Why is Health and Safety Training Important?
Work-related accidents and poor health lead to enormous costs for employers. In 2013/14, 133 people were killed at work and 77,593 serious non-fatal work-related injuries were reported under the RIDDOR regulations which require employers to report certain serious workplace accidents.
Of these, the most common types of accident were caused by slips and trips (28%). Handling, lifting or carrying injuries accounted for 24%, while 10% of such injuries were caused by workers being struck by moving objects.
According to the Labour Force survey, 629,000 injuries occurred at work, of which 148,000 led to employees missing more than seven days of work. In all, 23.5 million days were lost due to work-related ill health and 4.7 million days were lost due to workplace injuries.
Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace needs to be a key priority for employers, and it is vital that directors, business owners, managers and supervisors are confident that staff and contractors are competent when it comes to health and safety.
Employers need to establish the correct procedures to ensure their business has the experienced and skilled personnel to manage occupational risks, as the way a business approaches health and safety training speaks volumes about their professionalism and dedication to the welfare of their workforce.
Investment in safety training helps foster a positive health and safety culture at work so that employees can identify hazards in the workplace and adopt safe working practices as a result. In addition, health and safety training enables employers to meet their legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of their staff and avoid not just the financial costs to their business, but also any personal pain and suffering their workers may experience due to work-related accidents and illnesses.
What the Law Says
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that it is the duty of every employer to ensure they provide whatever information, instruction and training is needed to ensure “so far as is reasonably practicable,” the health, safety and welfare of all employees.
Training must be paid for by employers and organised in normal working time and the law requires employers to have access to a suitable source of competent advice on health and safety training requirements and options for meeting them.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to take into consideration the abilities, training, knowledge and experience of staff to ensure the demands of their jobs do not exceed their ability to conduct their roles without risk to themselves or others.
The importance of health and safety training for employers and employees alike can never be underestimated, and preventing accidents and work-related ill health should always be a key priority for everyone concerned.
Young employees are particularly vulnerable to accidents and it is vital employers pay particular attention to their needs. Training in safety procedures is also especially important for new and inexperienced employees and it is paramount that businesses ensure such staff are adequately monitored and supervised.
John Reeder is a Senior Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
If you have sustained a serious injury in an accident at work, call our No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyers 24 hours 7 days a week on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you back.