Who should receive initial and periodic health and safety training and when?

Specifics of health and safety training

instructor during periodic safety training

One of the basic duties of an employer is to ensure that initial and periodic health and safety training is provided to employees. The purpose of this is not only to familiarise staff with the company's health and safety rules and regulations regarding employees' rights and obligations, but also with how to act in the event of an emergency, as well as how to provide first aid. The employee must confirm in writing that he/she has familiarised himself/herself with the health and safety rules and legal provisions. It is worth noting that the only case in which pre-employment training of an employee is not required is when the employee takes up a job in the same position that the employee held with the employer prior to the commencement of the next employment contract. 

Form of health and safety training 

Such courses can be organised either onsite or online. In order to carry out health and safety training in a stationary format, you first need to find a venue, an instructor and plan your employees' time. Online training is therefore a better option, as it can be done at a time and place that is convenient for you - all you need is access to the web. It is important to note, however, that not everyone can take a course remotely - health and safety training for employees in blue-collar jobs can only be done onsite. On the other hand, online training can take place for employees in positions:  

  • administrative and office services,  
  • leadership, 
  • teachers,  
  • IT, 
  • health professionals. 

Occupational health and safety in English 

If the company has foreign-speaking employees, it is possible to organise health and safety training in English or with a translator.  

Validity and cost of health and safety training 

Trainee wearing reflective waistcoat and safety helmet

Health and safety training must be repeated from time to time. This ensures that employees are kept up to date and that the knowledge they have already acquired is consolidated. The cost of training is fully covered by the employer.  

Validity of health and safety training in relation to the position held: 

  • workstations - 3 years or one year if carrying out particularly hazardous work,  
  • employees in charge of others, managers, foremen - 5 years,  
  • technologists, production organisers, designers, engineering and technical staff - 5 years.  

Who must undergo initial health and safety instruction? 

Initial health and safety instruction must take place:

  • new employee, 
  • Vocational school student, employed for the purpose of apprenticeship,  
  • apprentice. 

How should such a course be run? 

  • a conversation between the instructor and the employee,  
  • showing and explaining the activities that the worker will be performing on the job and indicating working methods that will be safe, 
  • the employee performs what was presented earlier,  
  • independent work of the employee supervised by an instructor.  

Types of health and safety courses 

We can divide health and safety training into: 

  • preliminary, 
  • periodic.  
Employees on health and safety training

Initial occupational health and safety training 

Their task is to introduce the employee to the procedures and rules that currently prevail in the company. Such training must be taken by every new employee of the company, even in the case where such a course was taken in a previous job. Every company has its own rules, procedures and schemes. We have to deal with various dangers or situations that carry risks. That is why it is a good idea for every new employee to familiarise themselves with them. A health and safety course is necessary to ensure not only your own safety, but also that of your colleagues.  

Initial health and safety training courses should include both general and environmental instruction. These remain valid for up to 12 months after commencement of employment in the case of employees, managers' health and safety instruction is valid for 6 months.  

Once the initial health and safety training is no longer valid, the employee must undergo periodic health and safety training.  

We can divide initial training into: 

  • instructional,  
  • POS.  

The employee shall confirm in writing that he/she has received both instructional and on-the-job training.  

Initial instructional training  

It ensures that participants are familiar with health and safety regulations, first aid or the company's own health and safety rules.  

It can be conducted by:  

  • employer who performs the same tasks,  
  • health and safety staff,  
  • an employee designated by the employer who has the appropriate knowledge and a current certificate of completion of a course in occupational health and safety. 

Initial job training  

Apprentices on initial health and safety training

It enables the participant to become acquainted with the occupational risks of the job, the means of protection and the principles of safe work on the job. If an employee works in more than one position, he/she should receive job-specific training in each of these positions.  

Such training is provided by:  

  • the employer, if he or she is suitably qualified and has been trained in the provision of workplace instruction, 
  • the person in charge of the employees designated by the employer.  

Standing instruction concerns: 

  • student,  
  • a student doing a student placement, 
  • employee being transferred to another post,  
  • worker in a working position where he or she may be exposed to harmful factors.  

Periodic occupational health and safety training 

Periodic health and safety training is carried out to update information and highlight new or recurring hazards. The delegated centre to carry out such training may receive information from the employer on what should be given the greatest attention during such training.  

The timing of periodic health and safety training should not be underestimated. In the event of a potential inspection, when our health and safety training has expired, we may be fined. Therefore, every company should have a person dedicated to keeping track of testing dates.  

Periodic training courses conclude with an examination. This tests knowledge of the training programme, health and safety rules and work organisation skills. The person who successfully passes the examination receives a corresponding certificate issued by the training provider.  

Periodic training does not have to be given to employees who have a certificate of training in a similar position in the last 6 or 12 months. Such examinations remain valid for between one and six years, depending on the position.  

The first periodic training should be given to the employee within a year of employment. If there is particularly hazardous work involved, this training should be repeated once a year. 

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