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Health & Safety Training
What are the University’s and it’s employees duties on safety training ?
The University as the employer must "provide the necessary information, training and supervision" to employees who in turn must "attend such training to ensure their safety, health and welfare at work" (Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005). The purpose of this training is to ensure that all employees are informed and capable in the safety aspects of their work.
What is the role of Safety Office in safety training ?
The role of the Safety Office is to work with Heads of Units and staff to ensure that we all continue to work in a safe environment. To achieve this our community needs people who are trained in skills such as first aid, fire safety, manual handling as well as chemical safety, biological safety, etc., which are needed for particular risks in our workplace. A responsibility of the Safety Office is to work with Heads of Units to make sure that staff have the right safety skills in the right places to achieve this.
See link for Unit Briefing on Safety Training and its Management (February2015).
What is the role of Organisation and Staff Development (HR Office) in safety training ?
The role of the Organisation and Staff Development Office is to provide a programme of safety courses annually for NUI Galway staff based on the safety training needs of NUI Galway Units. For all safety training courses the Organisation and Staff Development Office will promote them, make the necessary arrangements, record attendance and report appropriately.
What safety training is organised for NUI Galway personnel ?
A programme of safety training is organised annually for NUI Galway personnel, based on the safety training needs that Heads of Units have identified. Below are some examples:-
Course Target Group Course Duration Occupational first aid Staff who have been selected to be first aiders for their Unit 3 days Occupational first aid refresher training Training to ensure first aiders are updated and recertified 1 day Fieldwork first aid training Staff who are involved in carrying out fieldwork 3 days Fire safety All Staff 2 hrs including 30 mins practical Fire marshal safety Nominated staff 2 hrs Manual handling Staff who handle loads at work 2 hrs including practical session Workstation assessor training Nominated staff 1 day Safe pass Nominated staff where work requires them to visit building sites 1 day Health & safety legal briefings - managers Heads of Units 2 hrs Risk assessments safety statements Nominated staff 2 hrs Safety statement preperation/updating Nominated staff 2 hrs Management and use of genetically modified organisms PI's, laboratory managers, technical officers, Heads of Units, post-doc researchers, post-graduate students I appropriate schools .5 day Chemical safety including fume cupboards Laboratory management/staff 1 day Handling compressed gasses Laboratory and Maintenance staff .5 day Liquid nitrogen cryogenics workshop Laboratory staff .5 day Retraining required every 3 years unless otherwise specified
Note: In addition each Head of Unit must ensure that there is a local induction procedure in place that includes all relevant safety information for newly appointed staff.
The safety courses are organised at the required frequency by the Organisation and Staff Development Office - click the Health and Safety banner for the programme of current courses (by topic).
What is a safety training needs assessment and what is it used for ?
A Safety Training Needs Assessment is where the Head of the Unit (usually working with their Safety Co-ordinator) annually identifies each staff member’s safety training needs and records them. These assessments were originally used to forecast the safety training needs of staff in the University's Unit and translated into an Annual Safety Training Programme. The actual training will be organised by the Organisation and Staff Development Office. Heads of Units and Safety Co-ordinators should also actively use their Safety Training Needs Assessment to promote training attendance as by virtue of it being assessed as a need it is required training.
As a Head of Unit, why do I need to deal with safety training?
As Head of Unit you have a significant accountability to provide a safe working environment in your Unit. A key element of this is to ensure that staff (and others where appropriate) are properly and regularly trained in the safety issues relevant to the work of the Unit. Your local Safety Coordinator may be able to assist in dealing with this in practice but as Head you are responsible for this requirement.
As a Head of Unit, what do I need to know?
As Head, you need to be familiar with the risks faced by staff, students and visitors who come to your Unit. You also need to understand and identify the need for any safety training to help you and your staff manage these risks.
As a Head of Unit, how do I complete a safety training needs assessment ?
Some safety training is required for everybody or is of a general nature. For these courses, review your staff list and your local safety training records to identify who needs this training over the next 12 months.
In the case of particular risks e.g. in labs, workshops, fieldwork, etc., you need to ensure that if your Unit has any such risks that this safety training need has being identified. The key points to address are:
· Particular risks if present should be documented in your Unit Safety Statement and/or Risk Assessments. A key risk reduction measure is that staff complete the relevant safety training either as awareness (e.g. asbestos awareness) or a practical skill (e.g. handling compressed gases).
· All staff need to be personally capable in the safety aspects of their role. For example if a staff member is working with chemical or biological agents they need to be properly trained to ensure that they can work safely with these agents.
· Particular staff may need specific safety skills; for example a staff member may need to be trained to carryout chemical agent risk assessments;
· If specific training was previously provided, staff need to complete refresher training at the required interval (typically every 3 years).
On the right of the page is a Safety Training Needs Assessment Worksheet in which you should verify the numbers of staff in your Unit that need to attend particular safety training. Certain hazards are so specific that you will need to arrange such safety training yourself in your own Unit.
As a member of staff what is my role in the safety training needs assessment and its follow-up ?
As a staff member you should be aware of the risks that are in your workplace (these should be indentified in the safety statement for all the areas you work in) and specifically the aspects you need training in. At a minimum all staff need training in fire safety and a safety induction, but equally for any other risk or safety role you needs to be adequately trained.
To verify if your training is current, attendance records are available to the Head of Unit (and Safety Co-ordinator) so that each Unit can track, manage and plan safety training attendance. These records will be available as a self-service option in the future (Organisation and Staff Development). For certain group e.g. Occupational First aiders the website** gives a record of your training status.
How is a place booked on a safety training course ?
All health and safety training courses are booked using the Organisation and Staff Development Office on-line booking system.
Heads of Units must monitor and review safety training attendance to ensure that staff are completing the required training.