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The legal impact of training mismanagement

20 November 2017

The ability to implement an effective training management system can be stressful, involving heavy paperwork and endless administrative time.

These stressful activities can lead to errors and these errors can be costly more specifically from a legal perspective. Effective Software investigated a number of prosecutions that highlight the importance of implementing an effective training management system in the workplace.

In one case, supermarket chain Aldi had relied on new delivery drivers shadowing existing drivers to work out how to use powered pallet trucks safely. A driver had been working for Aldi for less than two weeks, and hadn’t used the particular model of pallet truck before. Whilst he was preparing to move some pallets, he thought he had stopped the truck – but it carried on moving, crushing his foot. He had two toes amputated, and the rest of his foot had to be pinned together. Aldi were fined £1 million with £70,000 costs. The prosecution was clear that Aldi should have had a standardised training programme to provide assurance that every driver would know how to operate every truck they might need to use, safely.

Whether you represent a large organisation like Aldi firm or a smaller company, you need to have a training management system for identify training needs, delivering those needs and recording the delivery of that training.  The fault was not in using existing staff to train new staff – this can be an effective method, but the trainers must themselves be given some “train-the-trainer” support, and provided with a structure to follow. 

Manual systems and spreadsheets to record this information can create an enormous headache for managers – training becomes out-of-date, or in the event of an accident, no one can find evidence that someone was trained. Making use of a software-based training management module reduces the time that needs to be spent managing the process, providing an auditable trail that training has been provided when it is required, with automated reminders where refresher training is due.  Another advantage of such management software is being able to manage access to the records – so for example, a manager can check that a worker has had the appropriate training before allocating them to a new task. 

If you are experiencing problems implementing an effective training system and would like to know more about how Effective Software can help you with training compliance, request a demo or call the company.