For employees and employers alike, workplace safety is a critical concern.
When seemingly harmless hazards are ignored or overlooked, they might develop into serious risk. Effective health and safety training is responsible for accident prevention, which promotes the lasting success of businesses and the protection of people associated with them.
Whether you’ve just started a new role as a team leader or you’re planning to start a new business, it’s always worth knowing why staff should receive comprehensive safety training.
What is workplace safety training?
Safety training varies by sector but can generally be defined as specific, modular courses that teach staff how to carry out their role safely. Reducing the risk of accidents is a key part of safety training, but staff should also know relevant fire safety procedures and industry-specific hazards.
Companies can create and utilise their own resources, but many choose a trusted partner or outsource industry-approved training partners. Courses and accreditations approved by organisations like RoSPA may be required in certain sectors.
In the year leading up to 2022, workplace injuries and new cases of work-related ill health cost the economy over £20 billion. This significant loss could be attributed to insufficient training, either directly or indirectly: that’s just one of the reasons to conduct it.
Why is health and safety training so important?
- Legal compliance
Workplace training isn’t just a moral concern. Businesses are legally required to meet certain safety standards set out by the Government and regulatory trade bodies. At the very minimum, these include guidelines set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act, which apply to all industries and areas of trade in the UK.
The consequences of non-compliance can be devastating for individual employees and businesses too. Hefty fines and lengthy legal battles, which could result in action against an employer, are the most prominent threat of failing to ensure sufficient training.
- Cost-effective strategies
When teams know how to carry out their work safely, businesses avoid steep financial costs associated with accidents and occupational ill-health. Naturally, there’s a reduced likelihood of staff members needing to make personal accident claims against an employer.
Furthermore, as more staff become experts in their trade, the quality of training improves and so a highly skilled workforce is created. Knowledge is passed from experienced employees to new starters, which wouldn’t be possible without proactive training.
- Competent, productive employees
Proper training fosters a positive health and safety culture in any workplace, where preventing accidents becomes second-nature to all employees. When team members take a proactive role in ensuring their own safety, an organisation naturally becomes more safety-conscious.
When staff members know all about the potential risks of their trade and understand how to mitigate them, safety is streamlined into daily operations. Identifying hazards before they present danger to a business is one of the most significant outcomes of effective training.
From slips and trips to exposure to toxic materials, even the most avoidable accidents can occur without thorough training. Ensuring a safe working environment is a global priority. Safe, qualified workplaces lead to healthier, more productive employees and profitable economies.
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