• Covid-19 – click here for the latest updates from Forum Events & Media Group Ltd

Occupational Safety and Health Forum Occupational Safety and Health Forum Occupational Safety and Health Forum Occupational Safety and Health Forum Occupational Safety and Health Forum

Posts By :

Guest Author

Life is changing, everybody is talking about the new norms

By SCOLVO

What are the new norms? Globally we have experienced something that we have not seen before. Humanity has had to battle in wars, had to survive earthquakes and floods, but only the two World Wars affected the whole civilization like the current pandemic.

A new task to all of us is to adjust our lives to the changed environment, to the new rules and regulations which put a pressure on us the same way as if we are employees of a company or if we are the employers.

People have to tackle new responsibilities, in order to slow down the virus exposure and save the people in their micro and macro environment.

To help this, the @WHO has issued new guidelines which are supposed to support our daily life, our wellbeing, our mental health.

How can people of a company easily adopt the new regulations regardless of their position?

What kind of tools are available to integrate into the organisation’s routine?

SCOLVO has worked on a solution from the very beginning and created CORINFO which they offer now FREE .

Why SCOLVO?

As all SCOLVO mobile applications, CORINFO is based on a unique development framework that enables to personalise quickly the mobile (iOS, Android) application using the pre-built elements.

Therefore the implementation time can be much faster than for any similar application.

What can CORINFO provide?

  • Secure database (GDPR compliant)
  • Flexible and easily amendable customer content
  • Predefined and tailor made reports and dashboards
  • Accurate forecast based on predictive data analysis and built in formulas

Available customer content packages:

  • Return to office – collects information from employees to show their readiness to return to work 
  • Virus exposure – accurate picture of risks, assuring employees of infection-free office
  • Office occupancy – supports planning the workplace capacity (parking, canteen, office, meeting rooms)
  • Employees wellbeing – honest and open information about quality and safety of the physical work environment, to show how employees feel about it

www.scolvo.com/corinfo

Mirashare helps transform the way you report and record all your EHS data

At a time when the need to manage health and safety effectively has never been more visible and important, Mirashare offers a trusted, easy to use, cloud-based solution for all your health and safety reporting needs. 

With 14 modules ranging from Risk Assessments to Inspections and Audits, Change Control to Incident and hazard reporting, we offer a comprehensive solution that’s right for you.

With all your records in one place, you have instant access to real time information, enabling you to take quick corrective action, make better decisions, and identify trends more rapidly. 

So, if like many you’re still battling with a paper-based system, or simply feel as though it’s time for a change, give us a call on (01304) 382 410 to discuss how Mirashare can help streamline and add consistency to all your EHS reporting needs.

https://www.mirashare.com

10 COVID-19 recovery tips for business

By Thom Dennis, CEO at Serenity In Leadership

There has been a huge cost to the pandemic but there has also been a lot of necessary learning which needs to be integrated into current organisational cultures to be sustainable, resilient and to last beyond the pandemic. Whilst the pandemic is likely to have increased anxiety and difficulties, it will also create new perspectives as to which work practices are outdated and need to change within organisations.  Many businesses will need help to come back in 2021 and beyond, but in a very different way.  Here are Thom Dennis’ top tips:-

