Do you legally need to train your staff in health and safety?…

January 24th 2018

The simple answer is yes you do, but there are more compelling arguments other than the fact that it is a legal requirement. There are also good moral and financial business cases to be made.


First, let us consider the number of accidents and ill health related issues reported to the Health and Safety executive during 2016/17 (remember these are the ones that we know about and were actually reported, in reality the figures are likely to be much higher):

  • 3 millionworking people suffering from a work-related illness.
  • 2,542mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2015).
  • 137workers killed at work.
  • 609,000injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey.
  • 70,116injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR.
  • 2 millionworking days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
  • £14.9 billionestimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2015/16).

The numbers alone are frightening but they do not tell the real story. We should also consider the hidden costs of accidents and ill health at work. Even relatively minor accidents have huge cost implications, we need to consider the downtime during the investigation, there may be machinery or equipment that has to be isolated or repaired and for more serious incidents you may be investigated by the Police or the Health and Safety Executive. During such investigations valuable Senior Management time and resources will be directed away from the operations of the business. Investigations could culminate in a criminal prosecution against the Company, or indeed individuals, and fines and costs awarded in the courts can be huge and are not covered by your insurance policies.

Let us not forget the injured worker. He/she may well require a lengthy time off work due to the incident and a replacement will have to be found. There is also the possibility of a claim for damages in Civil proceedings, which again take time and effort and could ultimately lead to an increase in your annual insurance premiums. In serious injury cases or deaths there is a real knock-on effect across the workplace and the injured persons wider family.

In extreme cases businesses may suffer serious brand damage as they become headline news either locally or nationally.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires you to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of your employees.

This is expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which identify situations where health and safety training is particularly important, e.g. when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating.

The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990 ensure that learners doing work experience are covered by health and safety laws.

In fact, most health and safety regulations require that you provide suitable and sufficient training to ensure that people are safe at work.

So who needs to be trained in health and safety?

Your Board and Directors do. The key decision makers have the ultimate responsibility for health and safety and they need specific training to make them aware of their responsibilities and leadership requirements.

Your managers and supervisors do. If you employ managers or supervisors they need to know what you expect from them in terms of health and safety, and how you expect them to deliver. They need to understand your health and safety policy, where they fit in, and how you want health and safety managed. They may also need training in the specific hazards of your processes and how you expect the risks to be controlled.

Your employees do. Everyone who works for you, including self-employed people, needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. Like your managers and supervisors, they need to know about your health and safety policy, your arrangements for implementing it, and the part they play. They also need to know how they can raise any health and safety concerns with you.

Lycetts is proud to announce that we now offer the nationally accredited IOSH Managing Safely qualification to assist our Clients in meeting their health and safety training responsibilities.

Please visit our training pages for further information and to book your place

Telephone Richard Wade on 0192 232 1151

E mail:

In addition to the accredited training courses, we can design and deliver bespoke training services to meet your specific needs. Training can be delivered at your premises, which keeps costs down and all delegates will receive a certificate of attendance.

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