Whatever industry or sector, there are workplace dangers that can threaten employees’ health and safety. In some industries, such as mining and oil, the dangers can be worse because workers can be exposed to harmful chemicals, fires, and the breakdown of machinery.
Workers face these health risks every single working day. For other fields of business, however, the dangers may not be as obvious. Working in an office or a restaurant may seem relatively harmless, but they still require a basic understanding and competence of health and safety.
According to the UK government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2019 92 employees died due to work-related activities in the UK. Though the causes of these incidents are unknown, this figure alone should be enough motivation to consider some intensive safety, workplace and refresher training for your staff. It can be a legal requirement to do refresher training, and the importance of health and safety can be literally life and death.
In this article, the experts at CE Safety explain how refresher training can prevent accidents, but also increase productivity and business growth.
Every member of staff, no matter what role they have, will benefit from refresher training. It’s so important for businesses to be proactive when it comes to staff training, and we shouldn’t wait for a hazardous incident before scheduling refresher training. We should schedule the training to avoid the hazardous incident altogether.
Leadership teams should be aware and observe how their office or workforce operate, and this is where they get the chance to identify the most urgent health and safety issues that need resolving. Getting close to the work and ‘under the bonnet’ can highlight existing problems and potential hazards in your workplace.
By scheduling a day of refresher training for your staff, you can help to prevent unsafe working environments and incorrect procedures. It can also help to get the most out of your staff. Here are a few specific business benefits of running a refresher training course:
It’s possible to save money because you will pay lower insurance premiums in the long run as you avoid regular injury and accident claims. If your workforce is well-trained on a wide range of health and safety issues, then it’s likely that you won’t get expensive rises in insurance premiums in the future.
Maintaining company reputation
If all staff, including the leadership team, are up to date with training and have a good knowledge of health and safety issues, the chances of accidents will be reduced. This can increase the reputation of the business and promote a great working environment, but on the other hand, one big accident can damage the reputation of the brand.
Almost every workspace has its own way of doing things and the staff might have a deep-set routine, but existing routines can often lead to complacency and a tendency for laziness in the workplace. When working with heavy machinery or any dangerous equipment, this is not a habit we’d advise falling into.
This is also known in the industry as a skills fade, which applies where staff don’t practise a skill regularly, e.g. extinguisher training or CPR and they lose effectiveness in performing that skill.
Refresher training can help to motivate your staff into ensuring they are working to best practice, and they will re-establish the key values they were taught when they first began the job. The HSE strongly recommends anyone who has done an HSE recognised first aid course, does an annual 1/2 day refresher.
Get the best out of existing staff
A working routine can often lead to a mental rut, where a workforce becomes disengaged and loses their drive for improvement. Instead, employees might settle for the jobs they know how to do. As part of their refresher training, why not broaden their horizon and offer additional training and support, such as first aid training? This might encourage them to step up and take on a little extra responsibility at work. It can give your employees the motivation to do something different for the day, to educate themselves in a new field, and allow them to help you make your business a safer place to work.
Keep up with industry advancements
New advances in technology are being introduced to us every day. Using specialised courses of refresher training, you can help to remind your staff members of the safest procedures to use when handling such machinery. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a piece of equipment they’ve used for years, or a new development they’re still getting to grips with.
Fresh training on the new equipment will help to encourage safer engagement with these technologies. It also helps to promote your business as one that is fully prepared to take on new advancements and technological changes to your industry.