What's missing from most health and safety courses blog post by Compassa

What’s Missing from Most Health and Safety courses?

It’s easy to deliver a health and safety course. But is it any good?

When you mention health and safety training to people, what do they first think?



Moralising? Do their eyes glaze over? Do their eyebrows frown or get raised?

We hate to stereotype health and safety trainers because there are many excellent and engaging trainers out there. But a large proportion really are boring!

Or at least, their course delivery is boring! We were once told a sad story by a health and safety manager who arranged a half-day IOSH course for his Board of Directors. The course provider was highly recommended. On the day of the training, a trainer showed up whom the manager had never met. He hadn’t thought to ask who exactly would be delivering the training. He chose a course provider, not a trainer.

The result? The Board were indeed bored! From that day on the directors associated the words “health and safety” with “boring”. Even worse, they thought it was “irrelevant”. “It set back our health and safety culture ten years”, he said. “I eventually left the company.”

If you’re going to arrange health and safety training for your staff, managers, and directors, you need to choose the trainer. Not the course provider. It’s a little recognised fact in the training industry that many trainers are freelance contractors tied to no one particular firm. The course provider will choose someone who is available who charges a day rate that allows them to make a profit. Quality is also considered of course. But for some course providers, finding someone, anyone, who is available to deliver the training is a greater priority than finding someone who is good at what they do.

Ultimately, you need someone who can switch people on to health and safety. Not switch them off.

So how do you deliver a health and safety course that has a positive impact on attitudes and behaviours? The video below contains a clue:

It starts with enthusiasm!