With the global rollout of the coronavirus vaccine gathering pace, in many jurisdictions, employers are being given more discretion to decide whether staff can and should return to the office. If your organisation has employees working from the office, you have a duty of care to your staff. Managers must ensure a safe working environment where employees’ health is protected.
This means they have to ensure they have a safe place to work, safe work equipment, their health is protected while working, and assess risks to their health and safety and take action to mitigate those risks. This includes protecting staff from COVID-19. Staff themselves have a responsibility to keep themselves and those around them safe and to learn the best ways to do that.
COVID-19: Social Distancing at Work specifically covers these topics. The course can be used as a standalone unit or as a unit within our standard OHS course.
With the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in full swing and restrictions being repealed, companies are reevaluating their office policies and home working rules. But many people are anxious, or at least conflicted, about returning to in-person work, whether for health reasons or due to the flexibility they feel they’ll lose.
To help organisations with the process, we have recorded a short on-demand webinar. In this video, our Director of Learning and Content Nick Henderson explores some of the mental health aspects of returning to the office, sharing key ideas and tools to help manage this transition for your workforce.
When it comes to making decisions about returning to the office, managers have to tread a fine line. Determining when to return to the office is no simple matter, especially since employers and employees have different opinions on the subject.
Businesses are answering in different ways. Some like the file-hosting service company Dropbox are staying virtual first, pointing to the benefits of nonlinear workdays. But others, like tech giant Facebook and insurance company Aviva, are opting for a “hybrid” model, offering greater flexibility and independence for workers while maintaining certain structures.
Vaccines are helping the world get back to normal. But even as the vast majority of people get vaccinated, there will always be a minority who won’t or can’t. Feelings and opinions around vaccines can be emotive, and workplace vaccination policies must toe a complicated line.
There is no legal requirement to be vaccinated, but employers should think carefully before requiring vaccinations at their workplace. Similarly, requiring someone to show proof of vaccination, either to return to the office or visit the premises as a customer could result in possible legal problems. Think carefully about policies and procedures in your workplace before making mandatory requirements.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a near-universal sustained stress-inducing experience in the way other plagues haven’t done in centuries. The COVID-19 pandemic is much more comparable to the experience of a world war than a health scare. The pandemic has impacted everyone’s day-to-day lives and will leave long emotional scars even as life returns to something like normal.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), can result from experiencing a single, significant traumatic event, as well as frequent, sustained exposure to stressful environments. This pandemic has caused us all to experience both.
The global roll out of the coronavirus vaccine has been gathering pace, and this has allowed a slow return to something akin to normal life to begin, including a return to the office and in-person work. With the safety and efficacy of approved vaccines having been proven, organisations might be looking to encourage or even incentivise vaccination among their workers and implement some sort of vaccine policy.
Mental Health: The duty to care and ending the taboo
Even before the pandemic hit, employers were beginning to see the importance of addressing mental health issues in their workforce. With the ongoing effects of the pandemic still affecting so many of us, the importance of treating mental health as a priority has only increased.
With a widespread acknowledgement of the cost of mental health issues to employers, individuals, and the health service, there’s diminishing tolerance and protection for employers who choose to do nothing.
How do you make online training an experience that actually makes a difference in real time? How do you measure what each user is gaining from the training?
All of our compliance courses come complete with an interactive element, be it quizzes, assessments or gamification. This is all very well, but how can administrators and compliance managers utilise these interactions to increase the impact of the training on the entire organisation?
We have just added a new feature to our reporting and tracking solution Omnitrack, allowing administrators and compliance managers to track all necessary data from each course completion. Below are four elements you can integrate and track with Omnitrack.
Many of our courses include assessments to help establish an organisation’s level of risk. For example, in our health and safety course, which has been adapted for home workers, users undertake a number of assessments related to their workstation setup. These immersive assessments can be integrated. Administrators can then collect rich, actionable data from their users while they complete these assessments. Whether staff are working remotely or from an office, our tool will help businesses ensure all their staff have a comfortable and healthy space to work from home.
Similarly, our mental health course includes a self-assessment on work-related stress. To ensure that businesses can help staff who are struggling with work-related stress or anxiety, or to simply gain an overall understanding of how your staff are affected by stress, the assessment can easily be integrated with Omnitrack. This integration will allow administrators to play an important role in monitoring their staff’s mental wellbeing.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires all businesses in the UK to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision is necessary to ensure the health and safety of employees at work. Despite the legal requirement, health and safety training has a bad reputation. Due to training being branded boring by employees, it has been seen primarily as a tick-box exercise rather than an important step in making the workplace safer.
New manual handing training module
Over one third of all work related injuries are from manual handling. The most common are back injuries. Anyone involved in transporting items by their hands or bodily force should be aware of safe manual handling techniques, and the risks involved.
We have just added a new interactive module to our health and safety compliance training.
The manual handling module covers:
Employers’ responsibilities to keep their staff safe
Best-practice guidance on lifting, pushing and pulling devices
How to best push and pull heavy objects on heavy surfaces
Instances when a detailed risk assessment is required