Most businesses have a rolling programme or annual staff training update in place. This ensures that employees remain up to date with any necessary changes to procedure, but also presses home the importance of some of the more generic items that we’re supposed to know about, but when put on the spot, often forget.
If your business doesn’t have a training update like this, usually an annual occasion, then it’s time to implement one. Depending upon how many employees you have, this can be done as a spread out programme, with a set number of employees on each training session, with maybe one schedule in once or twice a month. Of course, managers need to keep a record of the last time an employee attended a training update, and then recall them after a year, to avoid anyone falling behind.
The question of who is responsible for workplace health and safety of course falls on everyone, not just the employer. It’s up to the employee to ensure that they’re working in a safe and healthy way and that they’re using any protective equipment that their employer gives to them. They’re also responsible for reporting any hazards or issues to the health and safety officer, or their manager. For that reason, regular training such as this helps to highlight responsibilities.
These training sessions can be done internally, rather than outsourcing to an external training company, but it’s a good idea to check out your options and find the best for your employees and business.
So, what should be included in this annual training update? Here are a few ideas.
- Manual handling training – Teaching employees how to lift heavy boxes and loads properly can reduce the risk of injuries and therefore sick days. You should also explain to employees that they should make use of any lifting or carrying aids (trollies) and they should not lift anything they feel they’re not able to.
- Stress management – We need to place more importance upon stress and help to break down the stigma. This is one of the main reasons for long-term sickness within offices, so helping employees to understand the techniques they can use to reduce stress is important.
- Time management – A brief session on time management could be extremely useful. Not only in helping employees to be more productive but also for reducing stress that comes from falling behind on deadlines or feeling overwhelmed with a workload.
- Fire safety – employees need a quick recap on what to do in the event of a fire. There should be information around the space all year around about this very subject, but reminding employees what to do and their responsibilities (including what they shouldn’t do) is key.
- General health and safety – A sessions on the Health & Safety at Work Act and what responsibilities fall on the shoulders of employees is important. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s a good idea to remind people so that they’re aware at all times.
- Any updates pertinent to the industry – There should also be updates according to the industry that you’re in. If there are any new innovations or rules, these need to be pressed home in regular working days but can also be summed up during training sessions too.
Make sure that your annual staff training sessions include these items and look forward to your employees being in no doubt about their workplace health and safety responsibilities.