Safety and training: take it to the top

Recent legislative changes have made many companies operating workplace transport, access equipment and mobile plant in the UK more vulnerable than ever before. But leading operator training provider, Mentor Training, suggest that this exposure provides the ideal environment to influence culture at the highest level.

With more emphasis on regulation than ever before, new sentencing guidelines and tougher penalties are a very real concern for those responsible for the safety of FM operations.

Fines have increased – in some cases ten-fold – with more clear cut guidelines allocating fines in line with a company’s turnover, actual and potential harm caused and culpability for the incident.

Start the conversation

With the revised criteria now in place, clearly, managers, supervisors and their employers are vulnerable. Not to mention the significant rise in the number of prosecutions targeting individuals rather than just companies in recent years.

But rather than dwelling on this “perfect storm” of risk, and attempting to fight against it, it’s important for businesses to invest as much as they can into protecting against it.

A successful safety culture encompasses an entire company’s structure but it is essential that there is complete buy in in the boardroom, where, often, purse strings – particularly in relation to training budgets – are held very tightly.

With so many significant changes afoot, managers have the perfect opportunity to transform boardroom views of operational activities and training: taking it from a purely functional ‘out cost’ to a sound strategic investment.

Operator training is about much more than legal compliance: although it might sound a strong statement, this conversation really could save lives, as well as a lot of money.

Get the benefits of best practice

Contrary to common perception, operating safely does not mean sacrificing productivity. You can be both safe and productive. In fact, they are often the same thing. Study after study proves that the safest workforces are the most efficient ones.

And for good reason. When you allow bad practice to occur, your site’s accident risk increases…and when accidents occur, there’s always a price to pay. In a worst case scenario, it’s an injury to a colleague and there are very few accidents involving workplace transport, access or mobile plant equipment that result in only minor injuries. Not to mention the fines, compensation and sick pay to consider.

It all costs time and money…even a seemingly insignificant incident can incur substantial costs once you consider the lost time, repair bills and clean up involved.

Across businesses of all shapes and sizes, damage is viewed as an acceptable norm. But the ‘it’s just a bump’ mentality is a costly one to possess…much of this damage could be avoided simply by ensuring that your workforce are equipped with the skills and the know-how to work safely.

Train to gain

Achieving this often requires a fundamental change in how training is viewed in the boardroom. Too frequently, it’s perceived as an outgoing cost that simply ensures legal compliance.

However, by adopting a proactive approach to training, a site’s safety and efficiency can be transformed; not only safeguarding your workforce and your bottom line today, but also serving as a catalyst for future gains.

To discover what training can do for your workforce and your bottom line, call 01246 386900 or visit www.mentortraining.co.uk.


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