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Seb Anthony

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Health & Safety


We are a training company that runs courses on either client sites or sites clients have arranged. We use typically self employed trainers and hire them in to run the courses. The courses involve no physical activities being primarily in understanding medical terminology. What factors/policies do we need to consider re health and safety and the running of courses. e.g. Do we have to get a copy of cleint H&S policy, do we have to produce our own that the trainers must adhere to? etc etc. If we do need to produce a policy etc where should I go for advice as to what should be included? I can find lots of advice on policies re any employees we may have but nothing on us running courses elsewhere?
John Green

4 Responses

  1. Health and Safety
    Under the Health and Safety Act 1974 you need to have a method of assessing risk to visitors and to employees including those who are self employed as EU law dictates in H&S the same duties apply to them as ‘workers’.

    We have a policy that was drawn up to include off site work and has a number of risk assessments attached to it. For each new venue the tutor is responsible in assessing the risk on the day but the premises are visited in advance by our Health and Safety team. A form is completed and risk assessed. Tutors within the policy guidelines are then made aware of the risks and are under a duty to mitigate them. Generally we have had little problems with this procedure. The problems have occured in IT training where we have had to report back to clients of potential breaches. All have taken this positively although I still regard it as a sensitive issue. However as 9 out of 10 times we are there training in law it fits in with the content!

    The above procedure has reduced our insurance premiums over the years and is an excellent way of raising health and safety awareness within our clients. But then as we teach it we should practice it too.

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  2. Health and safety – customer’s premises
    As far as I am aware the owner of the premises is responsible for complying with the law in relation to risk assessment et cetera. I work for a university college and we often deliver training on NHS and other organisations’ premises. We certainly don’t regard it as our legal duty to visit our customers’ venues in advance to conduct risk assessments.

    We do regard it as our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of trainees on the day, whether we are teaching on customers’ premises or on our own premises.

    This typically includes explaining action in case of fire, alerting trainees to any hazards such as a trailing cable to an OHP, informing trainees about any risks associated with physical training activities, not using any equipment that appears defective, informing the customer of any hazards et cetera.

    At one venue a course participant complained to me about very hot water coming out of the taps in the ladies toilets, which was a potential scalding hazard. Therefore I warned everyone on the course to be careful and informed the person who was in charge of the premises about the hazard. I do think that it is important to keep documentary evidence of any health and safety issues. For the hot water incident I ducumented this in the training evaluation records.

  3. Duty
    The onus is on the employer to assess risk to the employees in all areas of working including those working in other’s premises.

    This is a direct duty under the Health and Safety Act 1974 and has been the subject of a vast amount of litigation over the past few years.

    Recently managers have been prosecuted for not ensuring adequate risk assessments so the HSE is increasing its policing of this area.

    To risk assess is a condition of most insurance policies. Those employers who fail to risk assess properly or expect to rely on the duties of others are likely to run into problems in the event of a claim.

    So the simple answer as is suggested by the training company is to risk assess each and every place your employees are working in or be in breach of statutory duty.

    In practice this is not an issue, as most companies of size and particularly those in public sector are clued up and complying with health and safety law.
    You cannot however take it as read and the duty remains with you and not your clients. In the event of a claim you will be considered negligent and whilst you may pull in your client for similar they will not hold 100% liability for the accident to one of your employees. So start risk assessing now.

    Lime One Ltd
    0870 240 4325

  4. Risk assessment
    I certainly wasn’t aware that my employer is responsible for conducting risk assessments on customers premises in which I work. That would need an army of risk assessors to meet that requirement, to conduct assessments on premises that should have already been assessed. And presumably that applies to ALL instances in which employees work on the premises of other employers.

    By the same token, many of our students (about 15,000) are sponsored by their employers, in many cases from hundreds of miles away, so in effect our premises become their workplace. By the sound of things their employers should also be conducting risk assessments on our premises. That would need another army of risk assessors. In my view if we complied with this requirement the volume of risk assessing would mean that our business would not be economically viable.

    For our overseas students, should their employer be arranging for risk assessments on our premises?

    I intend to take this up with our health and safety advisor.


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