Tabbed manual titled "Workplace Safety"

Top 7 tips for reducing H&S risks in Construction

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries for people to work in due to the nature of the work, which can involve working from heights, using heavy machinery and lifting heavy loads.

Most of the danger’s workers will face can be dramatically reduced by setting up the right health and safety measures and putting procedures in place to keep workers safe. Below is a seven-step guide you can use to help you spot, reduce and even eliminate some of the risks.

Elimination:

The first step for any site should be to identify the applicable hazards and reduce the risks as far as is reasonably practicable. For instance, is there a way you can complete the task with a different method, or use different materials and/or chemicals to reduce or eliminate the risks?

A few ways you might reduce risk would be:

  • Using extendable tools rather than working at height.
  • Having materials delivered cut to size to remove any risks associated with cutting.
  • Using battery-operated equipment to eliminate trip hazards.

 

Substitution:

If the risks can’t be removed entirely which is very often the case in construction, the next best option is to try and make a substitution to reduce the risks to anyone involved.

These could be:

  • Replacing ladders with scaffolds.
  • Wearing high visibility jackets to enhance visibility.
  • Substituting hazardous chemicals with non-hazardous.
  • Having access to the latest equipment.

 

Engineering controls:

Another method you should look to use is using engineering to control the environment that you’re working in. These controls could be fixed for everyday tasks or temporary measures for less commonly executed tasks. The measures should generally look to protect the collective workforce rather than individuals.

These could be:

  • Adding edge protection whilst working at height.
  • Enclosing any equipment or sharp edges.
  • Having extractors, such as LEV’s to remove dust or chemical fumes.

 

Procedures:

Procedures are incredibly important to not just have in place but also make sure that all your staff are aware and know how to follow them to reduce the risks of an incident.

They should also be updated if any of the procedures change, for example, if you have a new piece of equipment that requires different use than the previous.

You may also put in permanent procedures to reduce risks such as enforcing a one-way system around your sites to minimise risks or to restrict working at height during windy conditions.

 

Supervision:

Another way to reduce risks to workers is to make sure that anyone who is carrying out hazardous work has supervision. The supervisor should have experience and training in the area they are supervising. This will allow them to spot and identify if anything is not being done correctly but also, if the worst is to happen and someone has an accident, someone is on hand to help them.

 

Training:

It might seem obvious but making sure that all individuals are trained for completing a relevant task is imperative. No one should be asked to complete a task they are not well versed or trained in and making sure that your staff have the most up to date training is extremely important.

 

PPE:

Another one that might seem obvious but making sure that your workers have access to the right PPE for all the tasks they need to complete and new equipment should be made available if there are changes to regulations or better technologies are available. Individual measures such as PPE should always be explored once all other options are exhausted as they give the least prevention. We all have a responsibility to give our workforce the best protection as possible, so implementing collective measures is always better than individual measures.

Worker using the SafetyCulture IAuditor App

SafetyCulture empowers SMAS Worksafe members 

SMAS Worksafe partner, SafetyCulture, is a global technology company that supports businesses to do their best work every day. Its adaptive, mobile-first products help to enhance operations and foster high performing, safer workplaces. 

SafetyCulture is used by over 28,000 organisations worldwide, in almost every industry. Its flagship products, iAuditor and EdApp, enable teams to perform checks, train staff, report issues, capture data and communicate fluidly. 

SafetyCulture powers over 600 million checks each year, approximately 50,000 lessons per day and millions of corrective actions. 

They do this by empowering frontline employees. Giving front-line staff the ability to perform checks straight from a site, providing sensors for data capture and integrating seamlessly with existing systems. SafetyCulture helps organisations build immunity to risk. 

Front-line workers make up 80% of our global workforces and are at the heart of implementing health and safety practices. Crucially they can capture data and information that would otherwise be missed. For example actionable points of risk, inspection failures and safety concerns. 

Despite their critical role, front-line workers have been under-served when it comes to technology. SafetyCulture is on a mission to challenge that. Operational excellence including health and safety is everyone’s responsibility: and by giving every employee the tools, training and ownership they need, we can drive change from the ground-up. 

Our collective vision and aspiration is for all SMAS Worksafe members to be empowered through mobile-first technology to drive safer, more productive and efficient workplaces.