  1. LEADERS NEED TO LEAD.  There has never been a time more important for leaders to lead with compassion, clarity, courage and conviction. Whilst the future for many businesses is uncertain, 2021 will not be a time for going back to as we were.  It will be a year where we have to look at what worked, what didn’t, how we adapted and stayed agile and nimble, and what we need to do going forwards. 
  2. BUILD TRUST – Trust is at the core of any healthy relationship. Building, or in some cases rebuilding, trust starts through recognising each other’s efforts and showing gratitude. Being transparent and communicating clearly through shared knowledge and welcoming honest feedback are key. Experiential learning means listening openly too instead of just being ‘spoken to’. It is not possible to force people to engage, they must do it willingly. This is really not the time for token gestures.
  3. IDENTIFY PRE-EXISTING SYSTEMIC VULNERABILITIES – Look behind the wallpaper and under the carpets at how things worked and didn’t work well for the last few years, and in particular in 2020.  Business leaders need to re-evaluate long term vision, purpose, values, mission statements and goals – not as add-ons but as values to be lived and breathed throughoutthe organisation. Change is here whether we like it or not so we should always choose changing for the better. 
  4. FLEXIBLE PLAN – Leaders need to have a flexible plan that prepares for today whilst also being ready for whatever tomorrow brings in the world and workplace which are in constant flux.  Being rigid will close doors and remove opportunities.
  5. ENSURE REAL EQUALITY. Many of us are feeling increasingly insecure about our jobs at the moment, so showing unconscious bias or favouritism or providing unequal opportunities at work will deplete all aspects of the business including the bottom line. We need to create the space to hold difficult conversations, particularly if individuals are speaking from a place of frustration, anger or personal experience. A successful conversation is characterised by the amount of listening that took place.
  6. PRIORITISE WELLBEING & WORK BOUNDARIES – If we are working from home, we need to have home/work boundaries. Many of us are very efficient at working from home but some find it hard to stop working based on the need to constantly prove ourselves and the absence of a natural break brought about by the travel home. These new issues in the home and office mean employers’ priorities need to change around wellbeing. Find out what your employees need, and bear in mind that different people may well have contrasting needs. Be clear about expectations and the importance of physical and mental health. Far more than before, individuals will successfully tackle the same problem in a variety of different ways – the approach to management needs to reflect this.
  7. MAINTAIN DIVERSITY – Amplifying diverse voices will lead to a more innovative, balanced and creative workplace. Relatability and cultural sensitivity may work well with some audiences, but potentially alienate others.  We recommend workshops that try role play/switching and reverse mentoring, or storytelling through true stories as just a few ideas.  
  8. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION – 50% of what lands when we are speaking/communicating is our body language, 43% is tone, and just 7% is the content of the words.  When it comes to being heard, it shouldn’t be about convincing people to have the same view. It is important to create spaces and cultures where people can have conversations to exchange opinions, views and understand why these may result in different emotional responses. Employees need to truly be heard, if not seen at the moment.
  9. LEARNING AS A TEAM – Unity and commitment by the whole team is needed and will only happen if everyone buys into the company’s values. Find ways to develop the team even if it’s just through virtual teamwork. Meetings, education and connection can all happen online in a safe space – establishing and maintaining psychological safety is probably more important now than ever.
  10. ALIGN THE BUSINESS – Reinvent communication and operational plans, knowing and mitigating your risks to produce the best possible outcome for the business and people who make up the business.  Tap into the thoughts of your employees, colleagues and customers at all levels to develop 20:21 vision.

Investing in mental health awareness training pays

Organisations have the opportunity to make positive cultural change and strengthen their future, whilst supporting employees with their mental health, says iHASCO

In the latest published results of the study, ‘Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic’, it has been found 64% of people feel that they are not coping with pandemic-related stress well. The temporary hope as lockdown eased has now been replaced with an understanding that the virus is still playing havoc with people’s lives. With further government restrictions introduced to try to prevent the infection rate from spiraling out of control, the uncertainties for individuals and businesses this winter remain high. With financial worries, health concerns and more, the pandemic is certainly contributing to a lack of resilience and poor mental health across the UK.

A ‘Mental Health Crisis’ 

The HSE figures for 2018/19 show that stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases, with 12.8 million working days lost. Now as a result of the pandemic, every business across the country may see a rise in mental health problems in their workforce, with figures even worse than those reported before COVID-19. Therefore, it is vital that employers can create healthy working environments and support employee mental health and wellbeing, not only to meet their legal obligations but to remain productive and to come through the other side of the pandemic in a much better place. It also presents an opportunity to contribute to breaking the negative stigma surrounding mental health, to ensure that as a nation we reach a point where it isn’t brave to open up about your mental health – rather, it’s ‘the norm’. As some organisations lead from the front, it may give others the confidence to follow and realise the positive benefits for all when tackling mental health in the workplace.

