Conduct occupational safety and health training easily online
Digital. Efficient. Effective.
Occupational safety and health is an important topic for all workplaces from construction sites to offices. Do not compromise when it comes to the safety and health of your employees. As an employer, it is your duty to provide your employees with regular occupational safety and health training on and to take all necessary precautions to prevent accidents. And the health and safety of your employees will of course also be important to you, not least to ensure the success of your company and the satisfaction of your employees. It is therefore important that your employees are always up to date on occupational safety and health. Preventive measures protect your employees from potential hazards and raise their awareness of risks. Occupational safety and health training is a powerful tool that will prevent accidents at work.
Online occupational safety and health courses enable you to provide your employees with first-rate training without the need to run a time-consuming face-to-face event. You give your employees the opportunity to read all relevant information about occupational safety and health whenever suits them. At the same time, you enable them to check the knowledge they have acquired through appropriate test questions. So everyone is on the safe side: Your employees are aware of the hazards and able to avoid accidents. And you provide auditable proof that as an employer, you are complying with your obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
This is what your occupational safety and health training could look like in the future
An example for the office sector
This online course focuses on the essentials and provides your employees with a brief explanation of appropriate conduct, emphasizing protection of their own and others’ health. Specific examples make the relevant requirements comprehensible and help trainees to absorb material more effectively. This online course offers standard content for office work.
Course content at a glance:
- Introduction with examples from everyday office work
- Basic rules and responsibilities Workplace design
- What to do in the event of an accident
- Fire protection
- What to do in the event of a burglary
- Transporting and working with ladders
- Final test and certificate of attendance
- PDF checklists
We will be happy to adapt the online course to your specific requirements or to supplement it with other content that is relevant for you.
I’m delighted you’re interested and I’m looking forward to getting to know you!
What is occupational safety and health?
The term occupational safety and health refers to all measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of employees in the workplace. These include preventive measures, such as ergonomic workplace design and accident prevention. They also include provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Occupational Safety and Health Act
The German Occupational Health and Safety Act (ArbSchG) sets out your occupational safety and health obligations as an employer. It also describes the duties and rights of your employees and provides for monitoring of occupational safety and health.
Section 12 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act describes the obligation on employers to “provide sufficient and appropriate instruction” to employees. Regular occupational safety and health training is therefore a legal requirement.
In line with the legal requirements, training on occupational safety and health includes: “instructions and explanations that are specifically geared to employees’ workplaces and areas of responsibility”.
How does training on occupational safety have to be provided?
The Occupational Health and Safety Act does not require you to provide your occupational safety and health training in any specific form. Most companies organize their occupational safety and health training as annual face-to-face events. Employees who do not participate due to illness or being on vacation are given follow-up training. However, this approach poses several risks to occupational safety:
- Section 12 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act states that “The training must take place before workers take up employment […]”. In other words, each new employee must be given immediate training when they start work. The same applies when employees switch departments, take on a new role, or use new technology. Depending on the size of the business, this can quickly become a mammoth task.
- Organizationally, it is almost impossible to gather all employees in one place at the same time. Working from home, illness and off-site activities make it difficult to meet the needs of every individual.
- Occupational safety provisions are not the same for every employee. Electricians on construction sites face different hazards than those faced by administrative staff. If you want to address all topics in a single occupational safety and health training session, your employees will have a long day ahead of them!
- Face-to-face occupational health and safety training is expensive. Organizing a face-to-face occupational safety and health training event costs time and money. Your employees spend valuable working time staring at dreary PowerPoint slides and you will have to pay your speaker for his or her services. Room rental, snacks, and drinks all add to the costs.
Can I provide training in the form of online courses?
The answer is “Yes”! The DGUV allows the “delivery of training using electronic media”, provided that the following three requirements are met.
Provision and preparation of workplace-specific content
Integrating and carrying out comprehension tests
Discussion between insured parties and trainers
Previously, web meeting tools were not recognized as a substitute for discussion, so training, or at least part of it, had to be delivered in analog form. Now—not least as a result of the pandemic—the DGUV has adapted the interpretation of its rules and regulations to enable web meeting tools to be used to fully digitalize the training process. Comprehension tests can also be integrated into courses. When choosing your eLearning software, make sure that it offers the option to integrate different question types and final tests. Ideally, it should also offer the option to create variants of each online course in order to address the specifics of each individual workplace. The DGUV continues to have reservations regarding the lack of individualization in eLearning, but these can be overcome by professional software, which uses adaptive learning to make digital learning far more individual than face-to-face events can usually manage to be. However, it is true that some training—especially in the field of production, trades, and the handling of hazardous substances—should at least use a blended learning format, with eLearning delivering theory and being supplemented by face-to-face sessions to adequately demonstrate the requisite practical skills.
