety statistics 2014/15). So, ill health and accidents caused by work should be a fundamental issue for all employers. The employees of every organisation are its most valuable assets. Therefore, they should receive relevant training on health and safety for their workplace.
Health and safety training in the workplace is a great way for workers to acquire new skills and information that will bolster ethical work practices. Providing this essential training can result in a change of attitude to work and a reduction in work-related accidents, which invariably increases morale, knowledge, and productivity.
Work related accidents occur due to hazards that exist in a place of work. These hazards include objects, attitudes, practices or procedures that have the inherent ability to cause harm in a working environment. Some employers and employees may not be able to recognise a workplace hazard, and this ignorance is mostly because of a lack of health and safety training. The ability to identify hazards is a crucial component in creating a safe place to work, and identifying these hazards is the first step to understanding the risks that are inherent in your work environment and introducing measures to mitigate them.
These types of risks originate from the nature of an employee's job and can include body posture, awkward movements, poor lighting, and incorrectly adjusted workstations. Ergonomic hazards are the most difficult to identify because they sometimes appear to be the "norm."
These are dangerous working environments that can cause illness, injury, and death. These types of hazards are the most common workplace risks and include:
- Unguarded machinery
- Confined spaces
- Loose or exposed electrical wiring
- Spills and much more
Workplace biological hazards can occur from diseases and sicknesses as a result of working with people, animals, or toxic plants. Workplaces with these sort of risks include - but not limited to - laboratories, hospitals, emergency response work, and nursing homes. These hazards can be transferred from exposure to bodily fluids, bacteria, viruses, insect bites and so much more.
There are also other hazards worth mentioning like physical hazards (temperature, noise, etc) and chemical hazards (gases, fumes, etc.) No matter the type of work carried out, as an employer it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your employees receive the necessary training that will help them perform their duties safely. Also, if you are an employee, you owe it to yourself to pinpoint areas of your job that you do not have the proper training for. Naturally, all new workers should receive health and safety induction training at the start of their employment. This training should cover primary health and safety methods like the procedure for a fire, evacuation, first aid, and any corporate policies.
Employers should know the skills necessary for workers to carry out their jobs safely; this will help in the identification of vital knowledge gaps. You can begin an in-house risk assessment system by using an accident book to classify the departments and teams according to recent and previous workplace accidents, as it is highly likely that these are the areas needing the most urgent attention as accidents have taken place recently.