Occupational Health and Safety Training

Importance of Occupational Health and Safety Training

Health and Safety are sometimes seen as a difficult, intimidating, and irritating set of rules that must be obeyed. However, once the subject matter can be understood through a comprehensive training course, it becomes an extremely simple concept.

As per the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, Employers are required by law to ensure that they provide a workplace that is safe and free from harm to the safety, health, and wellbeing of employees, as far as reasonably practicable. Each organisation must have a dedicated health and safety team with the necessary training and knowledge to ensure:

  • That all employees and visitors are protected against avoidable injury, disease, disability, or even death.
  • Ensure that fires, as well as unanticipated accidents and catastrophes that pose a risk to the organization and its employees, are minimized.
  • That the company assets and broader surroundings are protected.
  • To avoid that employees are subjected to chronic occupational disease that can be prevented.
  • That the business is protected against any unnecessary insurance claims and/or financial loss that stems from illness and injuries that could have been avoided.

However, while employers have this responsibility, they do not carry it alone because employees are required to take care of their own safety and those around them as well.

The best way to ensure a safe working environment and to provide employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to safeguard themselves and others is to provide Occupational Health and Safety Training or OHS Training.

Organisations, companies, employers, and departments require that employees be trained in different safety-related courses that increase their knowledge of safety practices. It also makes them aware of health and safety factors in the workplace and teaches them how to handle certain situations.

MAKROSAFE have been a supplier of high quality OHS Training for clients on a National bases for more than 24 years.


The importance of Health and Safety Courses and workplace safety

While there is an innate concern for our own health and safety and that of others around us, there are several more reasons to make occupational health and safety a priority in the workplace. These include the following:

  • Obligations that are legal and binding
  • The fact that communities expect employers to safeguard their employees
  • Insurable costs include worker’s compensation which is proven to be linked directly to the overall occupational health and safety performance
  • Uninsurable costs consist of lost time injuries, loss of productivity, replacing staff members, and several others.
  • The costs to the community include, but are not limited to, health services, rehabilitation, and several more.
  • The costs to employees because their quality of life has been reduced because of workplace injuries and/or diseases

Benefits of OHS training for companies

To understand the positive impact that OHS Training can bring for the organisation, the following can be considered despite the size of the company or its nature of business:

  • The provision of OHS training is mandatory for companies in South Africa. Non-compliance can result in penalties, fines, and even imprisonment, which involves costs that are far greater than the costs involved with providing training.
  • It is best practice and forms part of safe working methods and procedures.
  • It provides companies in South Africa additional points towards their OHS and skills development of employees.
  • It gives the employer peace of mind because occupational health and safety training makes employees more aware of the hazards and risks in the workplace, leading to the minimization of these risks and the reduction of incidents.
  • OHS training is a requirement for companies to obtain tenders.
  • It ensures increased productivity and skill development because employees can be taught in their language, which will ensure that quality work is ensured. It also boosts the overall efficiency of employees, translating to less time spent on mistake resolution.
  • Cost reduction because fewer work-related injuries and accidents occur, helping the employer save on Injury On Duty (IOD) claims, illness, death, damage to property, staff turnover, and many others.

OHS Training

Benefits of OHS training for Employees

Health and Safety Training offers employees the following benefits:

  • A sense of responsibility because employees feel a duty of care towards themselves and others who work around them, leading to employees aiming to achieve the highest level of safety in the workplace.
  • It can help employees clearly define their roles and responsibilities
  • It boosts productivity and morale; it also instils trust and confidence in the employer

Difference between onsite and online training

Training can be defined as the process involved with assisting someone in learning how to do something, advising them on what they should or should not do, or just providing them with the knowledge to carry out a task or activity.

Training is not limited to conventional 'classroom' courses and gaining 'tickets to work' (certificates). Every year more than a million people are injured in workplace incidents and accidents while even more suffer from occupational illnesses brought about by poor working conditions.

When employers offer effective training in the workplace it will help them:

  • Ensure that employees are not injured while they are at work and that they do not become ill because of any work activities, products, substances, or processes.
  • Develop and maintain a strong health and safety culture where occupational health and safety is not seen as a chore, but where it becomes second nature.
  • Determine where and how health and safety can be improved.
  • Meet their legal duty to safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees.
  • Contribute towards overall employee competence where health and safety is concerned.
  • Avoid the distress associated with ill health, accidents, and incidents.
  • Prevent financial costs of accidents and occupational ill-health.

Where onsite and online training is concerned, there are distinctive differences. However, one thing that remains the same between the two is the quality of training in addition to the content provided between theoretical and practical knowledge.

Online learning has become extremely popular during times when training venues had to close their doors because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this opened the door for the increase in popularity of online classes because of the benefits that more students could be accommodated.

Online learning can be done using online platforms that use an internet connection to connect the student to their teacher/instructor and other learners, providing them with an ideal online classroom without leaving their own home.

