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Online Health and Safety Training and its Benefits

Online Health and Safety Training and its Benefits

Online Health and Safety training offers a strong return on investment for employers and a quick way to get employees up to date with workplace safety. Online courses are also tailored to specific areas of workplace safety. They can ensure employees are getting the exact information they need to do their job safely. In this article, we take a closer look at the benefits of online training for workplace safety.

 

The Importance of Online Training for Workplace Safety

Studies show online education is growing by 5-10% each year as more and more employers move their training methods online. According to the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) there was a sharp increase in the use of education portals/websites during COVID-19 with over one fifth (21%) Communicating with instructors or students using educational websites/portals, an increase of seven percentage points in 2019. These numbers remain high even after the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rise of digital technology in all areas of our lives this trend is far from declining.

Online Health and Safety training is a convenient way for staff to learn about their safety in the workplace. It removes many constraints which often hinder classroom training. This type of training is also very specific. It usually focuses on the precise lessons needed to stay safe in the workplace. From food handling and fire safety to workplace stress and working at heights, such online courses are always relevant to the workplace and ensure employers are abiding by certain laws and regulations.

Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of online training.

 

7 Key Benefits of Online Training for Workplace Safety

1. Online Training Draws from High Quality Resources

Online training usually draws inspiration from the best interactive experiences online and incorporate these learnings into an online course. As a result, online training can sometimes include video conferencing or webinars and other opportunities which enable staff to engage remotely. Simply put, this consistent high quality and extent of resources is rarely guaranteed in the classroom.

2. Learning Practical Skills for Real World Experience

Employees develop soft skills through online training and practical lessons which they can put into practice at work. These lessons often come from real experience which can feel more relevant than the theory which you might hear about in a classroom. Online courses also use simulations, scenarios and multiple choice questions to ensure these lessons are always relevant to real world scenarios. This also highlights the objective of online training – to give employee the exact education they need to know to do their job safely.

3. Employees Often Retain More through Online Training

Research shows how many employees are likely to forget what they learn in the classroom. It makes sense when you think back to school days and just how little algebra or poetry you might remember! Memory retention is boosted by relevant experiences which can be applied straight away. With this in mind, online training is often split into areas of knowledge and structured to increase relevancy. This increased relevancy means employees will more likely learn and recall the contents of an online course than they might in a classroom.

4. Online Courses Can Be Scheduled for Any Time/Place

Standard classroom training is always set at a specific time but co-ordinating this time is near impossible in such a fast-moving world. There is also a time loss for going to and from a classroom. Many employees are likely to feel restricted in a classroom environment. Online training can take place at any time and enables employees to undergo the training at their own pace. It’s a win-win situation for both employers and employees. In addition, it also removes the requirement for having a classroom to facilitate the training.

5. Immediate Access to Support and Resources

Online training provides immediate access to a large number of resources which allows them to find answers at the time of learning. Classroom training takes place in a specific location where employees are most often unable to access training resources in real time. This means employees don’t need to wait until the next class to ask questions and can address any immediate challenges or concerns before moving on with the training. Online training can use forums or social media groups to provide extra support and provide employees with a place whether they can share tips or ask questions.

6. Online Training is Designed for Different Learning Preferences

Every audience consists of different people with varying abilities and backgrounds. However, more recent generations have become accustomed to smart technology and the online world. These employees are also likely to have acquired skills through Google, YouTube and apps in the past and appreciate this method of learning. This is why the rate of attention and engagement with online training is often said to be higher than a classroom. Online training is designed to cater to all learning preferences.

7. High Levels of Engagement and Responsibility

Some online training courses are gamified which means they feature levels, rewards and certain mechanics which encourage progress. These courses seek to encourage the learner to progress and keep going until they complete each lesson. They can also monitor performance along the way and feel more invested or responsible for participating in the course. It is this high engagement which should be attractive to employers and the fact they can outsource this time consuming process to a trusted online training platform.

 

Working with a training company

Working with an online training platform can help employers lighten the load and allow the experts to take care of the training. However, it’s important to choose a platform which abides by laws and regulations and incorporates these requirements into the online training. For instance, MyElearnSafety offer courses online health and safety training for Food Safety which adhere to the principles of the internationally recognised Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). It also offers Fire Safety Awareness, Manual Handling Awareness, Paediatric First Aid just to name a few.

Check out MyElearnSafety today and we can get everyone up to speed on their workplace safety!

Manual Handling and Why Is It Important?

Manual handling is the leading cause of injuries and illness in the workplace. According to research, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) account for most of these problems in Ireland. This is often as a result of repetitive strain injuries. A specific training is required to help protect employers and employees from the risks associated with incorrect manual handling.

But what is manual handling exactly and why else is it so important?

 

What is Manual Handling Exactly?

Manual handling refers to either supporting or transporting a load using bodily force and the use of the word “load” extends beyond inanimate objects to people and animals (e.g. lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying a load). If these type of actions are carried out without the correct body posture or procedure, there is always a risk of injury.

In fact, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as muscle, joint or bone problems are the most common types of work-related illness. This means incorrect load handling is ahead of stress, anxiety and depression when it comes to the cause of injuries or illness among employees.

Manual handling courses are designed to teach people how to identify, approach and perform physical tasks in a way that reduces the risk of injury. It’s also important to know about the legal requirements that oversee health and safety in the workplace.

