Well trained - The importance of workplace equipment training

Importance of Equipment Training At Work

Workplace equipment is designed to make job roles easier, safer and more efficient but without the right training, certain types of equipment can actually have the opposite effect.

Equipment training can fall under a wide range of legislation and regulations but is often part of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). These regulations require risks to people’s health and safety, from equipment they use at work, to be prevented or controlled and training forms a significant part of this.

Under the regulations, any equipment and machinery that carries a specific risk to health and safety should only be used by people who have received relevant training. This should include how to use the equipment correctly and highlight risks that may arise from its use. This also applies to people that maintain, modify or repair the equipment.

Lots of equipment also falls under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) which applies to organisations and employees using lifting equipment. LOLER training is often specific to a particular piece of equipment and covers the requirements of the legislation, safe working loads, stability issues, key features on lifting equipment, ways of identifying potential hazards as well as teaching participants how to create and read lifting plans.

The Work at Height Regulations is another common piece of legislation that requires all work involving ladders and mobile access towers to be properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. When it comes to training the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) offers a variety of courses for people who work on mobile towers as well as anyone responsible for assembling, dismantling, moving and inspecting them.

In some instances, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) may also be relevant where workplace equipment is used to move heavy loads. This covers the transporting or supporting of loads, which includes any lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving, that is done by hand or using bodily force.

Although manual handling training is not a substitute for a safe working system, it can play a big role in reducing the risk of injury. Generally, this type of training should be tailored to the individual and the tasks they carry out. Areas it should focus on include identifying manual handling risk factors, good handling techniques and the use of mechanical aids.

Finally, once the training is done, it’s vitally important that employers keep detailed records showing who has been trained, when the training was carried out, information about the content of the course and any updates or refresher courses that might be required.