Latest edition of the Health and Safety Handbook now available!

It’s been one of our most popular resources for years and has become a staple of training rooms across the country. So we’re very excited that the latest edition of The Health and Safety Handbook is now available.

Now in its 15th edition, The Health and Safety Handbook clearly and concisely outlines the subject for level 2 learners in a way that other books simply don’t.

Ideal as a reference point and invaluable for all employees, the book can be used to support employees taking level 2 health and safety courses with Highfield, CIEH or REHIS, or in-house training programmes.

For more information on content and price breaks, go to

How to…write a health and safety policy

You must have a written health and safety policy if you have five or more employees.

So how do you write one? Here’s a very brief guide.

Businesses usually put their policy into three sections.

  1. A general statement of intent, which establishes your commitment to implementing health and safety effectively and your expected outcomes.
  2. Responsibility and organisation. Who is doing what? For instance, who will carry out risk assessments?
  3. Arrangements. The details of what you are going to do in practice in order to achieve the outcomes outlined in #1. It should include information on how you will reduce or eliminate the risks of hazards in your workplace highlighted in your risk assessments. Staff training can be referenced here.

For more on our health and safety qualifications, go to

Safer workplaces for apprentices and the role of off-the-job training

This month Highfield is putting a focus on safer workplaces as part of our campaign to raise awareness of safer working practices.

But how do you ensure you can offer apprentices a realistic introduction to the world of work while keeping them safe?

Apprentices are often new to the world of work, and on the first rung of the career ladder. This can leave them vulnerable to bad practice and at risk of coming to harm in the workplace.

The on-programme phase of the apprenticeship is designed to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their specific apprenticeship standard. We can help ensure the apprentice meets these requirements, but does this relatively narrow set of knowledge, skills and behaviours go far enough to ensure a safe working environment?

20 percent off-the-job training
The 20 percent off-the-job training requirement, which can often be seen as a burden to employers, can, if utilised effectively, be an ideal time to broaden an apprentice’s knowledge and ensure that they are working safely and efficiently.

Off-the-job training doesn’t have to relate to the day-to-day tasks of the apprentice, but it does have to be relevant to the sector the apprentice is looking to work within.

Additional qualifications
Off-the-job training can take many forms. It can include gaining additional qualifications that are relevant to the type of job being performed. It may include subjects such as manual handling, fire safety or, depending on the sector, COSHH or security qualifications.

E-learning courses offer another chance for learners to meet their 20 perecent off-the-job training requirement while also picking up valuable skills that lead to safer workplaces. Highfield e-learning offers a range of courses that can contribute to a safer working environment including manual handling, an introduction to fire safety in the workplace, and a suite of health and safety in the workplace courses. Each comes with a completion certificate that provides a simple way to evidence an apprentice’s off-the-job training.

Protecting employers
As an employer you may be thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ when it comes to training an apprentice beyond the scope of the apprenticeship they are undertaking. It’s a fair question. By training an apprentice effectively in a wide range of subjects related to workplace safety, you not only have a highly engaged, well-developed apprentice, but you also protect yourself. You protect yourself from potential reputational damage should an untrained employee come to harm. You protect yourself from litigious claims and higher insurance premiums. You position yourself as an employer that cares about their workforce, doing all you can to ensure the safety of all of your employees.

How Highfield can help
We’ve been providing industry-leading training materials that have supported the delivery of safety qualifications for four decades. We offer a range of e-learning safety courses that can be worked through at an apprentice’s own pace.

If you’d like more information on how we can support your off-the-job training and on-programme delivery, call us today on 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email




Meet the HABC team at The Health and Safety Event

Layout 1 (Page 2)Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) will be at this year’s Health & Safety Event with all the latest news, updates and developments in the world of skills and training for frontline health and safety professionals and educators.

And leading the HABC team will be our new Business Development Manager, Christian Hopper, who has 15 years’ experience in the health and safety sector and will be on hand throughout the event to discuss all your learning and skills needs.

Christian Hopper - ColourHeld at Birmingham NEC from 22 to 24 March 2016, The Health and Safety Event provides the perfect networking and educational opportunity for anyone responsible for running a safe and efficient workplace.

