Last updated: 15.11.11

E-learning 'could help reduce accidents in workplace by a third'

Accident rates can be a third lower for businesses investing in health and safety training for their workforce which could be in the form of e-learning, according to one industry expert. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (Iosh) suggested that many businesses often underestimate the importance of health and safety and the methods in which this regularly updated information can be obtained. Iosh is the chartered body for health and safety professionals and has more than 39,000 individual members that aim to improve and implement successfully used online training for health and safety practises. Phil Bates, senior policy and technical adviser at Iosh, said: "Employers are morally and legally obliged to look after the safety and wellbeing of their employees at work - but these should not be the only reasons why they have health and safety policies and training programmes in place." He added that there are clear benefits economically in training staff thoroughly using a variety of different platforms such as e-learning and that companies who invest in health and safety training are more likely to run smoother without posing a risk to themselves and their employees. "E.ON saved £12 million in just one year by investing in good health and safety. It is safe to say that successful companies are those who show they care for their staff - providing health and safety training demonstrates this." According to research commissioned by Iosh, accident rates in the workplace can be reduced by up to a third for businesses that invest part of their budget into properly authorised and accredited training schemes. Mr Bates commented that the research shows just how important staff training is and that with effective planning and budget control, the training could improve the overall performance of the company. More than 200 people are killed each year in accidents at work and over one million people are injured. Furthermore, more than two million employees suffer illnesses caused by, or made worse by, their work, according to data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE offers advice and guidance on how to best prepare workplaces for accident rate reduction.