- Employers are required to provide their employees with sufficient and appropriate training on safety and health at work during their working hours. Training should include instructions and explanations that are specifically geared to employees’ workplaces and areas of responsibility. It must be provided to new recruits before they take up their duties, and in the event that roles change, or new equipment or new technology is introduced. Training should be adapted to take account of any emerging hazards, and must be repeated regularly if necessary.
- Where workers are supplied temporarily to another employer, the obligation to provide training in accordance with subsection 1 rests with the employer taking on the temporary workers. In providing training, that employer must take into account the qualifications and experience of the individuals that have been temporarily supplied. All other obligations on the employer hiring out the workers relating to occupational safety and health protection remain unaffected.
Last revised: June 2022
DGUV (German Statutory Accident Insurance) Regulation 1 Clause 100-001 of Section 14 of the German Statutory Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung, DGUV) explains the Principles of Prevention regulation dealing with accident prevention, and the use of electronic aids in this context under
DGUV (German Statutory Accident Insurance) Regulation 1
In principle, face-to-face training must be provided; the use of electronic media is permitted as an aid. Where training is provided using electronic media, however, it is must be ensured that
- content is workplace-specific, both in terms of its preparation and provision,
- that comprehension tests are carried out,
- and that insured parties are able to discuss content with trainers at any time.
The document also includes specific descriptions of how and by what means training should be provided and how learning outcomes should be verified.
Last revised: June 2022
German Regulation on Health and Safety in the Use of Work Equipment (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung, BetrSichV) Paragraph 12 clarifies the obligations on companies to train their employees in the use of work equipment, in particular before they first use it (instructions for use, protective measures and dealing with hazards, malfunctions and accidents).
German Regulation on Health and Safety in the Use of Work Equipment (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung, BetrSichV)
BetrSichV lays down the safety and health protection requirements for the use of work equipment. However, as well as requiring the users of such equipment to be protected, they also – where systems are subject to inspection – protect “other persons” in such systems’ hazardous zones.
(1) Before employees use equipment for the first time, employers shall provide them with sufficient and appropriate information—based on the risk assessment and in a form and language that can be understood by them—about
- hazards involved with the use of work equipment, including related hazards arising out of the working environment,
- the required safeguards and rules of conduct, and
- the action to be taken in the event of malfunctions and accidents, and information on first aid in the event of an emergency.
Before employees start to use equipment, employers must provide training that is relevant to their activities on the basis of the information referred to in sentence 1. Thereafter, employers must provide further training at regular intervals, and at least once a year. The date of each training session and the names of individuals who have received training must be recorded in writing.
(2) Before employees use equipment for the first time, employers shall supply them with written operating instructions for the use of such equipment in a form and language that they can understand and in an appropriate location. Sentence 1 does not apply to equipment in respect of which instructions for use do not have to be supplied pursuant to Section 3(4) of the German Product Safety Act (Produktsicherheitsgesetz). Instead of operating instructions, employers may also provide the instructions for use or operating instructions supplied with the equipment when it was put on the market, where such instructions include information equivalent to operating instructions. In the event of changes to working environments that impact on safety, operating instructions must be updated; such changes must be highlighted in the regular training provided pursuant to Section 12 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
(3) Where the use of equipment entails particular hazards, employers must ensure that such equipment is used only by employees who are assigned to it.
You might want to think about simply attaching a QR code to equipment that links directly to the relevant instructions. This will enable employees to access instructions easily when they need to. It is then also easy to update the instructions at any time and demonstrate that all employees using the equipment have had appropriate training.
Last revised: June 2022
The bottom line.
Occupational safety and health training is essential and ensures not only the health of your employees, but also the success of your company and employee satisfaction. Using interactive online courses, you can impart knowledge effectively and in a timely manner, and anchor the knowledge in the minds of your employees for the long term. At the same time, your costs decrease while the quality increases. Just give it a try.