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A practical guide to assessing the health and safety competency of workers

Worker training and competency is embedded as a fundamental element in health and safety legislation. This is not confusing since the large majority of accidents at work are generated by workers who we're without the mandatory skills or knowledge. It is usually probably the most common reasons why employers are prosecuted in the eventuality of an accident.

Assessing your health and safety training needs is however not really a straight-forward exercise. Legislation doesn't give a simple look-up chart of coaching qualifications that needs to be provided. With a few exceptions the guidance is based on general principles which need the business to evaluate the requirements. If there is an accident it's going to be up to the business to show not merelywhat training has been provided but also why you consider this to havebeen appropriate.

So, this in article we aim to give practical guidance to begin to assist you to make sense of this exercise. It isn't a replacement for the recommendations of a competent person and it is recommended that you seek appropriate additional help should you be unsure about any aspect covered with this guide.

What doeshealth and safety competency mean?

The call to ensure worker competency runs through all health and safety legislation. Regardless which territory you operate in, health and safety competency generallymeans having:

  • Relevant knowledge, skills and experience
  • To be able to apply these appropriately, while recognizing the limits of one's competence and,
  • The required training to assist acquire and gaze after this.

So, can this mean that somebody who has had relevant training is competent? The answer is clearly no! As the above definitions highlight, training is often a necessary prerequisite to competency. But, because you have been on a training course and successfully passedan evaluation it doesn't mean you have the knowledge to make use of this in realityand crucially, to be aware when you are out of your depth. So, together with checking what training has beenprovided, assessing previous experience and monitoring on-the-job activity, it's essential to check on that a worker can carry out what been learntwhen evaluating competency.

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What exactly is health & safety training?

Health and safety training is any action that helps someone to build a skilled behaviour such as having the capacity to lift and carry aheavy load safely. Click here to see examples of health and safety traininhg . Training may also develop knowledgefor instance a comprehension of the way a permit to operate system operates or how to execute a risk assessment. Clearly, both skills and knowledgeare very important blocks to achieving competence. And so, we are able to observe that health and safety training is any activity that helps in the introduction of the following areas:

  • A knowledge of health and safety issues
  • Risk assessment and risk management skills
  • Skills needed to handle hazards of particular tasks or occupations

From this list we can easily notice that health and safety training covers not just sessions which are defined as 'health and safety training', but, also covers an array of lessons in how to execute a job orwhat known as vocational skills training. It is obvious, for example, when you employ an electrical contractorthen you need to see formal electrician qualificationsto haveconfidence that they'll work safely.

What should thetraining provide?

Safety and health regulations tend not tospecify which kind of training or qualifications need to be achieved and deciding what training to deliver usually relies on the judgementof theemployer.

To aid this process, in relation to specific health and safety issues you will find often a series of regulations that cover different hazard areas such as manual handling, confined space entry, working at height - etc. Each of such regulations usually outline general outcomes for trainingsuch as the capability to assemble safely mobile access platform recognize associated health and safety hazards and set up remedial actions.

Most groups of legislation may also be supported by guidance documents offering more detail to these general requirements. These details providestrategies for what training must cover but it's not definitive, and, certainly requires judgement as to what is or perhaps not suitable training.

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Posted in Business Service Post Date 10/15/2015


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