Why are good safety training records important?
Training is so important for new and existing employees. HSE guidance states that ‘Everyone who works for you needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. You must provide clear instructions and information, and adequate training, for your employees.’. So clearly, it’s an area that requires attention from employers.
Be aware that not all employees will fit the same training requirements. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are suitably trained for the tasks they are employed to do. Don’t assume that a worker knows how to do a certain job on the basis of their CV.
Besides the obvious induction of the premises, employers must show individuals how to operate specific machinery or equipment. There may be subtle differences between equipment they are familiar with and the type they will be using. There may be other differences too. Materials may handle or react differently, the location and layout will be different – vehicles, pedestrians, noise issues, etc.
In the event of an incident, training records can be used to aid investigations to determine whether training is lacking, insufficient, or it is actually OK. Good training records will be backed up with good documented procedures. Take a product user guide as an example. They are a standard document and everyone gets to see the same message. In a workplace they should be backed up by someone with relevant experience and knowledge to take the trainee through the user guide.
If there isn’t a product user manual or the job is for a process instead of equipment then instructions and information, often called standard operating or safe working procedures, should be produced.
Any training provided should be recorded as it is your evidence that you have provided employees with adequate training. Make sure the trainee signs to acknowledge they have had the training and, importantly, that they understood. Just giving a user guide or other documented procedure to someone to read isn’t enough. They may have difficulty reading or understanding the text especially if technical or unfamiliar phrases are used.
In summary then, you must provide employees with information, instruction, training and supervision to do their jobs. Keep records for all individuals of their training but back it up with evidence showing what training was given. It’s importance will be realised in the event of an incident.
For more information call Quest Consulting on 0844 8797286.
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