For employers there is a legal duty to provide a safe place of work for their employees wherever the place of work maybe. In these COVID-19 times this can and does in many cases mean remote working from home. Health and Safety requires all the stake holders to actively participate in safe work practice and to understand what is involved to create a safe place to work. Giving staff the information and tools to do this is a first step. When on-boarding staff, it is important to carry out a risk assessment that is personal to the employee and their role. Making sure they have the correct training, and any necessary certification is the next step and thereafter the employer needs to monitor compliance and performance.
An effective way of doing this is through an online solution that provides the records and training required. Having such a system that provides 24/7 access to information you can then go further to promote positive safety behaviour. By encouraging ongoing engagement with the core safety information and training you can see which employees are performing well and keeping engaged and up to date. You can incentivise staff to make sure they are aware of safe behaviour and you can encourage them to report unsafe issues that may arise.
It is true that a safe place of work is likely to be a more productive environment for the employee which all contributes to your bottom line. Promoting positive safety behaviour will reduce the risk of accidents and incidents and will reduce days lost to illness or accidents. It will also help you protect your company from the negative publicity and potential legal action arising from an accident in the workplace. Everyone in a working environment requires knowledge and training on safety behaviour and how to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. A desk bound job requires proper ergonomics and knowledge regarding breaks and what to do in an emergency. Even working in the home carries significant risks if a workstation is not correctly set up.
Our pattern and location of work is changing rapidly as a result of the pandemic and is likely to change permanently with a much larger degree of blended work where people attend the office on a part time basis. In this scenario it will become increasingly important to promote positive safety behaviour as the employer will have less control of the work environment while still being legally responsible for it. Even more reason to recognise and promote positive safety behaviour.
Myelearnsafety.com can provide more information on this topic as well as providing a solution to safety training and compliance monitoring. We would be delighted to hear from you with any of your concerns or problems.
Article by Vincent Traynor
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An accident at work is defined by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) as ‘An unplanned event resulting in death, or resulting in an injury such as a severe sprain or strain (for example, manual handling injuries), a laceration, a broken bone, concussion or unconsciousness. ‘An employer’s duties under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 includes the requirement for the provision of training.
Most businesses do have a provision for safety training in place and most employers have (especially given the current necessity) embraced online learning. This is a current trend. But what’s the trend for the future?
Long, clunky, eLearning pieces (I’m sure you’ve seen these too!) can be boring and laborious to employees. This is where microlearning comes into play.
Micro-learning is a modern approach to delivering learning materials in small, bite-sized portions that target specific topics. The conciseness of these materials makes it easier to digest.
Millennials will make up a large part of the future workforce. Traditional models of eLearning just won’t cut it with this demographic, and will naturally be phased out. The popularity of microlearning is on the up as it’s the ideal way to ensure that learning is received, digested and engaged with.
The following are some examples of how microlearning can be applied in practice:
Short and brief tips: When so much information is thrown at workers, the possibility of retaining all of it is very low. For effective transfer of knowledge, the microlearning objective should focus on just one concept.
Use interactive videos: The process of taking in information is better easier with the use of videos rather than bulky materials that cover an excessive amount. Even better if the video contains branching scenarios .
Use of short quizzes for checking progress: The employees are provided with continuous access to these materials, and as each section is completed, they are required to provide suitable responses to the questions.
Use of gamification: Short games, or some gaming elements within the microlearning can be used by companies to increase interactivity, add an element of competition, the end goal being to help train their staff in health and safety more effectively.
Shorter, asynchronous, interactive courses with the above elements can benefit all health and courses, from Food Safety (HACCP), COVID-19 Compliance Officer, First Aid, Infection Prevention and control, to name but a few.
If you are looking for an effective way to streamline your safety training needs, Myelearnsafety.com offers a suite of health and safety courses to cover you. We offer a free trial to those who are interested, so you can see the benefits for yourself.
For a free trial contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct on 01 278 1938.
The Safety Health and Welfare at Work legislation boils down to the fact that Employers are obliged to provide a safe place to work.
There are significant sanctions for employers who breach the legislation including fines up to €3 million and imprisonment for up to 2 years for a serious breach. In 2019 in HSA v Walker the defendant was prosecuted for a breach of s11(1)(c)(ii) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and sentenced to 6 months with only 2 month suspended.
In these COVID 19 times a workplace can mean working from home for many employees. Employers have a duty therefore to check that their employees have the appropriate facilities and equipment to work safely. The big difference now is that people working from home are doing so for their full working day or at least a large part of their working hours. Appropriate desk, chair and work station ergonomics need to be considered. How do you keep in touch with your staff to check on their well-being? Is there inappropriate online activity? How is everyone’s mental health holding up? These are just a few of the considerations that you need to consider and find ways of dealing with issues that were previously dealt with in the office environment.
“Having a designated COVID-19 Compliance Officer within the workplace
is looking like becoming the new norm.”
Having a designated COVID-19 Compliance Officer within the workplace is looking like becoming the new norm. This person or persons will be tasked with ensuring businesses meet any instructions or rules issued by the Government in order to allow them to continue trading. Online training, health and safety awareness and carrying out up to date risk assessments can be implemented easily and at low cost. A simple example is asking your employees to send a photo of their workstation. This can then be reviewed by an appropriate qualified person to assess its suitability. Creating appropriate checklists and procedures can help employers and employees assess what needs to be done in everyone’s best interests.
A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people as a result of a work activity. It allows you to take precautions to prevent harm occurring. What’s involved in conducting a risk assessment? There are five key steps to a risk assessment:
Vehicle safety in the workplace must be competently managed. The size and form of the management system will vary depending on the size of the operation – however it should address the following:
The publication goes on to include:
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