7 Golden Rules

Improving the health, safety and wellbeing in your organisation is easier said than done. Right? How can it be kept simple and straightforward? How can you develop a culture that is proactive in occupational safety and health?

The International Social Security Organisation (ISSA) is campaigning for Vision Zero for safety, health and wellbeing at work says there is a practical answer.

So, let’s take a look at the 7 Golden Rules.

  1. Take Leadership – demonstrate commitment by having visible competent leadership

  2. Identify Hazards – control risks. Evaluate risk management and learning from unplanned events.

  3. Define Targets – develop programmes. Do you have workplace and job induction? If you have targeted programmes are you evaluating them?

  4. Ensure a safe & healthy system – be well organised. Pre-work briefings. Planning and organisation of work.

  5. Ensure safety & health in machines, equipment & workplaces. Innovation and change. Procurement.

  6. Improve qualifications – develop competence. Initial training. Refresher training.

  7. Invest in people – motivate by participation. Listen to suggestions for improvement and recognise the good ones by rewarding them.

For each of these rules, two proactive leading indicators(PLIs) were developed. A guide explaining the use of the PLIs can be found here. All of the 14 indicators will help you identify opportunities for improvement for safety, health and wellbeing.

Proactive leading indicator/key activity checklist

Health Safety Wellbeing Total
1.1 Do leaders visibly demonstrate their commitment to HSW in their work processes and behaviour?
1.2 Are new leaders selected based on their intrinsic motivation for or proven record in HSW?
2.1 Are HSW risk-reduction measures evaluated?
2.2 Are reported unplanned HSW events followed up by leaders for investigation, HSW learning/improvement, and feedback to those directly involved?
3.1 Are H, S and W an integrated part of induction processes?
3.2 Are targeted programmes and their HSW improvement goals evaluated?
4.1 Are H, S and W an integrated part of discussions in pre-work meetings?
4.2 Is the organisation systematically considering H, S and W when planning and organising work?
5.1 Are technological or organisational innovations used to reduce HSW hazards and risks in the design stage?
5.2 Is the promotion of HSW included in procurement processes?
6.1. Are H, S and W covered in initial training?
6.2 Are H, S and W covered in refresher training?
7.1 Are worker suggestions for improving HSW followed-up adequately?
7.2 Are workers given recognition for excellent HSW performance?
 YES total

In short, there are 3 options for using PLIs. For example, option one, the Yes/No Checklist, provides you with an easy way to get insight into the proactive activities it performs (or not). This is useful for small and medium-sized companies. It can also be used in larger organisations too within different departments. Why not try it now to explore possibilities for improvement?

It may be helpful to have people in different areas and positions (managers, supervisors, line staff) of the company use the checklist. When people come up with different answers, then meaningful conversations can be held. For every ‘No’ on the checklist, this will give you an opening to make an improvement.

Let’s say the ‘Yes’ score is higher for health and wellbeing is higher than safety. Well, the organisation experience with improving health and wellbeing can be used to improve safety in a similar way.

A scientific paper that focuses on current thinking for ISSA was published in Safety Science.

Invest in the training and skills of your employees, and make sure that they have the required knowledge for their workplace. The workplace is constantly changing. In light of this, the skills and knowledge of your workers must be refreshed regularly.

Now, more than ever, providing training and continuing education is a must, while leadership and management need to be learned too!!!!

So, how do things look in your enterprise?

Email us: info@bridgetrainingservices.ie


Is Working from Home Becoming a Pain in the Neck?

From the couch to the coffee table or the kitchen, there are many places you may have found yourself working since the COVID-19 pandemic – some less ideal than others.

With many organisations now having a large proportion of their workforce working from home, employees have had to adapt to this change, raising potential issues of compliance with DSE regulations and best practices. Appropriate DSE training is more important now more than ever before in fact, for anyone that uses a screen anywhere.

So, what can be done?

1. View your computer screen with a straight neck.

Make sure to have your screen at a comfortable viewing height. Don’t be looking down at your screen, whether it’s a laptop on a table or your phone. A lot of people choose to put their keyboard and mouse in front of them with the screen off to the side and as a result, end up dealing with pain from swiveling their neck. If you are using a desktop screen or laptop working from home balance higher books or a raiser block to lift it to a comfortable position straight in front of you. Position your screen at an angle so it ensures you’re sitting in a comfortable position.

2. Don’t look down.

Don’t read from a tablet or paper that’s flat on your table because when you do this, it means your head will constantly have to move up and down and back and forth between a computer screen(or laptop) and reading material. Having a vertical document holder and stand for your tablet would minimise the need for looking down.

