Let's say Health and Safety training is like sending your employees to work after a big bowl of Ready Brek, or a long shot of Berocca - it's you but on a good day. OK, so no-one's likely to be jumping around singing about their forecasting reports, but it does give your business a vital boost of vitamins to the immune system. A company that has protected itself from accident or damage to its employees' health, is a business protected from the financial consequences and time penalties of people off work, damage to buildings or products and the material costs associated therein. In many cases these costs are not covered by insurance and can leave companies highly vulnerable. To highlight the importance of taking your H&S vitamins, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Annual Report for 2011 states that 26.4 million work days were lost due to work-related illness and injury - an epidemic worth holding the antidote for.

Health and Safety by Law
So, whether your business revolves around use of dangerous manual machinery or more simply working with display screen equipment, your company is required by law to protect all employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, as well as adhere to The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999. In brief, this means all organisations must conduct a thorough risk assessment of their business and do everything 'reasonably practicable' to ensure the safety of all staff members. This involves having a clear Health and Safety policy with a robust system of procedures and competent representatives in place who can impart, monitor, control and review all preventative measures to any risks identified within your business.

Training for Health
While appointing a responsible individual is a great start towards comprehensive Health and Safety Policy, it is vital that all information is filtered through to all staff. It is the legal duty of an organisation to provide instruction, training and supervision to all employees, allowing them to carry out their jobs safely. Not only does this equip your staff to spot potential hazards and avoid them, it fosters a positive culture of care and concern as well as avoiding the pain, anguish and financial costs that injury and ill health can cause. With this in mind, take a look at the following company check-list to assess whether you have all aspects of health and safety covered. Indeed it is often small to medium businesses that are more vulnerable than larger organisations regards Health and Safety Law.

Nimbles Quick Health and Safety Check

Risk Assessment:
• Have you preformed a comprehensive risk assessment?
• Is this recorded?
• Have all potential high risks been communicated company-wide?
• Have you developed a Health and Safety (H&S) plan to combat identified risks?

Your H&S policy statement:
• What's your action plan?
• What are your company objectives on H&S?
• How do you respond when an incident occurs?
• Do you review your policy regularly?
• Is your policy being applied in practice?
• Are you monitoring the progress of your H&S framework?
• Is your policy fluid - do you adapt with experience?
• Is your policy robust enough or could more be done?

H&S Representatives:
• Have you got any H&S spokespeople or appointed representatives?
• Are these representatives fully aware of the Health and Safety Act and Health and Safety at Work Regulations?
• Do these people require H&S training to fulfil their roles competently?
• Have these people provided necessary policy information and training to other company staff?
• Do your representatives have the where-withal to effectively train the rest of the company?

Dish up the Ready Brek
If you don't have answers to the quick checklist above, are unsure whether you are fully complying to Health and Safety Law, or are concerned that your policy is not robust enough or that it's being communicated effectively, the good news is that there is now a lot of help and guidance online. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE - hse.gov.uk) offers plenty of advice and free downloadable guidance leaflets on the essentials of Health and Safety at Work. eLearning courses, and this is the bit where we come in, are also proving a more and more popular way of communicating your Health and Safety policies to your company. Courses that have been developed in conjunction with industry professionals or leading authorities in Health and Safety Law, mean that you can be reassured that you have the basics of the Health and Safety Act and Health and Safety at Work Regulations covered within the specifics of your industry.

nimble®Courses: Health and Safety
At eLearning247 we have also developed a professionally-led, Health and Safety course that covers all the essentials of Health and Safety Law and Management. Our courses are highly engaging and we include a free nimble®Author licence to easily edit your courses. So you can update, adapt, rebrand and generally 'fiddle' with your course as your company requirements dictate. The courses are all instructionally designed to deliver maximum learning impact in a highly digestible and interactive way. They also allow you to monitor whether your staff are completing or using the training at any given point.

If you have the resources to create your own Health and Safety courses in-house, you may still be interested in using our nimble®Author framework. Indeed, one of our new customers, DFDS Seaways, big in the safety arena, have just become a customer of eLearning247. They are using nimble®Author to create their own safety modules and have been delighted with nimble®Author to date. Health and Safety Manager at Dover, Russell Challenor says:

“We have found nimble®Author so simple to use, the flexibility of it means you can change something immediately and it can be used for all sorts of training topics, it’s brilliant and we highly recommend it! The support is also excellent.”

If you would like to take a closer look at our Health and Safety Course, please contact us on +44(0)1453 823029, view our demo, or use our contact form.