And as well as having the chance to gain CPD and insights with over 45 free-to-attend seminars on the changing landscape of health and safety – including a presentation from the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Head of Regulation, Kevin Myers, on new enforcement guidelines – you’ll be able to come along to the HABC stand (J16 within the NEBOSH Education Pavilion) and find out more on how we can help you, including:

  • Details on our range of health and safety and compliance qualifications, ranging from Level 1 to Level 4 and covering specific sectors such as manufacturing, catering, retail, construction and care workplaces
  • Information on specialised health and safety books and learning resources from Highfield International, plus details on resources for associated areas such as fire safety, risk assessment and COSHH
  • Updates on e-learning solutions for health and safety at Levels 1, 2 and 3 from Highfield e-learning, plus case studies on how we created bespoke health and safety e-learning programmes for some of the world’s top companies
  • More on how HABC supports its centres and educators to help reduce workplace harm and deliver the training that employers and learners need to do their jobs safely and effectively.

IMG_4536If you’d like to arrange a meeting with Christian at The Health and Safety Event, please contact him on 07484 054405 or email You can also follow him on Twitter at HABC_HealthandSafety

Health and safety L3 and L4 qualifications CPD – DONCASTER 15 December 2014

l4 qualificationsHABC is hosting a health and safety CPD event for trainers delivering its L3 and L4 qualifications.

Hosted at Academy House, Doncaster, on 15 December 2014, the Health and Safety CPD workshop will deal specifically with the HABC Level 3 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace (QCF) and the HABC Level 4 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace (QCF).

Topics covered include:

  • Delivery, learning outcomes and assessment review of both qualifications;
  • Risk assessment and safe systems of work standardisation activity;
  • Recording and management of the qualifications;
  • Learning outcomes and indicative content for both qualifications;
  • Assessment review and common mistakes; and
  • Centre marked activity requirements.

Cost per delegate is £95 plus VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £155 plus VAT for non-Centres.

For more information on the L3 and L4 qualifications or to book your place, email us at or call 0845 226 0350.

Alternatively, book online here.

HABC MEA holds hazard identification update

HABC MEA has been helping managers involved in construction, health and safety and project management in the Middle East understand more about the importance of identifying hazards in controlling workplace accidents.

Paul Coates, HABC MEA Operations Manager, conducted a 3-hour session on the subject to over 30 delegates from various companies at the Amari Doha Hotel on 8 December 2013.

The seminar was organised by the Vibrant Consultancy WLL, Doha, Qatar, on behalf of a campaign by Arabtec Construction Company – one of the region’s leading construction firms – to raise awareness of hazard identification.

The delegates were welcomed by Mr P. Shaji, Project HSE Manager (Arabtec), who discussed the campaign and emphasised the need for further seminars to create awareness amongst employees.

Throughout the seminar, contributions were made by a number of leading industry figures from the region, included Mr Fadi Al Bashir, Project Manager (Arabtec), who opened the event, and Mr Benjamin, HSE Manager (Turner International LLC Middle East) and Mr H.V. Nair, Project Manager (Gulf Civil Engineering and Construction Company), who both spoke on the topic.

HABC MEA and Arabtec were both thanked for the seminar by Mr Santosh Kumar Pillai, Director of Vibrant Consultancy. Mr Santosh also thanked Highfield HABC MEA and Paul Coates in particular for their ongoing support for making the industry in the region safer for employees.

And finally there was thanks for Mr Jithin Chakkooth, Operations Manager at Vibrant Consultancy, without whom the event would not have happened.

For more information on the work of HABC MEA, go to the website.

Happy 40th birthday Health and Safety at Work Act

July 2014 saw the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. Our health and safety consultant, Wendy Nixon, takes a look at the impact this important –and sometimes controversial – legislation has had since its introduction in 1974.

Many of us are guilty of labelling health and safety as ‘kill-joy legislation’ and we have all laughed at articles which have quoted incidents where the legislation has been misinterpreted or misunderstood… children not allowed to play conkers, cafes not allowed to serve hot drinks and retail premises not allowing customers to use their toilets!

Health and safety gone mad…..or has it?

As 2014 sees us celebrate 40 years of the Health and Safety at Work Act, we should all take time to reflect on what is arguably the most effective piece of legislation on the statute books.
Let’s look how far we have come.

