Key points
§  Add a note hereThe term 'induction training' is generally understood to mean the process by which a new employee is informed about his (or her) employer's business, the terms and conditions of his employment and his new duties and responsibilities – complemented by an introduction to the people with or for whom he will be working, the materials, machines, plant or equipment he will be expected to use, information and training about safe working methods, (hazardous substances, and the like), fire precautions and fire evacuation procedures; and so on.
§  Add a note hereIn the smaller organisation, such as a light engineering works, depot, garage, workshop, retail outlet, restaurant, insurance office, public house, etc, induction training may consist of a brief chat with the immediate supervisor followed by an introduction to another employee who will 'show him the ropes'. In larger premises, such as factories, major manufacturing plants, chemical works or headquarters buildings, a more systematic approach may be adopted. The new employee may be required to spend a certain amount of time with several supervisors or managers, will be issued with a job description and a staff or training handbook, and will be expected to attend a series of lectures and discussion groups designed to explore every facet of his (or her) employer's business and his own role within the organisation.
Add a note hereHealth and safety at work
§  Add a note hereAlthough an employer is under no strict legal obligation to provide induction training as such, he does have a duty under section 2(2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (and under Regulations made under, or saved by, that Act) to provide 'such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees'. Should a new recruit be injured in the course of his (or her) employment, the employer's failure to provide suitable training before setting the employee to work will be an important factor in any subsequent civil proceedings for damages. It may prompt a health and safety inspector to institute criminal proceedings. The penalty on conviction is a fine of a maximum of £20,000 and, on conviction on indictment, a fine of an unlimited amount (ibid. sections 33(l)(a) and 33(3)).
§  Add a note hereThe prudent employer will interpret his obligations under the 1974 Act as meaning a duty to provide exhaustive training to every new recruit before setting him to work in any area where inexperience and lack of instruction could lead to injury to himself and others.
Add a note hereThe Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
§  Add a note hereRegulation 13 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – which apply to every employer (and to every self- employed person), regardless of the type of business in which he (or she) is engaged, the size of his premises, or the number of people he employs – cautions that, when entrusting tasks to his employees, every employer must take into account the capabilities of those employees as regards health and safety. Furthermore, every employer must ensure that his employees receive adequate health and safety training:
a.     Add a note herewhen first recruited; and
b.    Add a note herewhen exposed to new or increased risks following a promotion or transfer, or when introduced to new or amended systems of work, new technology, or new or modified plant and equipment.
§  Add a note hereFurthermore, all such training must take place during normal working hours, must be repeated periodically (where appropriate), and must be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the health and safety of the employees concerned.
Note 
Add a note hereSimilar provisions relating to training are to be found in the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002; the Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992; the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002; the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998; the Control of Substances (Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2002; and so on.
§  Add a note hereUnder the Health & Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997, which came into force on 3 March 1997 (and are now incorporated in the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (qv)), the risk assessment exercise every employer is obliged to carry out must take particular account of the inexperience of young persons, as well as their immaturity, and ignorance about the risks they may face. In short, employers must take particular care to train young persons thoroughly before exposing them to such risks.
Add a note hereFire prevention and training
§  Add a note hereA fire certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (as amended) will impose requirements 'for securing that persons employed to work in the premises receive appropriate instruction or training in what to do in case of fire, and that records are kept of instruction or training given for that purpose' (ibid. section 6(2)(c)). The following extract from a fire certificate is quite specific:
Add a note here'All members of the staff shall each receive a personal copy of prepared written instructions (on fire prevention and evacuation procedures), and shall initially receive two periods of at least half an hour of verbal instruction given by a competent person. Such instructions shall include details of how to call the Fire Brigade. These two periods shall be given within one month. In the case of newly-engaged staff, this shall be as soon as possible after engagement.'
§  Add a note hereThe penalty for contravening any requirement of a fire certificate is a fine, on summary conviction, of a maximum £20,000 and, on conviction on indictment, a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both (ibid. section 7(4)).
§  Add a note hereIn premises that do not require a fire certificate, the occupier nonetheless has a duty to provide 'such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees' (section 2(2)(c), 1974 Act) (see above), a duty that should not lightly be set aside.

1 comments

  1. Alfredo James // August 29, 2012 at 12:43 AM  

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