 

Legal Requirements for Health and Safety at Work

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is responsible for overseeing health and safety at the workplace in Ireland. There is also a piece of legislation, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, which attaches responsibilities related to manual handling to both employees and employers.

Simply put, employers are required to protect the health and safety of their employees as a result of what they do. While these employers need to undertake regular risk assessments, there is also a need to provide a relevant training. The training has to focus on areas including load, task and working environment. Failing to adhere to these requirements can result in severe formal enforcement action by inspectors on behalf of the HSA.

 

Is manual handling training necessary?

Training is mandatory when manual handling in a particular role involves a risk of injury. If an employer is unsure as to whether or not such training is needed, it is usually best to stay on the safe side and proceed with this training for staff.

 

Why Manual Handling Training is So Important

Manual handling training helps prevent injuries in the workplace. It teaches employees to avoid tasks in which they might incur an injury. It also helps employers establish health and safety measures to protect against injuries in general.

The implications of related injuries is significant for both employer and employee. Such injuries are common and can happen in any type of workplace. The cause might be things like bad posture, heavy labour or repetitive movements. This last one is especially important to note. Many injuries are caused over time by tasks which require the repetition of a particular action. Such tasks are often the cause of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD).

For example, it is often the case that employees will need to move, lift or carry items as part of their daily work schedule. These actions usually involve stretching, bending or twisting. Without the appropriate training, an individual is likely to perform these tasks incorrectly. This is why musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) is such a big problem for employers and the number one reason employees need to take time off work as a result of illness.

 

The True Cost of Manual Handling Injuries at Work

HSA officials frequently carry out inspections and take enforcement action whenever necessary. This can result in unplanned costs to train employees or improve aspects of health and safety in the workplace. However, the cost of ignoring the importance of manual handling training lies elsewhere.

As a result of injuries and illness, employers often need to bear significant costs due to absenteeism, overtime and loss of productivity. The training of replacement staff can result in further costs. There is also the risk of having to pay compensation to the employees. As for the injured person, their inability to do the job as normal can have long-reaching consequences. Such consequences can affect the health, mobility or future job prospects in the same industry.

 

Employer Responsibility

Legislation requires employees to take care of their own health and safety. In addition, they must follow systems of work according to the instruction provided. Individuals are also responsible for reporting possible hazards and informing managers about incidents using the proper channels. Meanwhile, Employers need to carry out risk assessments on regular basis. Suitable equipment should be used to reduce the need for human touch. When physical handling is required, employers must provide manual handling training for their employees.

 

But what does a manual handling training course actually look like?

This training is designed to ensure participants are properly trained in the safe practices and principles of manual handling. The course should abide by legislation and provide sufficient guidance and education to ensure the best possible health and safety measures are in place.

You will find diagrams, videos and practical guides within manual handling training and this course should be designed to meet legal requirements by a qualified tutor. The course content should enable employees to describe techniques for manual handling and recognise hazardous situations, while understanding the law and their own responsibility to health and safety.

Participants will usually complete an online theory course for manual handling before arranging for a practical session which takes them through an assessment for safely lifting, pulling and carrying objects in the workplace.

Now, are you an employer in need of manual handling training for your staff? Maybe you need some training yourself? MyElearnSafety offers a Manual Handling Awareness Course that fully adheres to the legal requirements in Ireland for health and safety in the workplace.

Create change in the workplace by investing in Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging (DIEB).

 

What is DIEB?

 

Firstly, let’s look at what DIEB is. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging are important qualities that employers and HR must invest in at work to promote wellbeing and fairness among their employees.

Diversity is having a culture that values uniqueness: people of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and races.

Inclusion means inviting diverse groups to take part in company life.

Workplace equity is the concept of providing fair opportunities for all of your employees based on their individual needs.

It’s belonging that makes each individual feel accepted for who they are.

 

Why is this important?

 

There are  many benefits derived from DIEBs in the workplace for the employer:

 

 

 

 

By working towards equity – for instance, asking different individuals from different groups to spearhead meetings – dissatisfaction could be curbed, ultimately bringing down employee attrition.

 

 

Most studies surrounding diversity in the workplace have found that for every 1% increase in gender diversity, company revenue increases by 3%.

 

 

 

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging in the workplace

 

How to promote DIEB in the workplace

 

Plan for Improving Diversity in Hiring

Ireland is known for being a friendly, accepting nation of diverse backgrounds. A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 57% of recruiters say their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates. 

 

Diversity in hiring leads to the following positive outcomes:

Appeal to a wide range of applicants. A larger pool of applicants increases the likelihood of attracting  top talent  who are going to buy into the diverse company culture, stay around for longer, and be have high levels of productivity.

 

Decrease bias. Decreased bias in recruitment, as well as adhering to anti discrimination legislation, allows for the best candidate to be chosen on merit rather than any other grounds of possible recruitment bias. 

 

Reduce the likelihood of hiring the wrong person for the job. A candidate will not be chosen just because they are the right fit based on existing staff, but rather because they are the best candidate based on suitability factors, such as education, qualification, work ethos and having given a successful interview. 

 

We explore further ways to promote DIEBS in our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging online course. 

 

 

 

Recognising and Promoting Positive Safety Behaviour

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.

 

Chair in Office

Office Ergonomics

 

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

Please feel free to contact Cormac on 01 278 1938 or cormac@elearn.ie,  if you would like to discuss your health and safety needs further,  or take advantage of a complimentary course.