As a proud SMAS Worksafe member since November 2020, SafetyCulture is committed to working with SMAS Worksafe and their members to raise health and safety standards. SMAS Worksafe members can benefit from a 10% discount on the premium versions of EdApp and iAuditor. Visit SafetyCulture’s dedicated SMAS Worksafe partner page to learn more and get started for free. You can also contact Olivia Langley, SafetyCulture’s Partnerships Manager, who is committed to supporting SMAS Worksafe members looking to use SafetyCulture products. Reach out to Olivia via olivia.langley@safetyculture.io

Help, support, advice, guidance signpost

Complete safety coverage and support

All industries of work come with their risks but none more so than construction. Falling from height is by far the most common cause of injury in construction and approximately 40 people sadly pass away every year due to falling from a height and the risks are even higher when mobility may be impeded.

Having the correct safety procedures in place and making sure your staff have the relevant training is imperative to reducing the risks. SMAS Worksafe recognises that and so we have partnered with organisations to help make sure our members have not just the correct safety procedures in place but have access to training and other benefits to help reduce the risks as much as possible.

The Procedures:

SMAS Worksafe will help your business with having a health and safety assessment (SSIP) that is recognised throughout the UK. Our assessors will check over your businesses health and safety policy to make sure you are doing all you can to reduce the risks which your work involves.

When assessing your businesses health & safety we will be making sure you have the below areas accounted for:

  • That you have the necessary competence to undertake the trades requested;
  • That you have safe working procedures identifying how the tasks will be conducted in a safe and controlled manner;
  • That you are monitoring the health and safety standards within the organisation to ensure a safe working environment for your personnel;
  • That you have the appropriate arrangements in place for dealing with health and safety aspects within the organisation, such as accident reporting and providing adequate welfare facilities; and
  • That you are communicating with your workforce on health and safety issues that are important to your industry, such as the Coronavirus.

 

Training:

We recognise that whilst having a health and safety policy in place is important, it doesn’t give you complete security for reducing risks. Our partner, IHASCO specialises in online courses to help your employees gain the relevant health & safety training for their respective jobs and cover a wide range of sectors from construction to education as well as retail and hospitality.

SMAS Members are entitled to a discount with IHASCO so you can get your staff fully trained at a premium price.

Health Tests:

One aspect of work that is often overlooked is hearing, however, for many sectors such as construction, hearing difficulties can be common due to the constant exposure to loud equipment and machinery.

This can cause serious problems not just for the individual’s personal life, but also for others they may be working with. A loss of hearing makes you less sensitive to what’s going on around you, whether that is a reversing vehicle or something as little as colleagues trying to communicate.

Our partner, WorkScreen offers your business the ability to test staff on site. Their hearing tests are done in about 30 minutes and can be completed without having to give staff time away from their working environment.

Insurance:

The final part of any business’s compliance is ultimately a safety blanket to fall back on if the worst should happen. We have partnered with Premierline insurance so that our members can get the best insurance for a fair price.

Premierline is a broker service in UK for businesses ranging from micro SME’s to those larger businesses with more complex insurance needs. Their experienced advisors are able to complete a market search to arrange the right insurance solution to meet your insurance requirements.

Three types of ladder used in construction

Falls from height top cause of fatal injury in construction

Ladders come in all shapes and sizes, but they share a common purpose; which is to provide assistance when working from height to get a job done. Whilst you don’t need a formal qualification to use a ladder, you do need to be competent and understand some basic rules to keep safe when working from a height. Using a ladder or even a step ladder will be considered as working from a height, alongside the more obvious methods of working from height such as a crane, rooftop or scaffold. Ladders can still pose a serious risk to a worker’s safety if used incorrectly.

The HSE figures show that in the construction sector, falls from height result in 47% of fatal workplace injuries, and are responsible for 19% of non-fatal injuries. It’s clear to see that working from height is a real threat to a worker’s safety and demonstrates why this risk must be managed effectively. But the good news is that injuries and fatalities as a result of working from height are preventable.

 

Minimising Risk

Using a ladder incorrectly, overstretching, or standing on incorrect equipment to reach a height, for example, can all increase someone’s chance of falling. On top of that, a worker can become complacent when regularly carrying out work from a height, causing a greater chance of an accident. In construction, many workers are up and down ladders all day, whether it is on a building site, customer premises or to gain access to scaffolds. Care should be taken, and employers should help to keep workers safe.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) requires employers to create safe methods of work to reduce the risk of working from height.  They are legally obliged to ensure any task where working from height is required is suitably planned, supervised and carried out by a competent worker. A risk assessment for each task from height should be carried out, which will include factors such as the weather conditions, the competence of the worker, the place of work, any necessary equipment and specific training required, for example.

