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Health and safety training requirements

Everybody has the right to be safe at work. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that both legal and in-house health and safety procedures and rules are met and that staff are all adequately trained. Employees have a duty to know, understand and follow the health and safety procedures set out by their employers.

Accidents and work related ill health, not only cause distress, but cost businesses dearly in lost production and direct financial terms. If health and safety procedures have been overlooked and adequate training not been provided, insurance claims for accidents may not be paid. There are many short health and safety training courses aimed at ensuring staff at all levels are aware of key issues.

Qualification levels

Training courses can lead to four levels of certification in Health and Safety in the Workplace. These courses use the Health and Safety at Work act of 1974 and subsequent legislation as their starting points. Health and Safety courses need to be provided at key points; when new employees start, when they become exposed to new risks or when skills need updating. Short health and safety training courses are very beneficial as they can be arranged at a shorter notice and don't take a long time period for participants to gain the qualifications. 

Courses at Level 1 focus on induction procedures such as dealing with fire and evacuation as well as basic first aid knowledge. Level 4 courses are aimed at owners, managers and senior personnel, training them to effectively manage health and safety in their workplaces. This will include assessing and managing risk as well as writing and implementing appropriate policies.

Risk assessment training courses

People working in inherently dangerous situations, such as divers, asbestos handlers and the emergency services need specific training provision and there are training courses aimed at providing this. Training courses can also be adapted for different situations such as health and safety combined with social care, manual handling or dealing with hazardous substances.

Public courses, in-hosue training and distance learning options designed to meet the training needs of specific organisations. There are many course providers, for example, the National Occupational Standards organisation, trade unions, local Chambers of Commerce, local colleges or private training companies.

Benefits of completing short health and safety training courses

The content of training courses should focus on ensuring that employees know what is expected of them in the workplace, underlining the risks they face and how they can improve their practices. Courses aimed at employers or managers need to teach them how to monitor the effectiveness of existing health and safety practices, how to carry out risk assessments and how to ensure that all staff are trained adequately and regularly. It is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.

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