The HSE has issued fresh guidance about the importance of training, highlighting the need for both new entrant training and for continuous training to comply with legislation. The guidance that specifically relates to woodworking companies outlines that machine operators, those that assist in the machining process (e.g. taking off, feeding and loading) and those that set, clean and maintain the machines need to have adequate training. Most employees within BWF member companies will partake in their training mainly when they are new starters, however, the HSE expects companies to provide refresher training for operatives, regardless of age or experience at least every five years. They state the following need refresher training: – Operators who ‘stand in’ occasionally for the regular operator – at least every three years
– Someone coming back to a machine they have not used in a while
– When the system of work changes
– When new controls have been fitted
– When new machines or equipment have been brought in
– After an incident or near miss to show how the incident can be avoided in the future It is important to ensure that the training provided contains the required elements of general health and safety skills, machine-specific skills, familiarisation (on-the-job training under close supervision demonstration of competence (through assessment) and a competence checklist. You must also keep records of any training your staff undertake to demonstrate how they are now adequately trained and competent and to authorise the employee in writing for the machines and operations that they can use. Doing this will ensure you avoid needless accidents and errors in work, and will help protect you as an employer should something do wrong. The WITForum offers a range of services to help with refresher training, working with specialist training providers at discounted rates as a perk of your membership. To see our range of training services, email him.