The HSE suggests some straightforward and practical measures to help prevent injury when working at height. These include:

  • Complete as much of the work as possible from the ground
  • Make sure workers are able to get safely to and from the area they are working from height
  • Provide suitable, strong and stable equipment for the task, and ensure it is maintained and checked regularly
  • Do not overload or overreach when working from height
  • When working on or near fragile surfaces take extra precautions
  • Provide protection from falling objects
  • Establish emergency procedures for evacuation and rescue

 

Often ladders are deemed the most suitable equipment for a specific task, especially where the task will take 30 minutes or less and it’s generally considered low risk.

“In fact they can be a sensible and practical option for low-risk, short-duration tasks, although they may not automatically be your first choice. Make sure you use the right type of ladder and you know how to use it safely.”

– The HSE

An employer is required to ensure any ladders are suitable for use, maintained and regularly inspected under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

Similarly, employees have a responsibility to take reasonable care of themselves and others, use equipment inline with any instructions and training, comply with their employers and any safety provisions, as well as notify their employer of any foreseen issues with their equipment and protection. This is covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

 

Why is training important?

Providing suitable training for working from height, including ladder safety, will help employers meet their legislative duties and keep their workers safe. eLearning can particularly help with educating employees about the dangers of working at height and help them understand their responsibilities when it comes to keeping themselves and others safe. Ensuring safe working practices are established and providing regular training is a good way to minimise the risk of an accident and avoid any costly compensation claims.

Our friends at iHASCO can offer you a free trial of their Working at Height and Ladder Safety online courses. Get in touch with them today!

man with a briefcase and a surgical mask

Getting back to business

With the roadmap for the UK coming out of lockdown looking set to end on June 21st, all businesses up and down the UK will be able to return to normal with many of those being able to reopen their doors in May.

 

Planning for the reopening will likely be underway but have you considered your businesses compliance?

 

SMAS Worksafe can help your business to reach Health & Safety compliance as well as give you support for other areas such as environmental, quality management, anti-bribery and finance.

 

Health & Safety

 

SMAS Worksafe specialise is health & safety and helping businesses to attain their SSIP (safety scheme in procurement) certificate. If you’re unsure on what SSIP is, you can find out more here.

 

SSIP is a nationally recognised standard for health and safety and so employers can have complete confidence in their health and safety policies once they have obtained the certificate, which has never been more important with Coronavirus having such a profound impact on the world. Making sure your health and safety policies and procedures are up to date is a great way to achieve peace of mind for your reopening.

 

When you take out the standard SSIP assessment with SMAS Worksafe you gain access to a PQQ Profile which enables you to upload documents you have in relation to other areas of compliance. If you’re unsure on your business’s compliance in areas such as environmental and quality management, we offer a Pro package which will help you to gain recognised standards for both areas.  

 

Environmental

 

With Worksafe Pro, we will make sure your business has environmental compliance recognised by IEMA. We will check over and existing policies you have and make sure that they meet the standards needed. If you don’t have any environmental procedures in place, we can pass you over to our sister company, Citation who will be able to help you write the policies to cover you and your environmental footprint.

 

Quality Management

 

SMAS Pro customers will also have their existing quality management policies checked over by one of our assessors against the IRCA standards. If you don’t have any quality management policies in place, just like environmental compliance, our sister company Citation will be able to help you set up quality management procedures so that you can help to grow your businesses reputation.

 

Anti-Bribery, Modern Slavery & Financial

 

Worksafe Pro also includes policy templates for Anti-Bribery, Modern Slavery and Financial support so you can easily put policies in place for these areas and cover your business in all areas of compliance.

 

There’s never going to be a better time to get your business compliant before reopening and with the impact Coronavirus has had on the world, being compliant in areas such as health and safety has never been more important.

Site safety signs construction site for health and safety

Which SMAS Worksafe Package is right for you?

SMAS Worksafe have recently updated the way in which we run our assessments. We now have a clear 3 tier system so you can easily identify which SMAS Worksafe package you need without any hassle.

So, which SMAS Worksafe package is right for you?

