Jane Black (not her real name) has just taken up a new position managing a factory floor. One of the main reasons she was hired was to help tighten up the health and safety practices in the factory. When she starts, she realises this is no easy task. Let’s take a look at the hefty task that Jane has…

In a quick scan of the factory floor, she cringes at how relaxed the health and safety culture is. A sign on the noticeboard says that the safety circle last met over 6 months ago. There are wires precariously taped to the floor just coaxing someone to trip up. The air is thick with fumes from the machinery. She shudders at the thought of the number of dreadful hazards lurking that aren’t so obvious to the naked eye.

She knows she needs to take action – and pronto. But where on earth does she even begin?

Jane heard about the IOSH Managing Safely course from a former colleague and thinks it is an excellent choice for her. And for you, if you’re a managing employee in your company.

The course is geared to fully equip directors, managers, and supervisors with all the knowledge they need to effectively manage and monitor the health and safety systems in their places of work.

IOSH has worked hard to carefully craft the IOSH Managing Safely course content to help managers uphold admirable health and safety practices, and all in only 22 hours. Ut helps managers to control risks, investigate incidents, measure performance and much,  much more. Everything you’ll need is bundled into one neat package.

If you’re thinking about taking the IOSH Managing Safely Course, this is the article for you.

We’re going to go through the course content to show you just how valuable it can be for you and your fellow management team members!

Aims of the IOSH Managing Safely Syllabus

As we’ve mentioned, IOSH Managing Safely provides delegates with all the information they need to create and maintain a sturdy health and safety culture in their workplace. It’s based around 3 main aims. When you earn your shiny IOSH Managing Safely certificate, you’ll have demonstrated that you now have:

  • The ability to identify, assess, and control risks and hazards in the workplace.
  • A deep understanding of your health and safety responsibilities in the workplace.
  • The ability to measure your workplace’s performance in terms of upholding good health and safety practice.

At Safety Training Scotland, we pack a wealth of knowledge into 3 days so that you can learn as much as you can with as little time away from your work as possible (this is definitely a priority for Jane who needs to get down to business, stat!)

Now you know what we’re trying to achieve, let’s talk about how we’re going to do it.

iosh benefits

Module 1: Introduction

To ease you in, the course has a nice introductory module which breaks down why the course is important and what benefits you’ll get from it.

You’ll learn about some of the moral, legal, and financial reasons for managing safely in the workplace.

This module will help contextualise how important he course syllabus is to you, and how you fit into the wider health and safety culture at your organisation.

Module 2: Assessing Risks

Once you know why the course exists and where you fit in into it, let’s get down to some specifics in module 2.

Module 2 is all designed to set some baseline definitions to work with. You don’t have to worry about mumbo-jumbo jargon. Everything is explained in plain and simple English.

You’ll learn exactly what is meant by hazard, risk, risk assessment, and more. These definitions will be essential nuggets of information to carry with you in the workplace which will allow you to spot and halt the potential of workplace accidents.

Armed with your definitions, you’ll also learn why risk assessments are important and how to carry one out.

Top tip: Be alert during the risk assessment discussion because this is a critical aspect of your assessment!

Module 3: Controlling Risks

So far, you’ll have learned what a risk is and how to identify them. But how do you take action to control them?

Enter module 3’s risk matrix. The risk matrix is a snazzy tool that helps you evaluate the severity of risks and what needs to be done to put a lid on them.

You’ll learn what is ‘reasonably practicable’ for you in terms of identifying and controlling risks. You could spend your entire shift on trying to wrap your workplace up in bubble wrap to shelter it from any and all hazards. This section will outline exactly what is reasonable for you to look out for and control.

Is it reasonably practicable for you to note that an accident could occur as a result of an exposed wire you spotted? Yes. Is it reasonably practicable for you to anticipate that a car might drive through your shop window one day? Probably not.

Top tip: In this module, you’ll get your first practical activity – the risk spotting and risk control exercise. Your newly-developed skills will be put to the test, so make sure you take notes!

Module 4: Understanding Responsibilities

By the time module 4 rolls around, you will have developed a keen eye for identifying hazards and you’ll know how to put controls in place to manage them.

But what are you actually required to do as a manager? There are rules and regulations in place that you must be aware of and abide by in your position of power in order to protect both yourself and your employees.

This module gives you an overview of all the health and safety laws that you need to follow as a manager, and importantly, what will happen if you don’t follow the rules!

Module 5: Understanding Hazards

An important lesson to take away from the IOSH Managing Safely course content is that a risk and hazard are very different things.

Top tip: Impress your course leader with your definitions! A hazard is something that can cause harm. A risk refers to the chance that the hazard will cause harm.

Module 5 goes through everything you need to know about hazards in the workplace. You’ll learn about the six main categories of hazards and how to slot various hazards under their respective categories. The categories are:

  • Mechanical
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Environmental
  • Biological
  • Organisational

Is an oil spill a chemical hazard? Mechanical? Organisational? By the end of module 5, you’ll be able to rapidly categorise hazards, which is a vital skill for real-life work situations.

Module 6: Investigating Incidents

Another term you’ll become familiar with is incident. You’ll learn the nuances between an incident, accident, and a near miss, which will be essential to know when deciding what next steps to take on-the-job.

Top tip: Learn these definitions before you go on your course. An incident refers to any event that happens, positive or negative. An accident refers specifically to negative events which can result in injury or death. A near miss is when an accident almost occurs.

An employee has gone into anaphylaxis as a result of a latex allergy – is this an incident, accident, or near miss? Another employee has cut their arm on a broken piece of machinery – incident, accident, or near miss?

You might not know the correct answer right now, but you will by the end of the course.

Module 7: Measuring Performance

After soaking up all of this knowledge and refining your skills, you need to make sure that your place of work keeps up high standards of health and safety conduct.

The final module ties everything together, exploring the performance indicators you should use to help you monitor the effectiveness of your practices.

You’ll go into depth about how to carry out a health and safety audit on your workplace, pulling together everything you’ve learned up until this point. This audit is a critical part of keeping your workplace health and safety culture in ship-shape!

Sound up your street?

The IOSH Managing Safely course content is a catch-all solution for health and safety instruction for managers in all industries. The skills you’ll learn are highly transferable and you’ll leave brimming with confidence as you put your knowledge into practice.

If you’re interested in securing a place on an IOSH Managing Safely course in Glasgow or Edinburgh, Safety Training Scotland are here to help. For more information about our upcoming course dates and costs, take a peek at our course page or contact us directly.