For the first instalment of our health & safety industry executive interview series, we spoke to Alex Wilkins, Head of Training & Development at iHASCO, about his company, industry opportunities, the challenges posed by COVID-19, new technology and why Stranger Things is better than Succession…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
We are iHASCO – a market leading provider of online Health & Safety, HR, and Compliance eLearning. We make training simple.
Providing over 10,000 organisations across the UK and globally with our training, we have also delivered over 5,500,000 sessions to date!
With approvals from the likes of IOSH, RoSPA, Skills for Care, IIRSM, and accreditation from CPD, we are confident that we offer each and every one of our users the highest quality training available.
What have been the biggest challenges the Health & Safety industry has faced over the past 12 months?
Undoubtedly the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest challenge. In fact, it’s arguably the biggest challenge over the last century.
It’s up to OSH professionals and employers to ensure that their staff are kept informed on up-to-date guidance and that they understand how to lower the risk of infection whilst at work.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
To break the negative stigma surrounding Health & Safety, which the public often perceive as “a waste of time”. The current climate has given all OSH professionals a chance to prove the importance of the industry.
What is the biggest priority for the Health & Safety industry in 2020?
There have been many, but we think it comes down to three key points: getting people to adhere to COVID-19 guidance, looking after employee’s mental health, and sourcing PPE.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2021?
An increased focus on mental wellbeing in the workplace. Studies suggest that for every £1 a workplace invests in it’s employees mental wellbeing, they see an average of a £4.20 return. Not only is it morally right to invest in employee wellbeing, but it often makes sense from a business perspective!
In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?
Our eLearning. That’s our goal, at least!
Which person in, or associated with, the Health & Safety industry would you most like to meet?
Geoff McDonald – A global advocate for Mental Wellbeing in the workplace.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Health & Safety sector?
Whilst it can look extremely complicated on the surface, it really isn’t, especially when you get your staff to appreciate its importance and they have an understanding of their duties under current legislation.
You go to the bar at the Occupational Safety & Health Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
Something that matches our brand values, so it would have to be best cost-effective, user-friendly, and simple! It sounds a bit like an ice-cold beer!
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Having a positive impact on the safety and wellbeing of employees all over the world.
And what’s the most challenging?
Breaking the negative stigma surrounding the health & safety and eLearning industry.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To always try and make a genuine difference.
Succession or Stranger Things?
Stranger Things, 100%!