Worksafe Assessment, Pro and Infinity checklist

Worksafe Infinity:

 

The top tier of SMAS Worksafe products is for those who are looking for complete compliance across all areas and don’t know where to start. Infinity includes all aspects of the other two tiers and more. We will not just review your environmental and quality management policies but help you to write them from scratch and tailor them to your business. You will also benefit from a 6-month review so we can check in on any changes that might have happened to your business and adjust your policies to reflect them. You will also have total access to our accessors through unlimited helplines access.

 

Worksafe Pro:

 

Worksafe Pro is best for those businesses who need and SSIP certificate but would also like guidance on their environmental and quality management systems. When you take out the Pro package, our team of in-house accessors will check over your documents for these areas and make sure they up to the relevant standards (IEMA Environmental review & IRCA Quality Management). This gives you complete peace of mind that your business is operating to a recognised level of compliance for both of these areas as well as Health & Safety through SSIP.

 

Worksafe Assessment: 

 

This is the base tier of SMAS Worksafe accreditation and is best for those who are looking to obtain their SSIP certificate and are comfortable with the Environmental and Quality Management. The Worksafe assessment will also gain you access to SMAS Preferred Supplier where you can upload documents you may have for other areas of compliance such as environmental or quality management. However, all documents uploaded for further areas will not be checked over by our team so if you’re unsure on the policies you have in place for environmental or quality management then we would recommend Pro or Infinity.

 

What to do now? 

 

Now you have all the information about our products, all you need to do is decide which package is right for your business and get in touch with us. Our teams will be more than happy to help you through the assessment process so you can get accredited and back to working as quickly as possible.

Alexandra McCarthy
Alexandra McCarthy
27. March, 2021.
Nice and easy. Definitely recommend this service. Marc was very helpful and told us what was needed from us the whole way through.
Robert Gow
Robert Gow
15. March, 2021.
Our SMAS was due to expire at the end of the month, I therefore completed the online application and within a couple of days of them having received it we passed and I have the certificate.
Peter Melton
Peter Melton
12. March, 2021.
I thought that your representative, Mike Milton, handled the procedure very efficiently and in very good time, especially considering the difficult times we are all working under. I would certainly recommend SMAS to others.
Brian Motley
Brian Motley
5. March, 2021.
Very quick turnaround in submitting our application and also good to receive a call from them asking if we need any assistance. Shame we can't say the same about other organisations like them
Vernon Watson
Vernon Watson
26. February, 2021.
Good process + helpful and knowledgeable auditors and help line staff Made the process as painless as possible
Jayne Smalldon
Jayne Smalldon
25. February, 2021.
Hassle free, as always.
SCP
SCP
23. February, 2021.
Great services, always helpful if I have any questions and quick review of application once submitted. now our clients have full confidence in our H&S capabilities
Ian Croal
Ian Croal
23. February, 2021.
Got through the application process in good time. It is clear, easy to follow and takes a lot of the stress away.
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Health & Safety procedures document

Tips for writing your Health & Safety Policy

For all over 5 organisations in the UK, it is a legal requirement to have a written health and safety policy detailing how your organisation is going to manage health and safety within the company.

 

Health and safety policies are required to ensure those involved with the organisation are aware of how the company aim to mitigate any potential H&S issues that may arise, who to contact, and the in-depth procedures for dealing with such issues.

 

A successful policy will clearly outline these points and be easy to understand for all applicable personnel. Below are some easy points that will help your organisation to write a successful health and safety policy.

 

The three pillars of your H&S Policy:

 

Your statement of intent

 

One of the most important parts to a health and safety policy is the statement of intent. The statement should outline the aims of your company and its commitment to the management of health and safety.

 

A health and safety policy statement will set out how you intend to manage health and safety within your workplace. It will briefly outline your businesses attitude towards health and safety, and the steps, arrangements and management systems that you have in place to ensue you comply with the health and safety legislation.

 

The statement of intent should clearly state the full company name, be signed and dated by the senior person within the organisation (usually the Director or their delegate) and be regularly reviewed (at least annually).

 

 

 

The Responsibilities

 

The next area that your business must include is the responsibilities for managing certain aspects of H&S within the organisation. This should include the responsibilities of all levels of the organisation, including management, supervisors and employees.

The responsibilities must clearly define:

·      The responsibilities of managers to implement the H&S policy and its associated procedures.

·      The responsibilities of supervisors to implement the procedures set out by management.

