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Monique Goodyer

Monaco Compensation Lawyers

Marketing Specialist

Read more from Monique Goodyer

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Training staff: The legal bit


Why not get your training programmes off to a good start next year? Make sure you've dotted all the lower case 'j's with some good legal advice from Monique Goodyer.

There are a number of legal obligations that all employers must account for when training their staff. As an employer, you have a duty of care for the health, safety and welfare for your employees. Employers must take into consideration legal obligations particularly about keeping a safe and equal opportunity workplace. Furthermore, there are many industry specific considerations in which employers must legally account for. It is crucial for all employers worldwide to understand the scope of your legal obligations when you are training your staff to promote a safe and welcoming work environment.

Workplace safety

Ensuring that your workplace is safe is of utmost importance, especially because you, as an employer, owe a duty of care to your employees to promote a safe workplace. You must ensure that all your policies are compliant with the primary piece of safety at the workplace legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for Great Britain.

Such training is proportionate to the type of business you run. For example a high-risk business such as construction will require a detailed training process whereas a low-risk business such as an online business would require much less.

Your employees need to understand your health and safety policies and your arrangements around implementing it and their role in ensuring a safe workplace. This may include training your supervisors or managers to be trained in CPR or to have some nominated employees with first aid training. Your employees will also need to know the process involved in raising health and safety concerns with you as an employer.

Furthermore, you must train your staff in regards to emergency evacuation procedures in case of a fire or any other catastrophic event. You must also take into regard if there are any fire wardens or procedures specific to the building you occupy.

Injury reporting and investigation of incidents

Finally you have a legal obligation to train your staff the procedure if an accident or injury happens in the workplace. Have you set up a procedure to report the incident as well as the process in which witnesses, the victim or senior officers will have to become involved? This should all be clearly communicated to your staff so you can minimise safety hazards and have an efficient process if a workplace incident is to occur.

Industry specific requirements

As mentioned above, it is important to scope out any industry specific requirements to your workplace. You must ensure that your workplace is compliant with any industry specific legislation or policies. Examples of this would include licenses to serve alcohol or drive a forklift. A thorough check of the person’s credentials (sometimes on a register) to ensure they are legitimate will also be important to ensure you are operating a safe and compliant workplace.

Equal workplace

It is important to communicate with your staff that your workplace is free from discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. Such discrimination will not only cost time and money, but also damage the morale and productivity of your staff. Have regard to legislation such as the Equality Act 2010, which explains your rights under equality law including areas such as religion, discrimination and pays and benefits.

Update your training

Ensure that your training stays up to date. You do not want to be training your staff with out-of-date policies that are no longer relevant. There may be updated safety procedures or registration of licenses that are required. Keep up to date by checking your industry or local government website to ensure your safety training manual stays up to date.

Monique Goodyer works as a marketing specialist at Monaco Compensation Lawyers, one of Australia’s compensation law firms

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Monique Goodyer

Marketing Specialist

Read more from Monique Goodyer

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