It also increased the widespread availability of training and courses that were previously geographically limited, with students unable to attend classes where they were held.

Onsite training involves the traditional method of attending a college, class, or training session with other students in the same location, with a teacher or instructor presenting a class.

Advantages of Online Learning

  • Flexibility is one of the obvious benefits of online learning because individuals can choose classes as it fits their schedule. It is also easier to organise online sessions and to record sessions for those who could not attend at a certain time. It also makes it easier because students can rewind and rewatch sessions, allowing for improved retention
  • Online learning is more cost-effective because it does not involve travelling costs, accommodation, meals, and others
  • Increased opportunities for global networking because there are no geographic restrictions
  • It allows students to learn at a pace that is comfortable for them
  • There is a wide range of courses to choose from

Disadvantages of Online Learning

  • Technical know-how involved with using online platforms and technology can be a setback for those who either do not have access to a computer or internet connection or those who do not know how to use these tools
  • There can be distractions in the home environment that would not have been present in a classroom
  • Students cannot always carry out all practical courses online, especially where physical participation is necessary such as first aid courses

Advantages of Onsite Learning

  • It provides the perfect opportunity for personal networking
  • It allows for teachers and students to foster professional relationships
  • There is real-time interaction which can be beneficial for optimized learning
  • There are fewer distractions

Disadvantages of Onsite Learning

  • There is truly little flexibility and there are rigid timetables
  • The courses are more expensive and include additional costs such as accommodation, travel, meals, and others
  • The instructor cannot create a customized work plan, which means that all students are treated the same and those who may have special learning needs will not be able to keep up

Health and Safety Training

Return on Investment if Training is done through SafetyWallet

Many individuals believe that occupational health and safety regulations apply primarily to specialized sectors, such as mining and construction, and not to the usual administrative office environment.

However, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 applies to all companies and workers. For this reason, a well-established and proactive health and safety training program can reduce hazards and risks for employees and the employer.

Compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 mitigates the danger of facing potential penalties and criminal responsibility from the Department of Employment and Labour for non-compliance. One of the most tedious exercises in which an employer can participate relates to finding the right Health and Safety Training provider that offers comprehensive Health and Safety Courses across industries in South Africa.

Factors that employers must consider when they find an OHS Training partner include:

  • Accreditation with the necessary training authorities in South Africa.
  • Whether the training provider that offers health and safety courses has a good reputation and a good track record in offering training to large, reputable organisations. Employers must request reference letters to determine the validity of the provider’s services.
  • Whether the health and safety courses can be tailored to the company’s unique industry and needs. There is no one-size-fits-all because what is applicable for retail will not apply to the chemical industry. There may be some similarities, but there are unique considerations for each industry.
  • The provider must offer a holistic approach, not only one aspect. Apart from providing health and safety training, the supplier should be able to assist the company in maintaining its overall health and safety compliance.

While several training providers in South Africa offer all these components and more, SafetyWallet is not only a comprehensive service provider but an innovative subscription program that offers an all-encompassing package to companies across all industries and sectors in South Africa.

In partnership with MAKROSAFE, SafetyWallet offers its subscribers the highest quality of health and safety training presented online and as formal training. All training that is provided is aligned with the unit standards as well as the online curriculum by SAQA, with accreditation and endorsement through DoEL, QCTO, HWSeta, and SAIOSHMy Safety ShopMAKROSAFE / SAFETYWALLET / MY SAFETY SHOP are in Partnership.

SafetyWallet provides its subscribers comprehensive services where health and safety training is concerned, including some of the following crucial components:

  • An in-depth analysis of the training requirements
  • Dedicated Skills Development Facilitator (SDF)
  • Annual Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)
  • Skills Development Levy (SDL) Reimbursements
  • B-BBEE Learnership Assistance.
  • Tax Incentives for Qualifications, Bursaries and Learnerships
  • Covid-19 related training
  • Legislative updates delivered weekly
  • A comprehensive monthly newsletter

SafetyWallet, My Safety Shop in partnership with MAKROSAFE provides a wide range of Health and Safety Courses that can be attended either onsite or online through eLearning. The courses that are provided by SafetyWallet include, but are not limited to, some of the following topics:

Thousands of companies and employers in South Africa have subscribed to the services of SafetyWallet, allowing them to become part of a greater family that advocates health, safety, and compliance across all industries.

SafetyWallet not only encourages compliance with rules, regulations, legislation, and all other applicable laws in South Africa but also rewards its subscribers generously from the moment that they subscribe to a circle.

Membership fees, rewards, and discounts are determined by the membership circle to which employers subscribe, with a choice between:

  • Mini Circle (1 to 10 employees)
  • Care Circle (11 to 20 employees)
  • Friend Circle (21 to 50 employees)
  • Family Circle (51 to 100 employees)
  • Champion Circle (101 to 300 employees)
  • Pinnacle Circle (300 employees and more

Posted date: 24th Jan 2022
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