Health and Safety Training to Reduce Workplace Injuries

Think of Health and Safety in a workplace situation and one’s thoughts would most typically focus upon a building site, or some other situation in which danger is commonplace in some respects obvious.

Some jobs are simply risky by nature and yet need still to be performed. Police, fire and ambulance crews take a substantial risk each time they speed through the traffic towards the scene of an incident. Firemen enter burning buildings to save lives, sometimes risking their own. Lifeboat crews venture out in often treacherous waters to rescue people who may have become stranded at sea. In these situations an element of danger comes as part and parcel of the job.

And yet nobody should ever be exposed to more risk than is absolutely necessary.

What are probably less evident are the potential dangers that are present in almost any area of working life. Search the Internet and there are stories aplenty about people in what are ostensibly the most harmless and sedentary jobs sustaining the most unlikely injuries. Waiting staff scolding themselves whilst carrying cups of hot tea, gardeners losing concentration chopping off their toes with the lawnmower, business people walking headlong into sparkling glass doors or windows whilst pursuing a “deal” on their mobiles.

There will always be freak accidents of this kind in any walk of life, but it is a good idea nevertheless to take sensible precautions to minimise the chances of them occurring.

Health and Safety of course is about more than simply preventing accidents. In many jobs workers have suffered long-term illness or injury as a result of unsatisfactory working conditions and lack of basic protection. Asbestosis is a particularly awful example, whilst on a less deadly but still very serious level employees using computers and keyboards over prolonged periods have suffered eye damage, repeated headaches and loss of motion in the hands.

Anyone running a business that employs people will want to reduce the risk of injury to one’s employees as much as is at all possible, both from a basic sense of responsibility and, of course, to minimise lost work time as well as the threat of legal action and compensation claims

Health and Safety Training for Roofers

There are a broad range of health and safety training courses available designed to cater for all levels of expertise within the construction industry. Training should be delivered by trainers with the relevant accreditations (such as CITB and NEBOSH).

Suitable courses for roofers include:

Working at Height:

A half day education on the hazards associated with working at height and the legal duties of employers, employees, and self employed persons. Average cost £110.

Mobile Scaffold Tower:

Covering the main risks associated with towers, good/bad practise, and alternative means of access to mobile towers. Most good training providers have a practical element to the course which will involve the assembly and disassembly of the tower. This is a half day course. Average cost £110.

Scaffold Inspection:

As the HSE will no longer acknowledge BS5973:1993 as a recognised standard for the design of tube and fitting scaffolding structures, the Scaffold Inspection course should cover the European Standard BS EN12811-1:2003 and TG20:08. It will provide delegates with the ability to identify scaffold components and know the reasons for their use, while improving knowledge of standard scaffold structures, and where the requirements for calculations and design are triggered. To meet all the necessary requirements, this course should now run for 2 days. Average cost £225.

There are other courses also available such as general health and safety awareness, Asbestos Awareness, and courses for supervisors such as CITB Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) or the Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS).

Ultimately, an improved knowledge of health & safety issues can save a roofer valuable time. If they are unable to assess the potential risks on a particular job immediately, problems could take longer to correct while the job is in process (i.e. a broken scaffold, or an inappropriate ladder). Even worse, an accident would affect the employee as well as the long term business with that client.

However, if roofers are provided with the right training and advice, there is no reason why they cannot fulfil a job safely but efficiently.