·      The responsibilities of employees to follow the procedures as outlined by management and supervisors.

 

 

 

The Arrangements  

 

 

Your health and safety policy will need to include an arrangements section. This area will clearly outline the way in which the organisation meets the commitments made within the statement of intent. The arrangements section should include information on what you are going to do to eliminate or reduce (as far as reasonably practicable), any risks or hazards within your workplace or out on site.

This section should include arrangements such as**:

·      Training and Communication.

·      Risk Assessments.

·      Safe Systems of Work.

·      Monitoring, Audit and Review.

·      Sub-Contractor / Supplier Selection.

·      Accident Reporting and Recording (in line with RIDDOR 2013).

·      Asbestos.

·      Welfare Facilities (in line with CDM Regulations 2015 – Schedule 2 and / or Workplace (H, S&W) Regulations 1992).

 

**Please note: This list is not exhaustive. Other areas should be included where appropriate.

 

Although the main objective of your health and safety policy is to protect those who you’re employing, you should consider those who your work can affect (i.e. sub-contractors; customers; clients; the public etc.) and what we can do to protect them within each section of the policy.

 

 

Other Considerations:

 

Surround yourself with knowledge

 

Not all employers are health & safety experts, nor should they be expected to be. The organisation should ensure it has access to competent H&S advice should it be required. Therefore, it is important for the organisation to appoint a responsible person internal to the organisation for health and safety and if deemed necessary, seek advice from an external competent source (i.e. someone with the necessary skills, knowledge, qualifications, and experience to manage health and safety), such as a H&S Consultant, like those at our sister company, Citation

 

Communicating your H&S Policy

The policy must be readily available and brought to the attention of your employees. It is also recommended that all new employees read over the organisations health and safety policy during induction, and that it should be recirculated following any changes made.

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Alexandra McCarthy
Alexandra McCarthy
27. March, 2021.
Nice and easy. Definitely recommend this service. Marc was very helpful and told us what was needed from us the whole way through.
Robert Gow
Robert Gow
15. March, 2021.
Our SMAS was due to expire at the end of the month, I therefore completed the online application and within a couple of days of them having received it we passed and I have the certificate.
Peter Melton
Peter Melton
12. March, 2021.
I thought that your representative, Mike Milton, handled the procedure very efficiently and in very good time, especially considering the difficult times we are all working under. I would certainly recommend SMAS to others.
Brian Motley
Brian Motley
5. March, 2021.
Very quick turnaround in submitting our application and also good to receive a call from them asking if we need any assistance. Shame we can't say the same about other organisations like them
Vernon Watson
Vernon Watson
26. February, 2021.
Good process + helpful and knowledgeable auditors and help line staff Made the process as painless as possible
Jayne Smalldon
Jayne Smalldon
25. February, 2021.
Hassle free, as always.
SCP
SCP
23. February, 2021.
Great services, always helpful if I have any questions and quick review of application once submitted. now our clients have full confidence in our H&S capabilities
Ian Croal
Ian Croal
23. February, 2021.
Got through the application process in good time. It is clear, easy to follow and takes a lot of the stress away.
Mental Health in the Workforce

Mental Health in Construction

Mental health in construction workers is a topic that isn’t often covered due to the nature of the working environment. However, the mental health of all workers in all sectors should be paramount to employers and having an open-door approach is a great way to get your employees to talk about issues they may have.

Construction work can mean workers are often exposed to high-pressure situations, such as working from height in windy conditions or having to use potentially dangerous machinery. These situations can be stressful enough but can be made ten times worth if the correct health & safety procedures and equipment aren’t available or put in place.

Another big contributor for stress in construction can be late payments, meaning you and your employees might be strained financially which can cause a lot of stress and pressure on you the employer as well as your employee that you’re responsible for.

The Statistics:

Suicide is the biggest killer for males under 45 in the UK and according to an article published by the Holistic healthcare group those that work in construction are three times more likely to commit suicide than other industries.

The article also states that:

  • Suicide kills more construction workers than falls every year.
  • Depression and anxiety have overtaken musculoskeletal disorders in construction workers.
  • According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 13,232 in-work suicides between 2011 and 2015. The construction industry accounted for 13.2% of them, despite only accounting for 7% of the total UK workforce.
  • 23% of construction workers are considering leaving the industry in the next 12 months due to poor mental health.
  • 73% of all construction workers feel that their employers did not understand or recognise the early signs of poor mental health or offer any support.

