We know – this shouldn’t even be something that is necessary. But sometimes, if a company is checking the minimum requirements of meeting its legal health and safety obligations, asking for any additional training may appear unnecessary to your boss, greedy even (especially if they are expected to foot the bill). BUT – all organisations are different and if you have identified a lack in your current health and safety processes, it is your duty to motivate for the training you’ll need to fill that lack. Here are five motivators to help you – and your employer.
Motivator #1: It’s their legal obligation, and your legal right
The law (OHS Act) states that an employer is responsible for providing health and safety information and training to their employees. This is intended to aid the company in maintaining a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of the workers.
Your employer also needs to provide and maintain plants and systems and procedures of work that are safe and without risk to workers’ health. This means ensuring safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the:
of articles and substances.
Providing this information, instruction, training and supervision is crucial to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.
Once your company has conducted the required risk assessment, there are certain preventative and protective actions you, as an employee, need to take to ensure that all chemicals, machinery, equipment, tools and processes are safe and without risk to health, and that they comply with the requirements of safety and health provisions in the OHS Act:
You must take care of the health and safety of yourself and of others who may be affected by your actions or omissions.
- You must use safety equipment with care and act according to prescribed instructions to preserve your health and protect yourself from injury.
- You must avoid any action that could obstruct implementation of the instructions, or the misuse or causing of damage or loss to the protection measures, which will then affect the safety and health of other workers.
- You must report any unhealthy or unsafe situation that you become aware of (to your employer or health and safety representative).
If you are not able to properly take these actions, and the direct cause is insufficient training, you are entitled to request additional training from your employer.
Motivation #2: Training is necessary
In accordance with the OHS Act, it is your employer’s responsibility to provide instruction, training and supervision that is necessary to ensure the health and safety of their workers. Every worker must be trained on:
- the work you are supposed to perform
- any article or substance you have to produce, process or transport
- any plant/machinery you are supposed to operate.
Your employer has to ensure that the work you perform and the machinery you use is under the general supervision of a person trained to understand the hazards associated with it and who has the authority to ensure that precautionary measures taken by the employer are implemented. This means they also need the required training to successfully carry out their work.
Motivator #3: Training is a sound investment
The money your employer will spend on health and safety training saves money in the long term. A workplace that is not healthy and safe may have to face insurance claims, medical bills, higher insurance premiums, replacement labour costs and lost productive time.
Motivator #4: Your relevant SETA will recognise it
Which means you will be entitled to tax rebates on SETA-recognised training.
Motivator #5: The likelihood of injuries and fatalities is minimised
Training will ensure your company is regulated according to the OHS Act, and therefore you and your colleagues are more likely to recognise hazards, and have the systems and procedures in place to curtail these.