Most companies will provide health and safety training to staff at the start of their employment, but they may forget to refresh this knowledge as the years pass. Why might this be a good time to consider it?

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Trying Times

When a new employee begins their employment journey with you, you’ll want to provide some induction training. There will be basics to cover such as your fire procedure, signing in and out and accident and sickness reporting. In many cases you’ll add to this, e.g., with specific safe systems of work and how to obtain personal protective clothing. However, very few employees will remember everything they are told and furthermore they might begin to believe that certain rules don’t really matter.

This is one reason why refresher training on basic health and safety is important. The other factor to consider is that situations change. Your workplace might be functioning very differently under coronavirus precautions than it did previously, and you can use refresher training to remind staff of existing rules and requirements, and to cover the changes that you’ve implemented.

Note. This is not only sensible but required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.


Refresher training frequency is not included in health and safety legislation. This is because there are many different variables in each workplace and job role. It’s therefore a decision to be made by every employer.

Tip. Consider scheduling refresher health and safety training on a predetermined frequency. For a low-risk workplace a three-year gap between training could be justified, whereas in a higher risk workplace undertake this annually.

Tip. In addition to your periodic training, provide it when there have been changes in the workplace such as new technology or changed safe systems of work. Where this is the case, you’ll need to provide the training promptly, either at or before the time the changes take place.

Tip. Keep a record of the training, including who attended, the date, who delivered it and the content.

What To Cover? 

Begin by refreshing the knowledge you would ordinarily pass on at the start of employment. Your induction checklist will be a good guide.  Alternatively, Safety Aide provide a comprehensive e-learning package that covers refresher H&S training for all your staff.

Tip. The other tools you can use are policies, safe systems of work and risk assessments. You can run through the contents of these including the actions which you need staff to take. Use a training record sheet to confirm what was covered.

Tip. If there is a lot to go over you might prefer to spread refresher training over multiple sessions, e.g., ten-minute slots at team meetings.

Who’s Checking?

It may not be until after an adverse event that you appreciate the value of what you’ve done. For example, following an accident which results in a formal investigation or a civil claim, you could well be asked to demonstrate the training received by staff involved.

In Conclusion

Training should be repeated periodically to ensure that knowledge is retained, and to keep staff up to date with changes in your workplace or safe systems of work. With so many changes due to coronavirus it is a very good time to get a handle on this. Schedule refresher training and provide updates to staff as and when required.

If you would like to know more about what H&S training Safety Aide can offer, feel free to get in touch via phone on 08000 806 801 or via our website,  You can also sign up for a free trial on our online portal.

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