Before 1974 we had a host of regulations which swamped some industries with rules and regulations whilst allowing others to go relatively uncontrolled. The Health and Safety at Work Act was implemented as a conclusion of Lord Robens report which concluded there were too many regulations and that what was needed was a regulatory regime that set broad, non-prescriptive goals for duty holders, underpinned by a fundamental principle: ‘those that create risk are best placed to manage it’.

The Act that emerged from his review swept away detailed and prescriptive industry regulations. It created a flexible system where regulations describe goals and principles, supported by codes of practice and guidance. Based on consultation and engagement, the new regime was designed to deliver a proportionate, targeted and risk-based approach.

Since 1974 the Health and Safety at Work Act has protected millions of British workers, and driven sharp reductions in incidents of occupational death, serious injury and ill health. In 1974, fatalities to employees (covered by the legislation in place then) stood at 651. The latest figure for 2013/14 is down to 133, whilst non-fatal injuries have dropped by more than 75 percent.

Recent developments
More recent reviews have continued in this vain. The review of health and safety by Professor Loftstedt in 2011 and his subsequent report, Reclaiming health and safety for all, saw further streamlining of current legislation, and the current reform agenda is aimed at stripping out unnecessary or duplicated regulation and helping smaller businesses to understand how to take a proportionate approach to managing their risks – but the basic principles remain the same.

More recently the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has implemented a Myth Busters Challenge Panel aimed at investigating complaints regarding health and safety and advice provided by non regulators, providing simplified guidance and consulting with industry to clarify interpretation and implementation.

Today we face changes in our environment and technology, which ultimately impacts on new and changing workplaces, presenting new hazards and risks. We must continually be on the lookout for emerging hazardous chemicals, new fibres behaving similarly to asbestos and carcinogens presented by the way we work and live.

The future for health and safety
The focus for the immediate future is likely to be on health matters, bringing the concept of health and safety into the real world and educating children and young people on hazards and risks.

It is becoming more difficult to segregate risks in the workplace and those at home, for example people working in office environments are now sitting for longer in front of screens, whilst our lifestyles also dictate similar activities, increasing the risks of musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strains, stress and other health issues.

Overall, the changes in the last 40 years are quite remarkable, but there will always be room for improvement. We must strive for a change in attitude to health and safety, seeing it no longer as a joke or burden on society, but more a personal responsibility. We all expect to leave work and go home safely, yet this will not happen unless we continue to do our bit to make it happen.

133 fatalities is still too many, especially when you imagine this could be you or your loved one.
Take responsibility and make a difference.

Here’s to the next 40 years of safe and healthy workplaces.

Press Release: Safety first with the HABC National Conference

Stadium Promo 2Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) will be putting safety first at its conference later this year with a line up including Marks & Spencer, Laing O’Rourke and the City of London Corporation.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference will feature a seminar – sponsored by Staples and – on health and safety and fire safety, with insights and updates on training, law and compliance from some of the UK’s top experts and educators.

Confirmed speakers so far include:

• Tom Armstrong, Laing O’Rourke;
• Steve Bethell, Laing O’Rourke;
• Mark Lewis, Head of Trading Safely & Legally, Marks & Spencer;
• Dr Jim Marsden, Director, Ignis Associates Ltd;
• Lukas Rootman, Nabarro LLP;
• Oliver Sanandres, Corporate Health and Safety Manager, City of London;
• Martin Woodsworth, Head of External Quality Support, HABC; and
• Wendy Nixon, HABC Consultant.

Christian Sprenger, HABC Managing Director, said, ‘There are still many businesses that dismiss health and safety or fire safety as red tape, yet when done properly it contributes to the overall effectiveness and efficient running of a business and shows staff and clients alike that their welfare is being looked after.

Our seminar features experts and educators with a proven track record in getting businesses not just onside, but in turning them into the biggest advocates of good health and safety and fire safety practice’.

The conference is expected to attract an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The fire safety/health and safety seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, first aid, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.

Level 3 A Question of Health and Safety

l3-qof-hs-bookWe’ve updated our A Question of Health and Safety for Supervisors, adding new activities and updates to make it compliant with changes to RIDDOR and more engaging for learners.

The book provides an ideal way for supervisors to test their health and safety knowledge prior to attending a Level 3 course, or to prepare for an examination.  It can also be used to demonstrate retained knowledge as part of competency testing or refresher training.

For more information, go click here.