Between 2011 and 2015, the Office of National Statistics stated that of the 13,232 in-work suicides, the construction industry accounted for 13.2% of these.  This comes despite the industry accounting for, at the time, roughly 7% of the UK workforce.

An article posted on the HR director website states that in a 2017 survey, 73% of construction workers felt their employers did not recognise the early signs of mental health. Consequently, 23% of those surveyed were considering leaving the industry, in the next 12 months, due to poor mental health.

 

Spotting Stress, Depression & Anxiety

Despite not being one you would expect, according to the HSE’s 2018/19 report, there were an estimated 16,000 work-related cases of stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing), which made up a quarter of all ill health in this Sector.

It is incredibly important to make sure that anyone working on your sites is comfortable in the environment they’re working in. That means they’re being treated fairly and respected by their colleagues, feeling safe with the machinery or tasks they have been asked to complete and also making sure they’re not subject to discriminatory behaviour.

Looking out for anyone that may not be acting themselves is something that is hard to do and creating an ‘open door to management’ environment within the construction industry isn’t easy, but if you do spot anyone showing signs of anxiety or depression it’s worth taking them to one side over a cup of coffee and asking that they’re ok.

Signs of anxiety and depression:

  • Loss of interest or no longer finding pleasure in activities or hobbies
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Anger, irritability, or restlessness
  • Feeling guilty or experiencing feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
  • Difficulty controlling worry or fear
  • Dread
  • Panic

Taking actions:  

Make sure if anyone is showing signs of anxiety, depression or stress on-site that you’re open with them and ask if everyone is ok or what the issue may be, although this can be difficult in the construction industry due to the nature and environment that those work in.

Another good option that could be worth your time is to set up an employee assistance programme (EAP) where employees are able to talk to someone about the issues they may be facing anonymously and making sure staff are aware of the EAP system and how to go about speaking to someone.

For more help on setting up EAP, check out this guide from our sister company Citation.

Stay safe construction image with PPE equipment

What are the downsides of not having an SSIP certificate?

SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) is an industry recognised health and safety accreditation that is given to contractors when they are able to supply all of the required information needed to complete the online assessment. As of today, having an SSIP certificate is not compulsory for every contractor, so what are you missing out on if you don’t have one?

Peace of mind:

Not having an SSIP certificate in place could leave some employers in sticky situations, not having a recognised health and safety assessment could cause you trouble should something happen on one of your sites or to one of your employees.

Having an SSIP certificate means your business is to a required standard for health and safety. This means that you as an employer can have peace of mind that your business has the correct procedures in place to reduce the risk to employees as well as others that may be impacted by your services.

It also shows potential employees that you have made sure that their safety is important to you as their employer, giving them an assurance that the conditions they’re working in are safe and they have an employer who cares for their wellbeing.

Miss out on working for big clients:

If you’re a large business or a one-man band, working for the likes of Redrow, Taylor Wimpey, Midas requires you to have an SSIP certificate. Large house building companies do this so they can make sure that all the sub-contractors they hire are up to a certain level because they can’t afford to take risks on the job not being completed, delaying their project and costing them more money.

If you have an SSIP certificate you are showing clients that your business meets globally recognised standards and will allow you to work on large projects, meaning you have safety in not only being paid on completion of the work but also a potential for more work.

Composite of a modern house during and after construction.

Building techniques clearly visible. Shot over a period of 6 months.

Limiting your company’s visibility:

By gaining a certificate, you will not only be able to work on their sites but also make yourself visible to them through the SSIP and SMAS Portal – which means if they need a contractor for their site they can search for SSIP accredited business in their area with the required trade and are able to look at the levels of compliance you hold (beyond just health & safety) and get in contact with you about work.

Having SSIP is also a great way to market your business. By being approved you can show customers and clients that you take health and safety seriously and have gone through the process to make sure that you are compliant, something you should shout about.

 

What Next?

Although SSIP and health and safety is by far the most recognised and sought-after accreditation, you may also have compliance in other areas such as environmental or quality management. SMAS Worksafe has introduced a new 3 tiered system with Worksafe Pro and Worksafe Infinity, which allows you to show compliance in these and other areas such as financial, anti-bribery & corruption as well as having support from the SMAS team to help you throughout the year.