Adding to the crisis, it has been suggested in a report by the Centre for Mental Health that in the next two years 500,000 more people will experience mental ill-health conditions in the UK as a result of the pandemic. With a further period of economic downturn as a result of a second spike likely to see even more severe and longer lasting effects on mental health. 

“Now truly is the time for organisations to offer practical mental health and wellbeing support to their employees” explains Lottie Galvin, Mental Health First Aider at iHASCO. “The pandemic has shone a light on how crucial it is to acknowledge and address the emotional and mental struggles people are going through, many of whom were struggling long before COVID turned up on our doorstep.”

A recent report from Deloitte showed that employers can gain a 6:1 return on investment when supporting staff with mental health and wellbeing through organisation-wide culture/awareness raising. This could include initiatives such as tailored web portals, awareness training or personal exercise sessions. With poor mental health having the ability to hit a company’s bottom line hard, it seems like an obvious choice to address company culture if fostering a more caring, supportive attitude to mental health creates a more productive workforce. 

Implementing change

“One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways of offering mental health support is to provide your staff with Mental Health & Wellbeing eLearning” says Galvin, whose employer, iHASCO, has delivered over 115,000 online mental health-related training sessions. “It’s a starting point – our courses offer staff a way to learn and reflect privately on their feelings and behaviour, but they also empower people to find the courage to speak up. This starts to build a company culture where talking openly about our struggles becomes more commonplace and is met with kindness and understanding. Our courses also offer a variety of simple tools, tips and ideas that help learners to manage their own wellbeing and offer support to others on a daily basis. Inclusive and supportive organisations inspire a great deal of engagement, motivation, hard work and long term loyalty from a team of individuals who feel seen, heard and cared for.”

iHASCO’s Online mental health and wellbeing training courses include Mental Health Awareness, Building resilience, Managing Anxiety and Stress Awareness & Management, and offer employees easy access to quality information to support them with their wellbeing. Online awareness training can be used alongside other practices to champion employee mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, such as creating a mental health policy, offering counselling through Employee Assistance Programmes, appointing Mental Health First Aiders, regular one-to-ones with managers or simply by promoting a healthy lifestyle and making staff aware of mental health support lines offered by charitable organisations. 

The Coronavirus lockdown acted as a catalyst for starting conversations on wellbeing as employees up and down the country had their lives drastically changed almost overnight. Whether on furlough or working from home, anxiety levels were and still are at an all time high. Employers quickly had to react to this new situation and support employees, and discussions about how best to support mental health and wellbeing were underway across the nation. In times of uncertainty those equipped to better manage their anxiety levels and be resilient have been far less likely to suffer the effects of mental ill-health. Employers who address the issue of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace will reap the rewards whilst making a positive, cultural change, whilst companies not taking action may be left behind.

www.ihasco.co.uk

Evac+Chair launches new range

Evac+Chair is launching a new range of evacuation chairs, which enhances passenger safety and comfort and further demonstrates the brand’s commitment to improving building safety for all.   

The new MK5 range, which launches on 5th October 2020, has been designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom, at Evac+Chair’s new headquarters in the West Midlands. The world leader in safe emergency evacuation has coupled its 35 years of experience with customer insight to enhance its core platform of products. The MK5 range will retain the iconic blue and yellow colourways that Evac+Chair has become synonymous for, and the enhancements will apply to the 300H, 500H and 600H series. The new features and benefits include:  

  • Double handed grip – for enhanced user operation. 
  • Anti-slip grip – improves stability and operation.
  • Redesigned hammock and backrest – for greater passenger comfort. 
  • Upgraded kickstand with repositioned wheels – allows weight to be distributed more evenly and enhances passenger comfort. 
  • Enhanced safety belt – sewn directly into the hammock to reduce wear and tear. 
  • Onboard user instructions – easy to follow in times of emergency. 

