In determining their requirements for employee health and safety training many employers fail to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the training needs within their organisations. This can lead to gaps in the training required to meet employer obligations under current health and safety legislation.

The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 sets out the requirements for employers in the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision regarding safety and health to employees. This health and safety education must be in a form, manner, and language that employees are likely to understand.

Employers need to ensure (so far as reasonably practicable), that all employees are provided with the opportunity to attend statutory health and safety training as per regulatory / legislative requirements. Employers also need to ensure that training deemed necessary following the risk assessment process is facilitated for all staff.

In assessing the hazards in an organisation, the hierarchy of control measures needs to be applied. The most effective control measures include actions that can be taken to remove the hazard. If this is not possible, replacing the hazard with something less dangerous, or reducing potential exposure to the hazard should be attempted. Figure 1.1. illustrates the range of control measures, from complete elimination of risk, which is the most effective, to personal protective equipment / protecting the worker, which is the least effective. The provision of training as an administrative control is an integral part of reducing risk where the hazard cannot be eliminated, substituted, or reduced.

hierarchy of controls

Figure 1.1. Hierarchy of Controls

 

A training needs analysis is the process of identifying the gaps in employee training. Specifically, a health and safety training needs analysis is particularly focused on training which enables employees to complete their work activity in a safe manner protecting both their own safety and that of their colleagues. Organisations can tend to focus on statutory training requirements and fail to appreciate the additional training required. These additional training needs can be identified through a comprehensive risk assessment process as highlighted above.

Employers typically learn of gaps in their training when accidents or near misses occur in the workplace. These accidents can often be prevented by ensuring the required training is identified and completed in the first instance. Accidents can result in pain and suffering for affected staff, absence of staff from the workplace, reputational damage for the organisation, poor morale among staff, and an administrative burden in dealing with investigations, litigation and legal fees along with compensation awards.

Contact ASM Group today for all your Training Gap Analysis Needs

As part of our safety management services the ASM Group can conduct a gap analysis of your health and safety training needs. The training needs gap analysis will be completed by one of our expert health and safety consultants and will provide your organisation with an improvement plan to close out any gaps in your training requirements. Contact ASM Group today by phone 01 234 3724 or email contact@asmgroup.ie to discuss your training needs and how we can help.