World Day for Health & Safety at Work: Why Compliant Health & Safety Training is Your Golden Ticket

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Practice Manager, Training Manager

April 28th marks the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This year’s theme, “Psychosocial risks prevention: building a positive safety and health culture,” emphasises the well-being of employees beyond the physical. But a strong safety culture starts with a solid foundation – compliant health & safety training for your workforce.

Here at Health Academy, we understand the importance of providing top-notch training solutions on a wide range of mandatory and compliance topics. But why is this training so crucial? Let’s delve into the world of non-compliance and see why staying ahead of the curve is a win-win for everyone.

The Cost of Ignorance: A Cautionary Tale

In 2019, a factory worker in Birmingham suffered life-changing injuries after falling from an unguarded platform. The investigation revealed the company had failed to provide proper training for working at heights, a violation of health and safety regulations. The consequences? Not only did the employee face a long and difficult recovery, but the company was hit with a hefty fine and significant reputational damage.

This case, unfortunately, is not an isolated incident. Every year, countless businesses face financial and legal repercussions due to non-compliance with health and safety regulations.

Empowering Your Team: The Positive Impact of Health & Safety Training

Compliant health and safety training goes far beyond ticking a box. Here’s how it empowers your team and benefits your business:

  • Reduced Risk of Accidents: Training equips employees with the knowledge and skills to identify and avoid hazards, significantly lowering the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Improved Employee Morale: A safe work environment fosters trust and well-being, leading to a more engaged and productive workforce.
  • Enhanced Compliance: Regular training ensures your company stays up-to-date with the latest regulations, minimising the risk of hefty fines and legal action.
  • Stronger Employer Brand: Demonstrating a commitment to safety attracts and retains top talent, giving your company a competitive edge.

Manual Handling Training: Doing the Heavy Lifting For You

In 2018, a bakery worker in Manchester, UK, suffered a severe back injury while lifting sacks of flour. The investigation revealed the following:

  • The worker had not received any formal training on safe lifting techniques for heavy objects.
  • The sacks of flour weighed over 25kg (55lbs), exceeding the recommended safe lifting weight.
  • The company did not have a proper risk assessment in place for manual handling tasks.

The bakery was found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations for failing to provide adequate training and failing to ensure the safety of their workers. The consequences were significant:

  • The worker faced a long recovery period and potential long-term health issues.
  • The bakery was fined a substantial amount (£80,000) for the safety violations.
  • The incident negatively impacted the company’s reputation.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of proper manual handling training. Workers who haven’t been trained on safe lifting techniques are more susceptible to injuries, leading to pain, lost productivity, and legal repercussions for the employer.

Risk Assessments: Prevention is Better than the Cure

Risk assessment training, like Health Academy’s course, plays a crucial role in preventing accidents at work by equipping employees and managers with the knowledge and tools to identify, analyse, and control workplace hazards.

In 2012, a serious incident at the Pembroke Refinery exposed the grave consequences of insufficient risk assessments. Here’s a breakdown of the case:

  • The Incident: An access tower walkway providing entry to a docked tanker vessel malfunctioned. The walkway dropped 3.5 meters, trapping an operator.
  • The Cause: The investigation revealed multiple failures related to risk assessment. The company:
  1. Failed to properly assess the dangers of jamming, loose cables, and personnel accessing the walkway without safety measures.
  2. Ignored previous incidents related to the access tower, including jamming issues.
  3. Didn’t install mechanisms to detect or prevent slack cables, a crucial safety feature.
  • The Outcome: The failings resulted in the employee suffering fractures, lacerations, and a dislocated knee. Valero Energy UK, the refinery owners, pleaded guilty to a single charge under health and safety regulations.
  • The Penalty: The company faced a hefty fine of £400,000 for their negligence.

This case highlights the critical role of thorough risk assessments in preventing accidents. By failing to identify and address potential hazards, Valero Energy not only put their employees at risk but also faced significant financial repercussions. It serves as a stark reminder for businesses in the UK of the legal obligation to prioritise employee safety through proper risk management practices.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a timely reminder that prioritising employee well-being is not just a legal obligation, it’s a smart business decision. By partnering with Health Academy and utilising compliant training programmes like Essential Health and Safety Training, you’re investing in a safer, happier, and more productive work environment.

Don’t wait for a costly incident to highlight the importance of training. Explore our range of training courses and let’s work together to build a positive safety culture in your workplace. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

Check out our our range of compliance training courses

Essential Health and Safety


This basic Health and Safety Training programme covers the key areas of Health and Safety that you are legally required to train your staff in. It provides an easy-to-follow but comprehensive introduction to the major topics that will keep your workplace safe.

Manual Handling


This online manual handling training course will teach you all you need to know about safe manual handling. It includes information on the lifting techniques, ‘LITE’ and ‘TILE’, and explains the importance of safe manual handling

Risk Assessments


This Risk Assessment Training is a key Health & Safety course that teaches you both what Risk Assessments are, as well as how and when to perform them. Understand the benefits of comprehensive risk assessments, and comply with basic legislation.

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