As a business owner or manager responsible for employees’ health and safety, it’s crucial you understand LOcHER and how it can be applied to improve risk management.
LOcHER – which stands for Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks – is an innovative approach to teaching health and safety that engages employees and helps them retain knowledge.
What is LOcHER?
LOcHER was originally developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is now promoted by various safety at work-focused organisations.
It takes a practical approach to health and safety training by getting employees directly involved in identifying and controlling risks specific to their work.
Rather than passively receiving instruction, LOcHER engages employees by assigning them a task to research risks in their role and determine appropriate control measures.
They then have the freedom to present their findings however they choose – whether through a report, presentation, video, game or other creative formats.
The key principles of LOcHER are:
- Putting employees at the heart of their own health and safety learning
- Encouraging active vs passive learning
- Developing critical skills like communication, teamwork and problem-solving
- Allowing employees to showcase their work through competitions, websites and social media
Ultimately, LOcHER aims to create independent, motivated learners who can apply health and safety practices in the real world.
Why Use LOcHER for Your Business?
There are several key reasons LOcHER can benefit your organisation’s health and safety performance:
Boosts Engagement & Understanding
LOcHER turns health and safety into an active process of inquiry, boosting employees’ engagement and motivation to learn.
Research shows we remember 90% of what we do compared to only 10% of what we read. Hands-on learning sticks with employees longer.
Embeds Skills & Knowledge
By getting employees to take ownership of identifying and controlling risks, LOcHER helps embed this skill set so they can apply it daily.
The creative presentation element also provides motivation to thoroughly research the subject.
Develops Wider Skills
As well as learning about health and safety, LOcHER develops transferable skills in communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management and more.
Employees can showcase these skills to future employers.
Drives Risk Management
Most importantly, LOcHER develops the core ability to proactively assess and control risks – creating safer workplaces.
Employees who can identify risks are better equipped to prevent incidents.
Supports Legal Compliance
Promoting active staff involvement in health and safety contributes to compliance with laws like the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 around staff training and risk assessments.
Implementing LOcHER in Your Business
While the flexibility of LOcHER allows room for creativity, here are some tips for effectively implementing it:
- Assign focused tasks – Set clear parameters around researching specific job risks rather than general health and safety knowledge. This gives direction and relevance.
- Provide adequate time – Balance giving enough time to thoroughly research/present versus keeping momentum. Anywhere from 2 hours to 10 days may be appropriate.
- Offer incentives – Consider extra rewards like gift cards or extra leave time for winning entries to motivate quality work.
- Facilitate sharing – Enable teams to present findings through posters, team talks, your website etc. to reinforce learning.
- Align to training needs – Use LOcHER to address recurring incident trends and high-priority risks identified through your risk assessments.
- Provide resources – Have health and safety personnel or mentors on hand to guide teams in the right direction for research.
- Incorporate with other training – Use LOcHER to complement your existing health and safety training content, creating a blended programme.
LOcHER and the Law
While primarily a training methodology, using LOcHER can actually help demonstrate compliance with certain UK health and safety laws.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to provide “such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary” to ensure worker health and safety.
LOcHER activities fulfil this requirement for active staff training tailored to addressing job risks.
Similarly, the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 state employers must provide “adequate training” and involve employees in controlling risks.
LOcHER ticks these boxes through its staff-centred and participative approach.
So in summary, LOcHER is an innovative health and safety training method that engages employees, embeds risk management skills and supports legal compliance.
Whether you’re considering integrating a LOcHER-based project into your next training programme to reap the benefits of enhanced staff capability in managing workplace risks or prefer alternative training methods to achieve H&S compliance at work, we can help.
Neathouse Partners is primed to help you to optimise the LOcHER approach for your business, ensuring enhanced employee engagement in health and safety.
From tailored consultations and hands-on workshops to legal oversight and resource provision, we ensure your training is both innovative and compliant.
Get in touch with the team to seamlessly integrate LOcHER into your existing protocols to keep your workforce informed, engaged, and safe.
Contact the team via our quotation form or simply call us on 01244 893776.