Safety and wellbeing

Familiarity with health and safety rules and regulations is a critical part of apprenticeship training and the engineering industry as a whole. With competent and trained health and safety staff on hand to offer support, we are here to make sure you know your obligations.

Training and supervision

Apprentices are (usually) young and inexperienced, so ongoing training and supervision is needed throughout their programme until they are competent enough to carry out tasks alone.

For more complex and demanding work this may not be until their third or fourth year of training. During the first months of the programme your apprentice will be particularly susceptible to accidents or injuries as for many of them; this will be their first time experiencing a legitimate engineering environment. A thorough safety induction is absolutely vital to ensure the apprentice is aware of the dangers and potential hazards of the job.

Health and safety

Your health and safety obligations are the same to your apprentice as they are to your other employees.

All reasonable steps should be taken to ensure your apprentice is not harmed by the work they do or the environment they are working in. Foreseeable harm from hazards like excessive noise, electricity, dust, fumes, hazardous chemicals, machinery and so on must be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable minimum.

Your apprentices’ obligations are also the same as your other employees. They must work in a way that minimises risk to themselves and to others, follow instructions and training, report hazards, use safety equipment properly, and cooperate with you in helping you to meet your own safety obligations.

During the apprenticeship programme the assessor will carry out regular safety monitorings to ensure the safety management systems identified during the first appraisal are still being adhered to.

Safety policies and risk assessments

If you employ less than five people, there is no requirement to have a written safety policy or to record the findings of risk assessments, but adequate safety precautions must still be in place.

If you employ more than five people, you must have a written safety policy and documented risk assessments that cover all aspects of your work activities. XR is happy to assist with the development of policies and risk assessments, and advise on suitable safety precautions.

Wellbeing

The government and those influencing public policy are encouraging employers to take employee wellbeing seriously. That sounds good, and ‘wellbeing’ is one of those words we hear a lot these days, but what does it actually mean in practice, in the workplace?

Wellbeing is essentially how someone feels about various aspects of their life – their home life, their health, their relationships with others, their job and other activities. It’s about whether they feel well and happy.

These days, wellbeing in the workplace is a much broader issue. In health terms, as well as directly work-related health and safety, it’s about improving the health levels of employees more generally. Employee wellbeing is about more than physiological or mental ill health – it’s about optimising the health of all employees, not just reducing the numbers of staff who are diagnosed with medical conditions. Employee wellbeing also extends beyond health, and into happiness as well, and job satisfaction.

Factors outside employers control can have an impact on employee wellbeing, such as family circumstances, home environment, personal attributes and characteristics.

But there are many factors affecting employees’ wellbeing which can be influenced by the employer.

Many of these factors centre around the job itself – does the employee have a degree of control over their work, clarity about their responsibilities, variety of tasks, training and support? Do their working hours give them sufficient rest or flexibility?

Other factors controlled or influenced by the employer include the workplace environment, policies including fairness and transparency over pay and promotion decisions, and relationships with colleagues.

People spend a large proportion of their life at work, and employers have the potential to have a significant impact on their employees’ wellbeing with the factors above.

But actually employers can also influence the wellbeing of their employees outside those workplace-controlled factors as well. In forward thinking workplaces, focusing on employee wellbeing involves initiatives to improve the health and happiness of employees even outside the workplace completely, such as schemes to increase the number of employees who cycle to work, or give up smoking.

It is crucial to understand that a focus on employee wellbeing involves a holistic approach, taking into account the numerous factors shaping how employees feel at (and about) their work, and considering how as an employer you can influence these for the better. XR Training is here to advise and support with these factors wherever possible.

We are dedicated to making education available to all, to delivering learning programmes and services that will meet the needs of the people we train and the companies we support.

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Find us at:

11 Village Farm Road, Village Farm Industrial Estate, Pyle, Bridgend, CF33 6BL

Contact us on:

enquiries@xrtraining-wales.co.uk

01656 74 66 88