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Why Health and Safety Training is Important


Introduction

Workers are often faced with health and safety dangers at their workplace. It doesn't matter the size of the company, be it a large or small firm, the safety and health of an organisation's workers should be of paramount importance to the leadership of that organisation. To some industries the dangers might seem obvious while for some it may not (Related Article: Should Some Businesses Take Health and Safety More Seriously Than Others?), but there isn't any workplace in existence where its' workers do not face health and safety dangers. Workers in restaurants or in an office might feel safe in their working environment, but as true as it may appear, there exists the potential of food contaminations, poor ergonomics and maybe psychological stress which can be a source of health and safety problems.



Health and Safety Training is Important for All Businesses and Industries

Since all industries face workplace hazards, it is imperative for company owners to provide health and safety training on a regular basis to curtail the chances of any industrial mishap. Did you know that more than two hundred workers die each year due to workplace related accidents, whilst more than one million individuals are injured during this time frame? Also, more than two million workers suffer from illnesses that are either caused or aggravated by what they do. With all these facts, preventing health-related accidents in the workplace should be one of the principal priorities of employers.



The Numerous Benefits of Health and Safety Training

The importance of safety and health training does not only end with injuries; there are many benefits associated with having sound safety and health training. A thorough knowledge of health and safety topics can provide many benefits and help in developing a positive health and safety culture among workers. This way, everyone becomes aware of safe and healthy working. If your company has a good health and safety training programme in place, it will help in ensuring that the employees are not prone to workplace accidents or falling ill due to their jobs, thereby avoiding the distress that workplace accidents and ill health causes.

Some other important reasons for engaging industrial workers in health and safety training include the following:



Lower Insurance Premiums

You save money because you will pay lower insurance premiums in the long run. If you have a company that has a workforce which is well-trained on a wide range of health and safety issues, you don't have to pay regular injury and accident claims when you have a knowledgeable employees on health and safety issues, which should avoid expensive rises in insurance premiums going forward.



Reducing Potential Compensation Claims

For those in charge of the company, learning about workplace health and safety can help in the reduction of workplace accidents and injuries, which will in turn help in saving the company from costly legal battles with their workers and lifelong support for their families. Prioritising the health and safety of your employees keeps them happy and provides good working conditions which will keep them from leaving the job due to any workplace-related illness.



Increasing Productivity and Output Levels

If your employees are healthy and fit, they will work with high efficiency which will affect the company's productivity positively. The productivity of a company is affected more by accidents and illness in the workplace than workers' strikes. Employers of labour understand that lost wages, disability compensation and medical payments eats deep into the financial resources of the company. Companies that engage their employees on regular health and safety training initiatives have fewer workplace related injuries and illness. Less illness means less medical and disability compensation, and the absence of workers is lessened which also increase company's productivity. An enhanced and safer working environment increases satisfaction in the workers, and a happy workforce results in enhanced productivity. So it will be right to say that health and safety training increases the overall productivity of a company.

It is to be noted that a safe workplace will make employees focus better on their daily task because they don't have to worry themselves much about their safety during working hours. This improved focus on their task will subsequently yield to a better output and quality of work which will ultimately mean an increase in productivity and increase in the company's profit.



Maintaining Company Reputation

If your employees have a good knowledge of health and safety issues, the chances of accidents will be reduced and this will increase the reputation of the company. You may not know the extent of the damage a single accident can bring to your company. Just a single workplace accident can spell doom for your business, especially if it happened as a result of negligence coming from your side, with the failure to provide suitable health and safety training for your workers one of the first steps in the negligence case.



Legal Responsibilities and Duty of Care

There is also the legal part of it all. As the owner of a company or employer of labour, you have a duty of care to make sure that the employees working for you are safe and healthy no matter where they are working, be it in the office or on the roadside or even in the factory. A company with an excellent reputation is a company with an excellent health and safety training record, and as a result attracts better employees. Employees with great working skills, experience and knowledge help in building and maintaining the reputation of a company. A positive health and culture within the business can therefore act as a positive, self-fulfilling cycle which continues to provide benefits for both employees and the success of the company alike. Employees have the right to be protected by their employers from accidents and illness associated with the workplace. When an employer is found to be, or has been, negligent in this duty of care, they are likely to face legal action which may culminate in imprisonment or heavy fines (Related Link: Prosecution Increases the Need for Health and Safety Training for Managers.



Lower Staff Turnover

Additionally, a company with a good record of health and safety training has a greater chance of keeping quality workers in their workforce, which helps in reducing turnover because the company does not have to train new employees, and also reduces productivity loss which is associated with the time needed for the training of new employees.



The Continual Need for Health and Safety Training and Refresher Courses

Finally, it is imperative that health and safety training continues to be performed and regularly refreshed and updated. Information can be forgotten or working processes/workplace layouts changed, resulting in a need for revised and updated safety training. Complacency can be just as much of a reason and cause of accidents than not thinking about health and safety in the first instance.



Further Reading:



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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