As a mechanical engineer, you need to be sure that your projects are safe. If they’re not, this violates various safety regulations and can be devastating to your business. 

Having a health and safety plan is a great first step, but you should also complete a safety qualification. We’ve had a look around and found some of the best courses you can complete. 

  • Health and Safety Award
  • Bowtie Risk Management
  • Human Factors in Design and Operations

Which safety course is best for a mechanical engineer? 

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a mechanical engineering safety course. We’ve found the best courses for learning about health and safety, so you don’t need to filter through. 

Health and Safety Award

NEBOSH

NEBOSH, or the ‘National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health’, is a UK company that offers qualifications in various types of health and safety. 

NEBOSH’s Health and Safety Award is a “practical, bitesize qualification”, and is designed to teach you the basics of health, safety, and risk. It’s a fantastic starting point for learning about health and safety, and there are more detailed courses you can follow up with

NEBOSH used to run a Health and Safety at Work qualification, but this stopped accepting admissions in December 2021. The Health and Safety Award has replaced it, and offers more in-depth information while still being digestible

Completing the NEBOSH qualification can provide multiple advantages to your business, including:

  • Protecting the business from reputational damage
  • Reduce injury and accident rates
  • Have a groundwork in place if your business expands

Although the qualification doesn’t have any entry requirements, you do need to sign up with a NEBOSH learning partner. These learning partners have to be paid for, and costs can vary. 

Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll earn a recognised qualification and be able to progress to certificate level courses

Bowtie Risk Management

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Correctly identifying and preventing risk is an essential part of health and safety. Bowtie Risk Management is an increasingly popular method of spotting and reducing that risk. 

The Bowtie technique gets its name from the risk analysis diagram at the core of the method. The diagram places the hazard in the centre, with proactive risk criteria on the left and reactive on the right. 

When filled out the diagram looks like a bowtie, hence the name. 

This course by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), aims to teach you the benefits, limitations and practical applications of the Bowtie method. You’ll even get some hands-on experience with the technique. 

This two day course is ideal for any mechanical engineer concerned with health and safety. Some of the topics you’ll go over are:

  • How to build a bowtie
  • Assuring barrier integrity
  • Making risk ‘as low as reasonably possible’
  • Benefits and uses of the bowtie method
  • Bowtie software tools

If you need to give your risk awareness a boost, this is definitely the course you should pick. 

Human Factors in Design and Operations

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Another course by IMechE is Human Factors in Design and Operations. It’s a two day course that teaches you about human error, why it occurs, and how to reduce it

The course examines why people make health and safety mistakes (or deliberately commit violations). The idea is that understanding the source of an accident makes it easier to prevent. 

By taking human abilities and limitations into account, you can design your systems and processes around them. 

Some key topics you’ll explore are:

  • Human Factor Integration
  • Adding Human Factor support to the design lifecycle of high hazard industries
  • Defining human error
  • Error and violations

While the courses IMechE provides usually take place in London, they also offer in-house and bespoke training. That means, you might be able to arrange for them to visit you. 

This could be useful if you have difficulty getting to London, but you may need to organise with other local self-employed mechanical engineers. 

IMechE recommends that managers and supervisors take the course. If you’re self-employed, that includes you — even if you have no employees. 

Points to be aware of

Any form of engineering can be hazardous, which is why health and safety training is a must for self-employed engineers. Reading this guide should help you decide which is the best safety course for a mechanical engineer. 

That said, there are also significant UK regulations that you need to adhere to. If you’re not sure what they are, we have an article which explains the most important points to be aware of. Read engineering regulations in the UK

On the other hand, you might have your engineering knowledge down to a T. In that case, your issue could be with running your business. We have loads of guides to help you there too. 

For example, if you’re trying to grow your business then check out our small business growth plan. It’ll tell you everything you need to know. 

Managing the costs of training

Training can be expensive for a business. The last thing you want is to restrict your cash flow when your business can’t deal with it. Instead of taking a shot in the dark, or spending hours going over your finances, use Countingup. 

The Countingup app is the two-in-one business current account and accounting software. By combining the two, Countingup is able to provide an in-depth look into your business’s financials. 

One of the best features is its invoicing. Customised invoices can be sent from your phone, and payments are automatically matched to the correct invoice. This lets you know how much cash has come in, and how much more you can expect. 

If you need to save time and reduce stress, download the app today.

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