Q20. How do we develop safety training?

When developing a plan to implement occupational safety and health (OSH) training within your organisation, the following aspects need to be taken into account.

General considerations

• Document the training philosophy and approach that your organisation takes in your safety management system (SMS) management procedures.

• Consider the training requirements across all levels of the organisation's management, from the shop-floor to the boardroom.

• Ensure that sufficient personnel and financial resources are available to support a planned and long-term training strategy.

• Ensure that training providers to your organisation have the required competency and accreditations appropriate to the training provided.

• When training takes place, ensure that there is a process for participants to evaluate and comment on the training provided.

• Ensure that a procedure is in place to verify the training standards and qualifications claimed both by contractors (when tendering for work) and by prospective employees (when applying for employment).

Specific training considerations

Address the following within your SMS for training, with the minimum acceptable standard being the legal requirement that applies to your organisation:

• Ensure suitable training has been identified within your organisation to cover:

• Normal workplace risks (from your risk assessment process).

• Specialised workplace risks (such as confined space entry training, etc).

• Safety inductions (including employees, contractors and visitors).

• Emergency procedures and precautions.

• Contract and temporary staff.

• Consider the training requirements of employees who may have particular requirements or specialist needs, such as young people, new recruits or foreign workers.

• Ensure that training is reviewed periodically to ensure its continuing relevance and effectiveness.

• Provide appropriate refresher training where a requirement has been identified.

• Provide OSH training at no cost to the participants and, where appropriate, during normal working hours.

• Ensure that training is provided in a manner, form and language appropriate to your workforce.

• Ensure that your organisation identifies and meets the minimum legal requirement for OSH training for specific roles.

• Ensure that employees are required to attend appropriate training that relates to their work activities (ensure that this requirement is outlined in job descriptions).

• Ensure that attendance and performance at OSH training is taken into consideration during the personnel performance review process.

• Identify the milestones where tailored and appropriate training should be provided, such as:

• When new employees are hired.

• When employees are transferred to new work tasks.

• When new equipment, technologies and systems are introduced into the workplace.

Q21. How do we identify our safety training requirements?

Before your organisation can develop and implement an occupational safety and health (OSH) training programme, you must take into account a number of critical factors that influence your training needs, including:

• The size of your organisation.

• The jurisdiction(s) your organisation operates in (as a minimum, you must meet the local regulatory requirements in each jurisdiction).

• The scope of work that your organisation is engaged in on a day-to-day basis.

• The complexity of tasks that your organisation is engaged in on a day-to-day basis.

• The management structure and, therefore, the different levels of responsibility assigned within your organisation.

• The approach your organisation takes to develop training across your organisation.

Size of the organisation

Size (in terms of both personnel and financial resources) will dictate whether there is a requirement for dedicated training resources within the Safety or Human Resources (HR) departments to plan, organise, pay for and co-ordinate training. OSH training for larger organisations often is just one of many categories of training required for employees and can dovetail with vocational and other training requirements.


Although OSH regulatory requirements for employers tend to be similar in many parts of the developed world, there can be significant differences when organisations operate in developing or third world environments. As a minimum requirement, every organisation must meet the OSH standard(s) that apply in law at their work locations. Of course, ideally, the organisation's safety management system should exceed this minimum requirement but, in the event of an accident or incident becoming a legal issue, the question of compliance with the law is always the starting position.

Scope and complexity of operations

The type of OSH training required depends on the hazards and risks within the workplace. A small, low risk environment, such as an administration office, will have minimal training requirements, whereas a construction company that specialises in scaffolding and rope access on offshore oil platforms will have a substantial training requirement.

Management structure

It is important that OSH training covers all levels of management. Although it may appear that workers who carry out day-to-day tasks on the shop-floor are the only ones who require training, this is a mistake. Even senior management may not be aware of their legal requirements and obligations regarding OSH and, often, may not have had up-to-date and relevant instruction about safety management and its potential benefits to an organisation. The type and scope of training may change but the need is universal.

Approach to training

Training must be implemented in a planned and structured way so it is clear what is to be achieved at each stage of the process. Such an approach could include these stages:

• Identification of training needs and requirements.

• Development of the training programme content.

• Implementation of the training programme.

• Evaluation and review process.

In addition, there should be a feedback loop as part of the evaluation and review process. Since the cost of putting in place a training programme can be significant, it is vital that the organisation understands where it is getting value and where changes and improvements need to be made on an ongoing basis.

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