The Importance of Health and Safety Awareness Courses
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Although some hazards might be more obvious than others, every workplace exposes its staff and visitors to certain dangers, which is why it’s so important to arrange a health and safety awareness course for your employees.
According to stats from HSE, in 2017/18 there were 144 deaths in UK workplaces, while 1.4 million people were absent due to a work-related illness. Whether they’re involved with regular heavy-lifting, work from a height or stare at a screen all day, it’s your responsibility to protect your employees and make them feel safe in the workplace.
What Is a Health and Safety Awareness Course?
Health and safety courses play an integral role in reducing the risk of accident or illness, helping employees to recognise any potential hazards and teaching them how to improve safety standards. Effective training will show staff how they should react in case of emergency, while also making them aware of their own responsibilities and the importance of a safe working environment.
Most courses will cover the health and safety basics, ensuring that each and every employee understands how they can do their job safely and securely. After all, your safety policies are there to protect them, so you’ll want to make sure staff members are crystal clear on the procedures you’ve put in place.
The Most Common Workplace Safety Hazards
While some industries are unquestionably more dangerous than others, every workplace poses its own dangers and risks. In the past year, however, the agricultural and forestry sector has seen the most accidents and illnesses; while illness rates for the education and social work sectors are also high.
Employees that work from a height are placed in particular danger, with accidental falls accounting for a significant number of this year’s fatal accidents, while employees that handle harmful substances or heavy machinery are also at a higher risk.
Repetitive movements, such as typing at a keyboard and staring at a computer screen, can also have adverse effects on an employee’s health, so office-based businesses certainly shouldn’t assume they’re exempt from health and safety concerns.
The Benefits of Health and Safety Training
Although health and safety training is designed to protect your employees, it also provides your business with a wealth of fantastic benefits, such as:
Reducing Risk of Illness and Accident
Since a health and safety course will raise awareness of the dangers in the workplace, it will significantly lower the risk of an employee suffering a work-related illness or accident. Ultimately, this means your staff will be taking less time off work and results in improved levels of productivity, while also saving you from any costly legal battles.
Protecting Your Employees
Once your employees have completed the training, they’re bound to start taking health and safety procedures far more seriously. Inevitably, this creates a safer environment for everyone, as employees feel more committed to spotting safety hazards and making sure others are following the correct procedures.
As well as ensuring employees feel more protected in the workplace, health and safety courses can also make them feel valued and appreciated, since you’ve made it clear just how seriously you take their well-being. Of course, this will make them much happier in the workplace, meaning you can be more confident in retaining your star members of staff.
Saving Your Business Money
Whenever a member of staff is absent, it doesn’t just hamper productivity, it also costs your business money. In 2017/18 alone, 30.7 million working days were lost in the UK due to work-related illness, and businesses are bound to feel as though a lot of those absences could have been avoided if staff had the proper training.
This level of absenteeism is costing British businesses billions every year, with many forced to bring in new members of staff to fill the sudden gap in productivity, while others pay out vast amounts in sick pay, wages and high insurance premiums.
By reducing the risk of accidents in the workplace, you’re also lowering the chances of being hampered by such issues; while you also won’t have to worry about becoming embroiled in an expensive legal battle or having to pay out substantial compensation sums.
Carrying Out Your Legal Obligation
Finally, you need to provide effective health and safety training because it’s your legal requirement to do so. Due to the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the protection of their employees, which involves notifying them of their own health and safety responsibilities and any matters that could affect their well-being.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.
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