3. Reduce the time you work on your bed

We totally get it. When you work from home it can be draining and sometimes the desk just isn’t where you want to be, right? But a bed is way worse for you than a chair because your legs will be crossed or extended vertically and you will use them as support for your laptop. This leaves the laptop positioned too low for optimal screen viewing which means your back will be hunched over. If the bed is your only option, put a pillow behind your back to rest against the headboard and put your laptop on a cushion in your lap. If you have a bed tray great, this could also be used for the laptop to go over your legs which will allow you to type at a comfortable height without straining your neck.

 4. Positioning your monitor from glare.

To reduce visual eye strain from glare, then don’t work with your back to a window. The light coming in causes glare on your screen and it’s also best not to work facing the window because you’ll be staring into the light. If the window has shades it can be closed. You should try to have your screen perpendicular to the window. If you’re working from a glass table cover it. This will help prevent any glare from reflecting.

  1. If the characters on the screen are not sharp or are flickering then the DSE may need servicing or adjusting.

  2. Use the controls on the screen to adjust the brightness to suit the lighting conditions in the room.

  3. Keep the screen clean.

  4. Make sure that the text is large enough to read comfortably

  5. And choose colours that are easy to read

5. Prolonged standing

While it’s true that it’s not healthy to remain sitting down all day, It’s also true that standing to work requires more energy than sitting. This places increased strain on the circulatory system as well as the legs and feet. Standing for extended lengths of time could increase the risk of varicose veins. So, periodically (every 20 to 30 minutes ) you should stretch and move around for a minute or two to get the circulation going and relax the muscles. Walk to make a phone call or make a tea or coffee but don’t try to work for hours on end standing up.

6. Keyboard/mouse/touchpad

If you use any of these items put them at a comfortable height in front of you. So for example, if your laptop has been raised to get your screen to the right level then really you should use a separate keyboard and mouse. You can use your desk to keep your hands level and straight and your arm is positioned comfortably at your side. The more you stretch your arm out to the side the greater the chance you have of straining your neck or shoulder. AND when you’re typing place your fingers lightly on the keyboard buttons and try not to hold the mouse too tightly.

7. Give yourself a break

Why not give your arms and hands a little rest? Voice recognition these days is good for most texts and emails

8. Your chair – sit back

Even when you’ve done all the right things and your desk is set up correctly, you might still end up slouching or sitting in ways that are not good for your posture. At times we do things without realising it like leaning on one of our elbows or leaning forward to see the computer screen. This can cause our arms back neck or legs to stiffen up. So, you need your hips towards the back of the chair with your feet firmly flat on the ground. your chair should also be high enough so that your knees are lower or on the same level as your hips. By sitting back in the chair Your body weight can be supported. If you can recline the angle of your chair this will make sure all of your back is fully supported. But remember to take a break every 60 minutes or so and get up. Make a phone call while standing or get a glass of water. Just stand up and move for a couple of minutes.

9. 20-20-20 Rule

By taking breaks from looking at your screen can significantly reduce eyestrain. Here’s how the 20-20-20 Rule works. After 20 minutes of working on the screen, look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Some of the things that you can learn with Bridge Training Services are quite simple. Like sitting at your desk correctly,  resting your eyes, and doing other tasks so that you don’t come under any strain.

Our Display Screen Equipment course covers topics such as:

  • What is DSE?

  • Injuries associated with poor usage

  • Best practice

Contact us at info@bridgetrainingservices.ie


Blended and hybrid learning- what’s the difference?

Are you familiar with the different methods of delivery and when you should use them?

The type of delivery is the format of how the learning is delivered to the learner or participant. Apart from online learning and the traditional classroom, what has become more commonplace in the delivery of learning is hybrid and blended.

Blended Learning

This approach offers a combination of learning through the virtual world such as various learning management systems (LMS) as well as face-to-face. There are various models for blended learning with each one having its own merits. One method is to have the learner rotate between face-to-face and online learning. This can utilise the face-to-face time for discussion or group work for example and utilising the online method for reading or analysing new material. Some methods of blended learning offer little interaction with instructors or facilitators and the learner has greater autonomy and flexibility.

Hybrid Learning

The term hybrid has become more prevalent in recent times. In the context of learning, the hybrid method gives learners a choice to attend class in a physical classroom setting with the instructor/facilitator or attend the class remotely by means of a virtual platform (e.g. Zoom) from another location such as home. By using video conferencing tools, instructors can deliver content to both learners in the classroom as well as to learners at home at the same time.

