17 Oct, 2019
CPD For Health And Safety Workers
The importance of keeping workers safe in their respective environment should never be underestimated, in particular to those involved in occupational health and safety (OSH). According to HSE, “over 200 people are killed each year in accidents at work and over one million people are injured.” The practice of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) will bestow OSH employees with the knowledge required to prevent accidents and injuries occurring. This will also provide protection to any customers or visitors that enter their company site or premises.
A strong understanding of health and safety is highly respected by many employers as it brings many economic, ethical and legal benefits. By reducing the risk of work-related accidents, OSH employees are less likely to be absent from their job due to illness and as a result increase business efficiency.
From a legal perspective, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 necessitate all duty-holders to ensure the management of safe practice for workers and members of the public when performing work duties. This requires all who have this legal responsibility to be hands-on in managing their safety, health and welfare responsibilities and deal with them in a logical way.
Effective CPD will maintain and increase the skills and knowledge of any OSH professional so that are able to perform to their maximum ability in a competent manner. It is important you outline your professional objectives and plan an itinerary highlighting how you are going to attain these goals. When it comes to CPD, you can make use of any subject or activity that you believe to be relevant to your personal development. This could include professional training such as accredited health & safety courses, preparing OSH policies and procedures, attending meetings and carrying out audits or inspections.
There are essential legal requirements related to CPD that can sometimes result in legal proceedings. In the past, health and safety managers have been prosecuted by the HSE for failing to keep up with the latest recommendations and consequently have given poor safety guidance that has led to breaches of the law and accidents.
It is the responsibility of all health and safety professionals to keep up to date with the standards of their industry and ensure they are able to give competent advice. This is a fundamental part of safeguarding individuals in the workplace and will help organisations to improve their health and safety performance by providing watertight advice on how it should be controlled, and in the process help them to adhere to their legal expectations.
Inevitably, all individuals will learn and pick up new skills by simply doing their job. Amassing experience is also part of CPD and this comes from shadowing more experienced colleagues and listening to their instruction. It is important to note that everyone can enhance the learning process. For example, a new employee may have just completed an accredited course and is able to highlight bad habits to a senior colleague that may no longer be adhering to recommended processes and procedures. This exchange of information can be invaluable to an organisation in preventing injuries, ill-health and personal loss at work.
CPD is about an individual showcasing their skills, knowledge and expertise, as well as reflecting on what they’ve gained and achieved. This varied self-driven style of learning will develop a positive health and safety culture and create a thriving working environment which is priceless to any establishment.