THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING DURING TIMES OF POOR ECONOMIC OUTLOOK.
The current state of our economy is causing headaches for many UK and world organisations, and despite severe cutbacks there appears to be little respite for the foreseeable future. With spiraling costs, high unemployment, major job losses and low consumer spending business confidence is faltering.
The inevitable outcome is that budgets will be revised and squeezed downwards. Often training is seen as an easy target for cutbacks, especially the health and safety training budget. This, however, is a false economy. It is times of economic downturn that businesses should be investing in training in order to ensure that they can operate at maximum efficiency in order to weather the storm. Businesses that invest in their workforce in lean periods are best placed to survive and are ready to quickly capitalise on any future opportunities as the economic situation improves.
In respect of Health and Safety if any employee were injured or even killed through lack of training, this could result in prosecution, a large fine or even imprisonment under the recent Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
In the year 2011/12 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that 173 people were killed at work, 591,000 people were injured at work and 27 million working days were lost (22.7 million due to work-related ill health and 4.3 million due to workplace injury.)
The HSE states that employers have a duty to provide information, instruction, training and supervision and make sure all their workers can understand it. This, coupled with the ever-increasing burden of UK and EU health and safety legislation, means there is an escalating need for training rather than the reverse, to ensure compliance and avoid penalty.
The implications of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, under which organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care, are not yet always well understood by employers, making health and safety awareness training even more vital for business.
Providing health and safety information is essential to maintain a good safety culture within an organisation, so that safety is upmost in the minds of workers, and they feel well cared for by their employer. And ultimately, giving successful training can save the employer money.
Health and safety training should never be overlooked during financial downturns, as doing this could have disastrous consequences and make matters worse. Health and safety training through e-learning can not only save money compared with traditional training, but it can provide high-quality and effective instruction to ensure that all employees are fully up to speed with this vital issue.
BPI offers a range of fully accredited health and safety training courses:-
IOSH Managing Safely
This Managing Safely course, designed for managers and supervisors, of any organisation or sector, is unlike any other. Full of step-by-step guidance, and with a sharp business focus, you’ll find that the highly innovative format and content inspires delegates – critical to getting essential health and safety messages across.
IOSH Working Safely
Working safely is a one-day course for people at any level, in any sector, that need a grounding in health and safety.
IOSH Fire Safety for Managers
A sustainable, workplace, fire safety culture is based on a shared set of positive attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and beliefs about fire prevention and fire protection. An important step to achieving such a culture is to get the buy-in of managers, supervisors and team leaders.