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Training is the cornerstone of securing safe working practices by employees. It cannot be assumed that employees are automatically aware of the correct way to undertake a task, the proper equipment to use or even the right way of using equipment.

What the legislation says

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 sets out the employer’s responsibility to provide employees with information, instruction and training to enable them to carry out their job safely and without risk to their health. Other legislation also specifies training for employees, for example those who must drive mobile plant and equipment such as forklift trucks and those who may operate complex and potentially dangerous plant and equipment such as woodworking machinery and cranes.

Training requirements can be listed under three headings:

  • Induction Training and General Safety Training
  • Special Skills Training
  • Training Records

You should identify the components of each of these and ensure that the training provided is relevant to the work undertaken.

Those required to deliver training may need specific training in the skills required. They may have the technical knowledge but they need help in training others. In some cases external training expertise will be needed (e.g. for forklift truck driver training or for the training of first aiders.) Suppliers of machinery may well provide training for their customers employees following the purchase of new machinery.

The process of carrying out risk assessments will identify subjects on which employees might require training, instruction or information. These topics include any systems and procedures that are important to controlling a risk.
Creating and maintaining training records provides a range of benefits and use our online training records tool to help develop your training records.

Induction and general safety training

When new employees start work they will need general induction training that tells them about:

  • Alarms - what they sound like and when they are tested
  • How to leave the building in the event of an emergency
  • What to do if they have an accident
  • Where they go to get first aid and who they should inform
  • The procedures relating to the issue and use of personal protective equipment

Guidance on the content of a typical induction programme has been provided for your use. This can be downloaded and adapted or modified to meet your own requirements.

General safety training should also be provided to all employees.

Special skills training

Special skills training should be provided for those employees performing particular tasks, e.g. driving a fork truck, operating machinery or carrying out hazardous tasks.

Some training requirements are set out in guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. In certain trades of industries there may be specific requirements e.g. CSCS cards for workers in the construction trades. Suppliers of machinery may well provide training for their customers employees following the purchase of new machinery.

Training Records

Whenever an employee receives training, instruction or information the date on which it was given should be recorded. Similarly and any requirements for refresher training should be identified at the same time. A possible layout for a training session attendance record sheet is provided and this can be downloaded and amended to suit your specific needs.

Issuing employees with a suitable form or booklet on which to record their training is a useful step. The form becomes the employee’s own personal training record and provides tangible proof of their employer’s interest in training. The record will develop in time to demonstrate the employees’ skills, capabilities and qualifications. A possible layout of an individual record card is provided and as with any of the pro formas this can be downloaded and amended to suit your specific needs.

You should maintain central records so training is efficiently planned and managed. You can download a simple spreadsheet for recording training given and dates for refresher training.

Next Steps

  • Source discounted products, available to Aviva insured customers and brokers, via our Specialist Partners - click here to find out more about the savings you could make
  • Call our Risk Helpline on 0345 366 66 66
  • Email us at
  • View our Tools and Templates

Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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