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20 January 2022

IOSH Safety Training

Here at Sonoco, we stand by the belief that safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless!  

We caught up with Mark Wadsworth, European Health and Safety Director at Sonoco Consumer Products Europe, to discuss the recent completion of the IOSH Safety qualification at our UK plants, ensuring our people have the most up-to-date knowledge at their fingertips to keep themselves and others safe.

What is the training about and why do our employees complete it?

The training gives people a better understanding about both the company’s and their own responsibilities when it comes to safety.

It also shows people that safety forms part of their everyday lives by using non-work-based scenarios to showcase that each and every day they are identifying hazards and carrying out mini- risk assessments in their mind, even if they didn’t realise this before. Also, our employees gain a certified IOSH qualification following successful completion of the training.

This approach then breaks the stigma about safety being the job of the site safety person and makes all attendees further realise that, safety is everyone’s job.

In our Bradford plant the training has been pushed by the plant as a means to improve safety within the workplace and our safety performance within the plant has improved significantly since we began on this journey.

At our Chesterfield plant the training is voluntary and those who are choosing to attend are wanting to improve their knowledge with regards to safety and gain a qualification, as well as participating in a group training session with their colleagues from different departments who they may not ordinarily work with.


What does it mean to those involved?

All the feedback we have received for the training has been unanimously positive, with almost all attendees advising that they would recommend this training to their friends and colleagues. The training has now been delivered internally to over 100 employees across both of our sites, with future sessions planned later this month and beyond.

People who have attended the training are grateful to have something to show for the training and have then become more forthcoming with suggestions for safety improvements leading to a continual improvement within our plants, as we can always be better than we are.


How would this support raising safety awareness across the company?

Following the rollout of this training to 80% of our operational staff in our Bradford plant, we have seen a dramatic reduction in workplace accidents, with the plant having recently achieved the incredible milestone of 4 years without a recordable accident.

We have also seen a significant increase in near-miss and hazard reporting in the plant and continued suggestions for safety improvements from those at the sharp end of our manufacturing process who make the excellent products we sell.


Is it possible to complete further qualifications after this initial IOSH assessment?

As well as the IOSH Working Safely training we offer internally, we also offer IOSH Managing Safely and we have trained out our inaugural course in September this year and are looking to conduct further sessions and train out our plant leadership teams in both our Bradford and Chesterfield plants early in 2022.

This more in-depth training will then also be offered to our line leaders who wish to develop further within the business, so that they better understand that with a leadership position at any level there are additional responsibilities where safety is concerned.


Is there anything additional you’d like to say?

It is great to work for a company that is willing to invest so heavily in training their employees. Sonoco care about and are investors in their people and this training is proof of this.

It has been a pleasure to train this course out to our excellent workforce with all employees who have attended, even those who may have been sceptical at first, being very engaged in the process and ultimately really enjoying the training and the experience of learning about safety.

Some people may believe that safety training being enjoyable is an oxymoron, but I would like to think that if you asked any one of the 90+ attendees we have trained so far, they would say that they enjoyed the training.


Sonoco Consumer Products Europe
[email protected]




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