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IOSH OSH training policy position

 

There’s a growing consensus that investment in occupational safety and health (OSH) is key to ensuring safe, healthy and sustainable workplaces. Employees who are confident of their health, safety and wellbeing at work make workplaces safer and improve business performance.

Providing accessible and understandable information through training is critical to raising employers’ and workers’ awareness and understanding of OSH in workplaces. We welcome efforts to create a learning mindset, that is organisation-wide, where OSH professionals can positively influence workers and employers on how OSH is managed in workplaces.

The facts

  • The World Economic Forum forecasts that the three most increasingly important skills in 2022 will relate to analytical thinking and innovation; active learning and learning strategies; and creativity and emotional intelligence.
  • Research commissioned by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) on the return on investments in prevention proves that every dollar invested in safety and health generates a potential benefit of more than two dollars in positive economic impact.
  • Training interventions can lead to positive effects on safety knowledge, adoption of safe work behaviours and practices, and healthy and safe workplaces.
  • A recent ILO report (pg 50) highlighted how non-standard workers and other vulnerable working groups, such as migrant workers, usually have less access to tailored training activities. Their risk factors are determined by poor levels of induction, training and supervision.
  • International bodies like UNESCO appreciate how technology can be a force for good towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4. The use of emerging technologies to deliver OSH training can make the learning process more interesting, help create a safer workplace and should result in higher retention rates.

 Our position

There’s a growing consensus that investment in OSH is key to ensuring safe, healthy and sustainable workplaces. Employees who are confident of their health, safety and wellbeing at work make workplaces safer and improve business performance.

IOSH believes that accessible and understandable information through training is critical to raising employers’ and workers’ awareness and understanding of OSH in workplaces. We welcome efforts to create a learning mindset, that is organisation-wide, where OSH professionals can positively influence workers and employers on how OSH is managed in workplaces.

IOSH advocates that health and safety be firmly embedded in education and training systems. It needs to be incorporated as an integral part of training schemes throughout professional careers to create more ‘risk intelligent’ societies.

In this scenario, effective OSH training and awareness becomes critical as it contributes to helping to ensure employees are competent and that OSH knowledge is regularly kept up to date.

IOSH resources 

  • IOSH’s Training and Skills portfolio has a wide variety of continuing professional development courses. These initiatives can help OSH practitioners to build their professional careers and develop industry knowledge.
  • IOSH has signed an agreement with the International Social Security Association (ISSA), with the aim to offer high quality training courses on OSH as part of the Vision Zero strategy.
  • IOSH Training courses are divided into Core Skills, Management Education, Executive Education and Professional Development, enabling improvement of the safety, health and wellbeing of co-workers at all levels.
  • The NCFE IOSH Level 3 Certificate in Safety and Health for Business gives an understanding of what safety and health contributes in a business context.
  • IOSH has produced a competency framework for OSH professionals that provides a comprehensive suite of practical tools to guide skills and career development.
  • As a charitable organisation we provide a wide range of freely available information, training and promotional materials, such as webinars, campaigns, online toolkits, resources and guides.
  • We have also supported Workplace Fire Facilitator Training Project – South Asia Pilot and the train-the-trainer OHS initiative for workers and the community in Bangladesh.

Research reports

IOSH has commissioned research reviewing different aspects of training interventions:

  • Multi-sensory virtual environments for health and safety training.
  • Mental health first aid in the workplace: a feasibility study.
  • The impact of pictorial OSH training on migrant worker behaviour in the construction sector.
  • The effectiveness of OSH training in the promotion of a positive safety culture.
  • The effect of training on the application and effectiveness of checklist-based risk assessments.
  • Evaluation of a sun safety training intervention for the British construction sector.
  • Exploring health and safety practitioners’ training needs on workplace health issues.

Consultation responses:

  • IOSH response to the Löfstedt review of health and safety legislation by the UK Department for Work and Pensions, 2011.
  • House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee call for evidence: employment and training opportunities for young people, 2007.
  • UK Government white paper on 21st Century Skills: realising our potential, 2003.