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True Or False: I Should Train Employees To Do Their Job Safely

Published August 16, 2016 (last updated June 30, 2023) - Ben Fairfax

Absolutely, this is true.

The guiding principle of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is that workers and other persons should be given the highest level of protection against harm to their health, safety, and welfare from work risks. As an employer, you are obliged to make sure your staff are trained to do their jobs correctly and safely. You must provide work safe training in order to keep your workplace safe for you, your staff and any visitors or customers.

When to train

You need to train staff when they start working for you. It is also part of your obligation to provide ongoing and continual training throughout their employment. If you have made any changes to your business (eg to equipment, materials or processes), you will need to update your training. By doing so, you can reduce the chances of workplace incidents and injuries.

Who needs training?

Training for the use of machinery and equipment must be provided to all users of that machinery and equipment (including contract staff) and must also be provided to any new users including existing staff, visitors, apprentices, and contractors. Trade qualifications do not exempt the need for training.

What training needs to be provided?

The training and instruction given to the worker should cover:

  • the workplace amenity facilities
  • the use and location of personal protective and emergency equipment
  • emergency procedures for the safe shutdown of the machinery or equipment
  • the first aid facilities and procedures in the workplace
  • the process for reporting hazards or other safety issues

Keeping records

You are required to keep records of training provided to workers and these records will need to show the date, location and type of training given. You should keep these records whilst the worker remains an employee as you may need to rely on them in the event of a notifiable incident to the regulator.

These records are important evidence that you, the employer, have provided instruction and training as required by the HSWA.

Records are also important for you and your employees because they list the health and safety skills and knowledge each person has gained. Records may include a certificate and a log book, file or database listing the following information:

  • date and name of  trainee
  • name of training program
  • skills and knowledge gained
  • name of trainer and organisation
  • who else has a copy of the record

Employsure helps employers provide a healthy and safe working environment by:

  • helping identify hazards in your workplace
  • assisting with assessing risks that may result from hazards
  • assisting with the implementation of control measures in your workplace

These are the key prevention activities to ensure your workplace is safe.

Employsure’s detailed site review offers you the opportunity to receive an analysis of the health and safety requirements in your workplace while identifying any gaps or areas of non-compliance. Call us on 0800 568 012 to speak to our specialists about health and safety in your business.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,500 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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