Safety Safety Guidance

Guidance on Training and Competence

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Published in December 2020. This version replaces the previous version which was published in May 2015.


The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 requires employers to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of their employees. This is expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999, which identify situations where health and safety training is particularly important, e.g. when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating.

There is also very sound commercial reasons why training should be carried out as trained staff will carry out their work more effectively, efficiently as well as adopting a better culture to health and safety. It is important that training should be relevant to the individual and the work activity and environment where they will be working. It is equally as important that employers training budgets and schemes are not solely driven by health and safety requirements but also include vocational training packages to ensure their staff can work competently as well as safely.

Relevant training must be provided for all levels within an organisation – Directors, Managers, Supervisors and Site Operatives. AGS have developed a Training Standard as part of this guidance to identify the minimum health and safety training requirements for key positions and roles. Where training is provided Employers should satisfy themselves that the providers are competent and the course syllabus is fit for purpose.