Health and safety training will always be waiting for us in a new job. Health and safety at work is incredibly important, whether we are working on a construction site, in an office, at school or in a beauty salon, and also technical students. Each of these places has rules that we must follow for the safety of ourselves and others. The field of OSH includes ergonomics, occupational medicine, work economics, work psychology and, of course, technical safety. The State Labour Inspectorate (PIP) is the guardian of compliance with OSH regulations.

Health and safety rules always apply to employees as well as to the employer, as it is the employer's responsibility to ensure safe and hygienic working conditions. The employer must ensure that his employees are properly protected. But importantly, an employee without OSH training cannot be allowed to work - it is the employer's duty to provide training. At this point, it is worth knowing that such training always takes place

during working hours and, of course, at the employer's expense.

            Who is subject to health and safety training?

Naturally, all employees, regardless of what type of work they do and whether they are employed under contract

employment, contract or are apprentices.

The courses themselves take different forms. Some require you to go to another city for 10 months, some are only a week long, and others last four hours, take place at home and all you need is internet access. OHS training also comes in different frequencies, but don't worry, no one will send you to the other end of Poland for 10 months anymore. In the case of H&S, we can encounter 4 basic forms of training:

  • Instruction - is a form of training lasting no less than 2 hours, enabling us to acquire, update or supplement our knowledge and skills about the work we are doing and how we should behave according to safety rules
  • and occupational health
  • Seminar - a form of training that is not less than 5 lesson hours and has the same purpose as instruction
  • Course - training that is not less than 15 lesson hours and, unlike instruction
  • and seminar, includes theoretical and practical classes on health and safety principles
  • Self-directed learning - self-directed training based on materials provided by the training provider and possible consultation

Health and safety courses are divided into initial and periodic courses. So what are the differences and what is worth knowing about them?  

Initial training is organised for employees before they are allowed to work. They are designed to provide the employee with the knowledge and skills they will need to do their job well. In such a course, you learn about the hazards that are present in specific positions in the workplace. It is conducted in the form of instruction, following programmes that have been specifically developed for specific job groups. It includes:

  • General instruction, through which participants can learn the basics of health and safety at work, the issues contained in the Labour Code, the regulations of the company in which they work and, last but not least, the principles of first aid, should the need arise.

General instruction is most often carried out by a member of the occupational health and safety service, an employer who performs such tasks himself or a suitably qualified employee designated by the employer.

  • Job-specific instruction, which ensures that you are familiar with the specifics of the jobs, what factors and occupational risks are present in a particular position.

Job-related instruction is carried out by the employer or the employer's designee, if they are competent and trained themselves, of course.

The initial course should conclude with the completion of an initial training card

in health and safety and be placed in the employee's file. The card is valid for a maximum of 12 months, but those working in managerial positions, must repeat the training every six months.

Periodic training are subject to employers, managers, foremen, workers, engineering-technical staff (machine designers, technologists, production organisers), occupational health and safety staff and administrative and office staff. The aim is, colloquially speaking, to refresh workers' knowledge, remind them of the health and safety rules in the workplace and familiarise participants with their technical and organisational solutions.

The main difference between the periodic course and the initial training is that, as a

In the latter case, every new employee is obliged to participate, while in the former case, there are persons who may be exempted from participation. If we submit a current certificate of such training from another employer or if we belong to a group of positions that do not have to participate in periodic training - we are automatically exempt from the obligation to participate

in the training. Unlike initial training, in this case it is the employer who determines the frequency of the training and the time it will take, after consultation with the workers, of course.

The periodic training ends with an examination, which is carried out by a committee appointed by the organiser. The aim is to check to what extent the participant has mastered the OSH material. If you pass the exam, you receive a personal certificate.

on the completion of training. The length of validity of the certificate varies depending on the job. Employees in blue-collar jobs must undergo such training at least every three years, while clerical and managerial employees must undergo such training at least once every five years.

The curricula for initial and periodic training in occupational health and safety should set out the specific topics and forms of delivery and duration of such training for each job group. Who draws up these programmes? None other than the employer or the organisational unit that carries out the OSH training, after prior consultation with the employer. In both cases, the employer has a very important task,

After all, he is the one who knows best what is going on in his company and what employees need to know.

The lecturers and instructors who take part in training should be chosen carefully. In addition to their knowledge of H&S topics, they should be didactically prepared so that they can deliver the training with fruitful results.

Depending on our position, we can do health and safety training online. There are companies that offer us such training from as little as £49. The advantage of such training is undoubtedly the homely atmosphere and the certainty of receiving a training card. Courses are divided up by job position and workplace, and you can also find training in foreign languages, especially the popular English and Ukrainian.