Evac+Chair is trusted and relied upon in emergency situations to assist in saving people’s lives, and the brand is dedicated to offering emergency evacuation for everyone. 

“Safe evacuation for everyone is our key priority, and, over the last 35 years, we have developed our chair and created the optimum design. However, we are committed to evolving our products and ensuring we are providing the mobility impaired with the best possible means to evacuate a building safely, in the event of an emergency”, says Ges Wallace, managing director, Evac+Chair International.  

“The MK5 range ensures a smooth and safe stairway descent for passengers and operators in any building, whatever its design. Insight from our customers and distributors is incredibly valuable for our R&D team and our ongoing innovation at Evac+Chair.”

The 300H series is the most popular single-person operation evacuation chair in Evac+Chair’s range. The 500H series has been designed for an increased payload capacity of 227kg, which enables passengers of any build to be effortlessly evacuated in an emergency. The 600H series has been designed to ascend and descend stairways, so offers a universal solution for any situation.  

For more information about the new MK5 range, or to book your free site survey today, please visit www.evacchair.co.uk or call 0121 706 6744. 

TOP TIPS: Creating a COVID-safe and secure workplace for your employees

By Oliver Morrison, CEO, Filter Digital

Now more than ever, employers are having to reassess their health and safety guidance for staff to ensure a safe and secure workplace for their employees. But how do you check your employees are well and reporting no symptoms of infectious diseases before they arrive for work?

Employers have a responsibility to keep their employees safe whilst at work. Many of us are used to conforming to company policy on wearing appropriate uniform and footwear, keeping walkways and access routes clear and following health and safety guidance whilst working on-site.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, it is now more than ever that employers are having to reassess their health and safety guidance for staff to ensure a safe and secure workplace for their employees.

Employers across all sectors and industries are introducing several new measures to protect their staff and to minimise risk. New office layouts, protective screens, floor graphics, one-way walkways, hand sanitising and the introduction of new Personal Protective Equipment have become commonplace.

Whilst employers can control, to an extent, what safety measures they introduce and how they implement them, empowering employees to follow them correctly and safely is paramount. Clear communication across a business is crucial to ensure everyone on-site is following the health and safety guidelines and rules.

With the spread of infectious diseases at the forefront of the implementation of enhanced measures within the workplace, there is a real need to ensure that employees are symptom-free before they enter a place of work. Whilst employers are doing all they can to ensure staff are safe at work, until now, there has been no mechanism to check staff are safe to come into work.

Safety at the workplace is paramount, and simple additional measures before reaching the workplace, such as regular communication, wellness checks, symptom reporting, records of travel or of interaction with people that have contracted COVID-19, are integral to overall safeguarding.

We’ve also collated some simple questions that can be used to regularly to check-in on employee wellbeing, to support effective and safe working.

Workspace

  • Are you comfortable in your physical workplace?
  • Do you have all of the equipment/supplies that you need to complete your work?
  • Is your working environment causing you any stress?
  • Is working from home negatively affecting your productivity?

Satisfaction

  • Are you receiving the right amount of communication?
  • Are you happy with the amount of recognition you receive for your work?
  • Do you feel recognition is meaningful when you receive it?
  • Are you feeling useful at work?
  • Do you ever feel anxious at work?

Team

  • Do you feel you can share your thoughts with your manager?
  • Do you feel you are positively encouraged to give your opinion?
  • Can you count on your colleagues when you need help?
  • Do you feel your colleagues collaborate well?

Health

  • Are you satisfied with your physical health?
  • Are you following a regular exercise or training regime?
  • Do you try to eat a healthy diet?
  • Do you feel healthy?
  • Would you be interested in having access to mental health resources at work? (such as meditation sessions, mindfulness classes etc.)

About The Author

Oliver Morrison is CEO at Filter Digital, developer of the The Safe For Work app, which provides a quick and easy way to check employees are well and reporting no symptoms of infectious diseases.