One of the main priorities and duties which management have these days towards their employees is to keep them safe from harm whilst they perform their workplace duties. Whereas a century or two ago workers were seen as expendable, changing attitudes (amongst both employers and society as a whole), combined with the introduction of legislation forcing owners and managers to put measures in place to prevent harm coming to workers, has significantly increased the safety and wellbeing of workers.
The provision of health and safety training is a major component of this overall level of protection and keeping employees safe from coming to harm. Ignorance of the risks is one of the main contributing factors to accidents and injuries in the workplace, as well as ill-health caused by working with or in the vicinity of harmful substances. Health and safety courses which teach attendees about the dangers associated with the work they will be undertaking or hazardous substances which are, or may be, present on the site, can prove vital in helping to keep workers safe in the workplace, not to mention members of the public who live or work nearby.
By increasing and improving their general knowledge regarding health and safety matters and teaching them the correct ways to handle, store and work with hazardous substances, workers are far less likely to cause an incident which poses a risk to the health and safety of themselves and/or others around them. The prevalence of hazardous substances in workplaces has meant that this topic is included in the syllabuses of accredited courses like the NEBOSH General Certificate which is one of the most popular of all the health and safety qualifications available today.
Hazardous substance training, commonly referred to as COSHH training in the UK because of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations which exist, is not only an important topic to be included on the NEBOSH General Certificate and similar qualifications, but is also a highly important subject for a training course dedicated entirely to it. This is because COSHH dangers exist in just about every single place of work no matter what the industry. Of course, the types of substances and the associated level of danger will vary significantly from one place of work to another, but even what are considered as low risk working environments will have chemicals or other substances on the premises which can cause injury or ill-health if they come into contact with a person.
The hazardous substance does not necessarily need to be one which is used or created on the shop floor during a manufacturing process. For instance, bleach is a chemical which can cause serious harm to a person through ingestion or contact with the skin, or even death if swallowed in sufficient quantity. Nearly every place of work will have bleach on the premises which is used to clean certain areas. As such, workers will require training regarding: