Some people think health and safety has ‘gone mad’. But government health and safety body HSE can provide statistics showing that since the health and safety act of 1974, non-fatal work injuries have been reduced by 77 per cent and fatal work injuries have been reduced by 85 per cent. This is obviously a successful program, which still shows room for improvement.
Companies are responsible for the health and safety of their workers. They must provide them with a safe, healthy environment in which to work, but what many employers don’t realise, is that part of creating a safe environment is to give their workers the information necessary for them to operate safely within that environment with others (and themselves) in it.
It’s all very well giving an employee a helmet and a hammer, but if he doesn’t know how to use these tools appropriately, he puts himself or others at risk. Because he hasn’t been properly trained, the employers have not created a safe environment for workers.
Give a Man Health & Safety Training
Contrary to popular belief, creating a safe and healthy environment isn’t simply about making sure there isn’t any asbestos in the working area, or that everything has the appropriate signage. Don’t get us wrong – these things are important. They play a very important role in keeping the working environment safe, but the main part of ensuring a safe working environment is the people that work in that environment themselves.
It’s all very well having signs telling people that they must wear a helmet or that they must wash their hands before returning to the kitchen, but until they’re told explicitly what the potential consequences of their actions are, it doesn’t always sink in.
Comprehensive health and safety training doesn’t just teach the very basic consequences of poor practice at work, but also covers more obscure areas of health and safety.
With this knowledge at their disposal, your working environment becomes a much safer place for all of your employees.
But Isn’t Health and Safety Just Common Sense?
Perhaps. Some certainly see it that way, but this isn’t to say that every worker is blessed with common sense nor that every aspect of health and safety is as obvious as that.
Bear in mind that in 2013 an estimated 646,000 people had an accident at work, and 175,000 of those had to have over seven days off as a result of their accident.
The idea of health and safety is to protect employees and employers. You don’t want to have a member of staff off for several weeks because their colleague wouldn’t foot their ladder, do you? And they certainly don’t want to sustain an injury.
Legally it is your duty to keep the workplace operating smoothly with zero health and safety concerns – this means every single one of your employees must be up to speed on their health and safety knowledge. It is their responsibility to remember and use that knowledge, but it is your responsibility to train them and enforce that training.
Help become part of the reduced workplace casualties and accept your responsibility as an employer – make sure your employees know how to work safely.
Glen Hughes is the Director of the well-established health and safety training website – Zero Harm Training. Glen feels it is important for companies to offer the right training to their employees.