The Easy Part of Induction
When many people hear the phrase ‘health and safety’ in a workplace context, they batter their lids and yawn as if they know it all; as if it is a case of mollycoddling and obvious things that only a complete idiot wouldn’t know. To those starting a new job, the first day nerves are often qualmed when they undergo this section of orientation, as aspects are often already known or simple common sense. It’s a different case if you’re working with machinery or new equipment of some kind as there is a very real danger there, but in some cases this is unclear. Unfortunately, many people see the healthy and safety talk of their job as a way to make that first apprehensive day go that little bit quicker, or a rehash of what they were told on their first day. However, this is the wrong view to take, especially on behalf of the employer.
Should I Bother?
If you are business-owner, you probably have a hundred and one things on your mind day-to-day, mainly concerning ensuring a high standard of service or product that you deal in for your customers. It’s not a case of being money-hungry at all; staff have to be paid, overheads taken care of and everything else to ensure smooth sailing. And while there is no doubt that you do care about the wellbeing of your staff on a professional level (and often on a personal one too), the idea of spending a whole afternoon in a conference room can seem a little like a second priority when it doesn’t directly link to sales or conversions. As stated, sometimes the necessity for such training is unclear, like in a white-collar office; but when you look closely, there are many, many aspects needing attention, such as the consumption of food and drink near electric equipment.
An Investment or Insurance
Consider Health and Safety training as an investment, or even a kind of insurance. You most likely have insurance for your premises, so why wouldn’t you for your staff? While the fact you’ve hired them means they are capable and not complete idiots, accidents can happen quite easily, especially in a busy workspace; and when they result in some form of injury (which can affect ability to earn and live), tensions can rise high. Most bosses have a great relationship with their employees and no one likes the idea of that turning sour in the form of a legal dispute. So it makes business-sense to cover yourself, just as you would with insurance; something bad probably won’t happen, but it’s good piece of mind that you’re protected just in case. It makes sense to pay, say, £100 for someone to come in and give a workshop than to pay out thousands or even millions if you are sued.
While it shouldn’t be treated lightly, or like a day off from work, a workshop or meeting about Health and Safety, can be seen as a bonding exercise amongst a workforce. It’s a chance to see each other in a different context rather than speaking about business, and is a pleasant break from the quotidian, or usual business day. Additionally, you’re very likely to learn something that you never knew or took for granted from this professional speaker, or even discover dangerous or libel actions which you routinely perform without realising. However, it should simply be seen as essential in maintaining a fully-functional, professional workplace.
Paul has worked in various office environments, of varying industries and service and as a result has been exposed to several forms of training when it comes to workplace safety. In his free time, he enjoys documentaries, including those about employer-liability cases where an employer has been reckless, negligent or at fault. Paul has also studied Law at A-Level, which involved study of cases of Negligence. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenjonbro/6407005225/sizes/m/
Many companies just don’t take the proper amount of time to thoroughly train their employees on the importance of safety. It is the employees’ live on the line, and the last line of defense for them is the right kind of PPE safety equipment. Training on this subject is a very vital part of teaching the types of equipment that are required in their particular job. pb