Worksafe Assessment, Pro and Infinity checklist

Why’s that beneficial? Because if you can show clients that your business has a higher level of compliance, there is less risk for them hiring you over someone who doesn’t hold those accreditations, winning you more business.

If you already have an SSIP certificate but are interested in showing off your other areas of compliance, learn about Worksafe Preferred Supplier here.

e-learning at work

What is eLearning and how can it help you win business?

What is eLearning, what are the benefits and how can it help you win business? (Q&A with Alex Wilkins, Head of Business Development at iHASCO)

We caught up with Alex Wilkins, Head of Business Development at iHASCO to find out more about eLearning and its benefits. Alex has been working in the eLearning industry for over 8 years and has seen its progression to become the most popular choice for workplace training.

alex_wilkins_iHASCO

What is eLearning?


eLearning is a form of digital learning which is completed via an electronic device such as your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It can be accessed from any location as long as you have Wi-Fi or a 4G connection.

Bite-sized eLearning is becoming increasingly popular as it gives employees greater flexibility to be completed around their workloads in short bursts. We know that one of the biggest challenges businesses face is ensuring that their employees can find the time to complete their required training.

eLearning can either be with an online trainer or completed independent – where off the shelf courses are available for a huge range of topics, including workplace health & safety and compliance.

What are the main benefits of eLearning?

Using eLearning to train your workforce has a huge number of benefits but I’ll go through my top five.

First and foremost it offers a cost-effective solution for training your staff. Traditional face-to-face methods can be costly and require attendees to block out a set time to complete it, including travel time to the set location. With the ongoing pandemic, eLearning has proved incredibly valuable, as it has removed the need for face-to-face contact but has allowed employers to ensure their staff are up-to-date with their training.

Secondly, eLearning is simple to use and practical. We live in a world where things need to be more easily accessible and convenient, which may explain the increasing popularity of eLearning. Employees are able to fit it in around their workloads and when they are ready to learn, which will ensure they get more out of it.

This leads me on to my next point – eLearning promotes learner engagement. Presenter-led footage along with quality animations helps bring a course subject to life. Interactive elements such as multiple-choice questions throughout the learning process and an end of course test helps ensure that key learning objectives have been met. Here at iHASCO, our courses take around 6 months to complete from the initial research phase to launch. The script is carefully written to ensure the information is informative and accurate before filming and animation can take place to provide a high quality and succinct training course.

Penultimately, eLearning is easy to administer and keep track of, through a Learning Management System (LMS). In order to encourage completion of essential training, an LMS can send automated training reminder emails as well as keep track of all completed training. It also allows training to be rolled out quickly and efficiently.

Lastly, it provides consistent training to all employees, and offers equal opportunities to the workforce. And it sets an important message to staff as it shows that an employer is fully invested in their employees, which is extremely powerful and can help build a positive and open work culture. Those organisations that take training seriously can gain a competitive edge.

 

How can eLearning help you win business?

It goes without saying that an employee who has received appropriate training will be much more confident in their job role. Happy and engaged employees are likely to be more productive too. For example, in the construction industry workplace safety is paramount and appropriately managing safety risks is not only a legal obligation, but it will also help build a good company reputation among employees and customers to help you win business. Creating a safe working environment and educating your workforce will give you a competitive advantage.

 

What does the future hold for eLearning?

eLearning has evolved a great deal in the last few years. Technological advances have meant that it has become increasingly interactive and engaging. Through many providers it is also accessible to those whose first language is not English (through subtitles), provides closed captions for those who are hard of hearing, and is compatible with screen readers for those with visual impairments. Fast forward even further into the future and Artificial Intelligence will be able to enhance a learner’s individual experience.

The global pandemic has had a profound effect on our lives. If we were undergoing a digital revolution before, we are set to see even further advancements and a world that becomes increasingly more reliant on technology at work and in our day-to-day lives.

 

What should a business do if they are interested in finding out more about eLearning and how it can fit with their organisation?

We would always recommend setting up a free trial with any eLearning provider you are interested in. That way you can see if the training is a good fit for your organisation and staff. Whilst we recognise that eLearning may not cover every last training need, it certainly has a place in supporting your employees with their workplace training. Discuss your needs with any potential supplier to ensure they can meet your requirements.

Get in touch with our friends over at iHASCO today who can set you up with a free, no-obligation trial and support you with eLearning for: