Health and safety in the workplace

In 2013/14, an estimated 2.0 million people in Great Britain were suffering from an illness (long standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work (Source: HSE Health and Safety Statistics Annual Report for Great Britain, 2013/14). It’s therefore important to ensure that your employees know how to work safely and are aware of any hazards and risks they may face at work.

In order to manage the health and safety of your business and help prevent workplace accidents, ill health and sickness absence, you should provide free workplace health and safety training for your staff.

Why should I provide workplace health and safety training?

As an employer, it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your staff receive appropriate workplace health and safety training, as well as job-specific training to improve competence and confidence.

Various UK and European legislation and regulations require you to provide information, training and supervision to your employees in order to ensure their health and safety in the workplace.

You also have an extra duty of care to specific members of staff, including new employees, pregnant workers and young workers (under 18s).

Providing your employees with health and safety training, as well as clear instructions, information and advice, helps to:

  • reduce work-related illnesses and absence;
  • avoid the financial costs of accidents and occupational ill health;
  • develop a positive health and safety culture;
  • ensure that your employees know how to work safely and without risks to their health.

Do I need to provide work equipment training?

All work equipment has the potential to cause problems in the workplace, so you need to ensure it remains safe to use and that you’re not putting employees at risk.

Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), work equipment can only be used by people who have received adequate training on the correct use of the equipment and the risks that may arise from its use.

Find out more about safe and healthy use of work equipment.

You can also get guidance on training your workforce though the Health and Safety Executive.