Over the past 10 years the member of work injuries at in the UK has been substantially reduced, as more employer realise the importance of safety in the workplace. From 2011 to 2012 an estimated 591,000 workers had an accident at work, with 212,000 of these injuries leading to over 3 days spent off work and 156,000 to over 7 days. Employees taking time off because of injuries suffered at work can cost businesses thousands every year and effect productivity.
When many employees start new jobs one of the initial experiences they go through should be health and safety training. Although seen as routine by many people who don’t take it very seriously, health and safety training is very important and can make all the difference when employees are faced with dangerous situations that could prove harmful to them and those around them.
Some of us may receive training that is substandard or inadequate and this can be equally harmful because it can result in people using equipment incorrectly. So it is not enough to have simply received training, you should expect to be trained properly by someone qualified to do so.
What is the law?
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the health and safety of their employees. This act is supported by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which identifies situations where training is very important such as when people start a new job, are exposed to increased or new risks at work. Your employer should always consult you on health and safety issues especially if there are any changes to procedure or risk factors.
Have you been properly trained?
For office workers training for how to use electrical equipment should be given and adequate chairs should be available. There should be a member of staff trained in first aid and everyone should be made aware of where the fire exits are. Employees should be shown how to lift objects properly and the location of fire assembly points should be common knowledge amongst staff.
Individuals who work in industry, factories or construction should be given training for operating machinery. The correct protective equipment should be provided and staff should be shown how to use it correctly. If hazardous substances are involved in job training, should also be given in terms of how to handle it safely. These are just a selection of the main practices that should be taking place within the workplace, but you should make sure you are aware of what is required for your specific job
It is important to remember that you as an employee are equally responsible for your safety at work. Workers have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by your actions at work. Workers are expected to co operate with employers and co-workers to help everyone meet their legal requirements.