Case Study Shows Importance of Health and Safety Training

An accident case study carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in which two employees were seriously burnt when working alongside flammable solvent fumes, is being used to promote the necessary confined space training which may have prevented the accident. The solvent fumes were ignited by an electric sander whilst the two workers removed paint from a small yacht which was under repair. There is a very high risk of serious injury when working in such confined spaces and using such hazardous substances, and the correct health and safety training for both supervisor and workers would have assisted the employees in making the decisions that may have averted the accident.

The investigation showed that the employer failed to carry out the adequate risk assessment for entry into the yacht, which is considered to be a confined space. There was no safe system of work in place for cleaning the paint from the surfaces, and the employees within the confined space did not have suitable work equipment for the task they were carrying out. The overall safety of the employees when working within the confined space was severely compromised, and the case study helps to illustrate the very real dangers which come as a result of working in such conditions without the correct training.

Essential Health and Safety is a Midlands-based specialist in providing the very training which may have seen this case study end very differently. Their safe entry into confined spaces training courses are suitable for all levels of employment, and can be delivered across the country using their mobile confined space training facilities. Ensuring extra peace of mind for both employers and employees alike, these courses are the only ones in the country to be certified by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Two types of confined space training course are offered: an initial course and a refresher course. The initial course was created for employees who either have never taken this sort of course before, or who haven’t topped up their knowledge of safe entry into confined spaces within the past three years. The course lasts for hours, and participants are tested on their acquired knowledge through both practical and written exams. If the employees in the case study had undergone this training, they’d have been able to adequately choose their safety equipment, plan the work in a more safety-conscious manner and monitor the suitability of the system of work they chose to use.

Essential Health and Safety also offer a refresher course with similar outcomes, for those who have taken the course within the past three years, who may need to be updated on changes to legislation. A supervisory course is also available, with more of a focus on work permits, risk assessment and working in accordance with the Confined Space Regulations 1997.

For more information about health and safety training, visit or call 0845 095 1960.

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