Many people think that, in order to train people, they must attend a formal training session in a classroom environment, however, that isn’t really true. People learn by many different methods from reading a poster to learning by doing.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASWA) requires the employer to provide instruction, information and training. In many places the Act also refers to a ‘Competent Person’.
Competence depends not only on the capability of an individual, but on the appropriateness of that capability to the particular task in hand. A simple mnemonic to apply to competency is KEPT
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, reg.13(2) (MHSWR) states that adequate health and safety training must be provided whenever it is most likely to be needed. This includes:
The regulations also state that the training is repeated periodically – although no time scale is suggested – this indicates that it’s important to refresh skills and knowledge at regular intervals. This will depend on the risk levels relating to the activities – the higher the risk, the more frequently training will be needed.
Not only should training take place, but records of training – the programme, the attendees, the date and what was covered – must be kept for at least three years.
Common sense dictates that a training plan for all staff relating to their roles, skills, safety, responsibilities and changing legislation should be put in place and regularly updated.