The 4 most essential workplace skills to refresh as we start 2020

The importance of planning work activities

Posted on 27th Jan, 2020 | By Lorretta Tatham

Sometimes, you only need to take a training course once for the lessons to stick with you. But when it comes to safety, it’s vital to refresh your knowledge on a regular, reliable basis. There are all sorts of good reasons for this. Firstly (and most obviously), over time you can start to forget certain finer points, which could ultimately have severe consequences. Alternatively, some types of guidance may become outdated, or made redundant by newer legislation. This can be inconvenient at best, or even dangerous at worst.

Here at Browns Safety, we run a number of accredited training courses designed to give essential guidance on a range of topics and risks, delivered by qualified experts with years of experience. None of these courses are insignificant, but some deal with topics that are particularly important to revisit regularly, to keep your skills and expertise relevant and effective.

First aid training

This is perhaps one of the most pivotal workplace skills, and one of the most universally applicable. Every workplace is legally required to have a qualified first aider on hand, and anyone can choose to take on this responsibility. However, pop culture has a lot to answer for in terms of first aid myths, and some particularly dangerous ones still persist to the present day. Without regularly brushing up on first aid skills, some people can find these myths can start mingling with proper procedure, which could cause pain and additional discomfort to the injured or incapacitated party.

first aid session

Now, lots of workplace accidents aren’t hugely serious – cuts, bruises and abrasions are common. However, every so often employees can find themselves dealing with a particularly grave situation, at which point the appropriate first aid knowledge (such as chest compressions) could literally make the difference between life or death. For this reason alone, it’s vital that employers don’t let standards slip if they’re to maintain their legal responsibility to their employees.

Manual handling and basic Working at Height training

For many employees, it may seem like there are few simpler tasks than climbing ladders, or lifting heavy objects. However, it’s because these jobs are so simple that it can be easy for bad habits to develop, such as neglecting to bend the knees to avoid putting excessive strain on the back. These sorts of habits can obviously lead to injuries, which can sometimes have long-term (or even lifelong) repercussions. Similarly, if three points of contact are not maintained with a ladder at all times, it opens the user up to an increased risk of slips or falls – especially in wet or windy weather conditions.

manual handling

In short, experience breeds overconfidence, and overconfidence can sometimes be a factor in workplace accidents, whether consciously or not. Regular training sessions which highlight the dangers of manual handling and ladder usage can help your staff keep these risks in mind, helping to maintain a positive safety culture within your workplace.

Asbestos awareness training

A material with notably long, thin fibres, asbestos was formerly used as a building material here in Britain, before being outlawed in 1999 after it was discovered to pose a deadly respiratory threat. Even decades after its ban, it still kills 4000 people every year in the UK, most of them professional tradespeople. In theory, asbestos can affect anyone – that’s why it’s so important that you make all of your staff aware of the danger it poses.

asbestos and ppe

However, those who are most at risk from asbestos include anyone doing work on the actual fabric of a building, such as electricians, builders, or engineers. If any of your employees work in these capacities, or in similar sectors, it’s essential that they are trained (and regularly updated) on how to deal with asbestos. Almost all cases of mesothelioma (the disease caused by asbestos) prove to be fatal, and once diagnosed, it’s often too late to do anything. That means the correct training is more than just about following procedure, and sticking to your legal obligations – it could literally make all the difference between life and death.

These are just a few examples of the many comprehensive training courses we offer here at Browns Safety. You can find the full range of safety courses we offer right here on our website, or if you’ve got any specific questions (or you’d like to book your place), feel free to give us a call on 01282 615517!

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