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Key actions in capability and effective health and safety training
- Provide resources to enable training to take place. Ensure that sufficient time is given for training
- Ensure that a system is in place that provides assurance that workers and managers involved in safety-related work remain competent
- Make sure that contingency plans are in place. What would happen if a key member of staff were to suddenly leave the organisation?
- Ensure that your organisation has access to competent health and safety advice. This may be through a trained in-house adviser, or a competent external consultant - find a consultant
- Demonstrate personal compliance with health and safety training. Workers will follow your example
Planning for training
- Decide if training is necessary. Think about the job, the person who carries it out, the processes and equipment required
- Remember that contractors will need to be trained
- Ensure there is a system in place to identify training needs during recruitment and when there are changes of staff, plant, processes, substances or technology
- Find out which specific training you must provide by law, such as for operating forklift trucks
- Prioritise training needs
- Decide the format that training will take, for example:
- formal course coaching
- informal, ‘on the job’ training
- written instructions
- online information
- simply telling someone what to do
- Remember that additional arrangements may be necessary for those whose first language may not be English, or those with low levels of literacy
- If the task is new, can you learn from other organisations?
- How will you make sure workers receive refresher training?
- Newly trained workers should receive close supervision to ensure that they are competent in carrying out their duties
Monitoring and measuring training’s effectiveness
- How will training records be kept?
- Monitor learning outcomes and training methods
- Review training material regularly to ensure that it remains current
- Consider remedial training if lack of competence is identified as the cause of an incident
- Gather feedback on training
- Decide whether the training delivered its objectives. Consider whether there have been any improvements following the training - if not, initiate changes
Worker consultation and involvement
- You must consult workers or their representatives during the planning and organising of training
- Appointed safety representatives have paid time to carry out their functions, and to have training in those functions
- Ensure that training material or information comes from a reliable source and that the person carrying out the training is competent to do so
- If training is outsourced, make sure the trainer has a good understanding of your organisation and its requirements
- Decide how the organisation will keep up to date with changes in legislation and methods of risk control
- Remember that competence levels will drop if skills are not used on a regular basis - schedule refresher training at regular intervals
- Simulation exercises and drills will be required for some high-risk activities, eg control room operators’ full-site emergency exercises
- Don’t assume that workers will be competent following a course or instruction - check
- Review your employees’ capabilities and provide additional or refresher training if needed