Learning out of the box

Health and safety training comes in many forms – even in a box.

Selecting and running the best health and safetytraining package within an organisation is not for the faint hearted. From bespoke training courses aimed at specific work aspects to generic and accredited programmes, there are many packages on the market.

Typical courses include those for new employees, and refresher programmes for those who need to brush up their health and safetyknowledge. Most importantly, it is essential to choose a course thatis accredited by a recognised health and safetyinstitution.

The Institute of Safety and Health (IOSH), for example, offers a wide range of health and safety training courses. Its latest, Managing Safely and Working Safely is a general health and safety awareness programme aimed at managers across all sectors. Its big selling point is that it comes in a ready to use packaged format – a wheeled suitcase-type box.

Designed with eight modules, the four- to five-day course can be delivered over a full week, on single days or in the evenings. It comprises eight modules, including: introducing managing safely,assessing risks,controlling risks,and understanding your responsibilities. Course content includes a PowerPoint presentation (which features animation), delegate workbooks, trainer notes(including focused training tips),and extra background information.

Priced at £1,200, the package also includes two DVDs, and a bank of assessments – all of which fit into thecase.

Managing Safely is designed to be practical, providing managers with step-by-step guides to carrying out key health and safety activities. Course delivery is through IOSH members who are responsible for overseeing the modules and act as the first line of quality control.

Trainers who deliver Managing Safely must have as a minimum: a Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) recognised health and safety qualification at national Level 3 (for example,vocational qualification Level 3 or a National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health Certificate), and two years’ training experience.

For its part, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) provides a selection of health and safety training courses across many sectors, including day and block release sessions. Its new courses for 2007 include: Supervising Safely Fire Risk Assessment Manual Handling Risk Assessment Workplace Transport Risk Assessment Risk Assessment Tools and Techniques.

RoSPA has also introduced a new modular National Examination Board in Health and Safety National General Certificate designed to accredit courses thatfit around busy schedules. Priced at £2,479 for RoSPA members and £2,702 for non-members, the syllabus covers 12 one-day courses, with the certificate valid to a QCA-accredited Level 3 qualification.

The certificate assessments comprise two examsand a practical exercise. For the first six days, the introduction to Health and Safety at Work (Publication) covers the knowledge required forthe A1 exam, with training for the A2 exam taking a further six days.

For those with less time on their hands, RoSPA’s new Supervising Safely course lasts three days, and is designed to develop skills in promoting safer working practice. It is intended for supervisors and line managers responsible for practical safety management.

Core aims include understanding their role and responsibilities in safety management how to apply risk assessment principlesand how to recognise the importance of effectively supervising young workers.

The British Safety Council offers a wide selection of training services, which can be attended at its own offices, or can be arranged as in-company courses. Its most popular courses include: Health and Safety for Directors and Senior Managers Awards Level 2 Certificate in Risk Assessment Awards Level 2 Certificate in Supervising Staff Safely Level 2 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment and Level 6 Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health.

The one-day Health and Safety for Directors and Senior Managers costs £295, while the Level 6 Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health, which comprises a five-day, five module programme, costs £7,020.

by Andrew Moore

Case study: Cummins

The Cummins engine company worked with Safety4business to run an e-learning version of the IOSH Working Safely course.

Originally, the company employed a traditional approach to health and safety training, relying on classroom and on-the-job techniques. The Working Safely course was delivered from the company’s new £80,000 e-learning centre, where managers can study at a pace that suits them.

Frank Walsh, safety and services manager, says: “We no longer have to release large groups at a time from the production process. Training can be fitted around production requirements instead of the other way round.”

He adds that e-learning works effectively where shift working is concerned as the system copes equally well regardless of working hours. The training, he says, can be delivered to anyone at almost any time and in any place. “E-learning is certainly cost effective. The learning itself is competitively priced and we have made significant savings by not having to take people off jobs or disrupt production,” Walsh says.

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