Although some companies consider health and safety a bit of a nuisance, something they do only because they have a legal obligation, others take a more enlightened view. Whilst the approach in the past was often to treat health and safety as a separate subject, now it tends to be an integrated part of the whole training programme.
Health and Safety Training
Nowadays, new workers receive health and safety training as part of the induction process. They get regular updates to ensure they are aware of the latest regulations, they receive frequent notification of new initiatives and they’re kept informed of current policies and procedures. All sub-contractors that a company uses go through a vetting process to ensure that, as well as being competent to do the job, their health and safety practices are in accordance with those of the main contractor.
The outcome is a workforce that is not only better trained in operational matters but is also able to work more safely. Indeed, many companies believe that employees who work safely also work more efficiently. So the investment in health and safety training often pays off in more ways than one.
One of the reasons for greater efficiency is obvious. Clearly, if there are fewer accidents, there are less disruptions and the site as a whole keeps going. However, in many ways, it’s much more than that. Some employers believe that employees who have the right mind-set are more effective than those that don’t. Those who can grasp the need for safe working and who can appreciate the best ways of going about it are more likely to understand how to work in an efficient manner.
Integrated Approach to Health and Safety
In some ways, it all comes back to an integrated approach where training to do the job goes hand in hand with health and safety training. The two eventually merge to some degree so that workers are trained how to do the job properly and in a safe manner. Health and safety is no longer treated as a bolt on but is simply part of the job. It then becomes second nature and workers operate safely and efficiently without having to think about safety as a separate topic.
Employers who have this more enlightened approach will be looking for workers who fit in with their standards. They want people who can work safely and efficiently from the start and so those who can prove their competence get a head start. A CSCS card shows what you are qualified to do, indicates that you have a certain level of health and safety knowledge and is a requirement on most construction sites. Getting one proves you can work safely and efficiently.