Whatever method you choose it is important to decide how the content will be delivered ahead of time. Consider the technology available to you. Do you have people to support the program chosen? Inform your learners. Give them a clear road map of how the learning will be delivered and managed. The last thing you want is to lose learners due to technical issues or lack of understanding of how the program works. Always keep the end-user in mind in your decision-making.

Ready to discover more about what will work for your organisation? Contact us at info@bridgetrainingservices.ie

Learn about our online business training programmes 

Why Train?

Training why should we have to have it?
Author: Gina O’Connor

For some businesses, all they hear is you’ve got to be trained on this you’ve got to be trained on that, and it becomes a never-ending cycle. It causes interruptions to the operation. You’re losing people, meaning that you have to bring in somebody else to cover that person while they’re training. It’s costing money and when you think about it that way it does cost you money and lost working hours. And at the end of it all what is the point? The staff will come back and just carry on as normal and there’s no change in how we do things. Waste of time. Waste of money.
Of course, there’s one aspect that we can’t escape and that’s the law. There are so many functions that employers and employees must be trained on. Why? Because the law says so and failure to comply can and does have repercussions. Whether we like it or not the law is there to ensure both employers and employees live up to their obligations in the workplace. The primary concern of the law is safety. Everybody should be able to leave work and go home the same way they came in. With or without the law this should be every conscientious employer’s main concern – their people.
But let’s leave the law out of it for now. Let’s assume for now most people are aware of what the law requires us to do. So, let’s look at training another way and what can it achieve. Good training gets people to learn. You might ask what’s the difference? Well, here’s my take on that. Training just like the traditional classroom setting got us to remember things like a list and I’ll ask anyone that had this experience what really happened apart from being able to list things off? When people learn it becomes a part of them. Whether the learners develop a skill that they can demonstrate or improve their customer service skills, learning should be about solving a problem. Of course, this means different things to different people.
One of the basic questions people should ask is why do we need the training? Looking deeper into that question, what’s the problem that needs to be looked and what kind of an impact are you looking for? The needs of your business need to be brought down to the outcome you need to achieve in learning and basically ask what change in knowledge or skills do you need to see to have an impact on solving this problem. Another question you would need to ask is who is this for? In other words who’s your audience? If they’re your employees for example you need to look at where they are now and where you need to get them to. In other words, find out what the learning gap is. It’s also important to bear in mind what your employees’ perception of training is and why. Do they love it, do they hate it? There can be a variety of reasons for these perceptions. Did they feel supported during and after the learning process in the past?
If you as an employer need to change things around in your business (and there has been plenty of that recently), how do you get your people to change with the business? Do you just tell them changes are being made and expect them to just go with the flow? How is that working for you? Did it take you long to make the changes you needed to make? Was there much resistance? For me, training is like having a meaningful conversation. You think about what you need to achieve. You outline the reasons for the need to change and decide how it’s going to take to effect. Remember, a conversation is a two-way street, just like good training. Asking questions like what are the important areas (or topics) will you need to cover to achieve this change? Another question that needs to be considered is, HOW? How will you do this, in the classroom or online? How much? How long will it really take? These are all questions you need to think about.
One thing I’m certain of is, it won’t matter. It won’t matter if you don’t follow up after the training delivery. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but, if you don’t support your people after the training to reinforce the learning then you have just wasted a lot of money. No return on your investment. Training is for a day, a week, or however long it takes for the material to be delivered. Learning on the other hand is about practicing that learning until it switches to auto-pilot. Let me ask you, does a musician learn a chord and then say ok, I’ve got it now? No, they practice that chord until they don’t have to think about how they place their fingers on the strings. They also have support from their tutor or mentor. It is no different in any workplace. Miracles don’t happen after a day’s training but significant improvements can be made to improve on the knowledge skills and attitude with encouragement and the employee made to feel they have back up while they make the transition. This support is what brings loyalty and belief that they feel invested in and that you want them to succeed.
As an employer ask yourself these questions:
WHY – are you doing this? Figure out the reason
WHO – is it for? Are you filling a gap to meet an objective?
HOW – will you do this?
About the author: Gina has a wealth of training experience and operations management acumen accrued during a career spanning over 25 years in roles such as administration, customer service management, and training in the heavily regulated aviation industry. She believes that learning should not be a ‘tick the box’ exercise for people. She is experienced in knowing the importance of ensuring companies become & remain compliant in accordance with national legislation as well as industry best practice.
She can identify with other small businesses as she is a local independent operator, who wants to look after local businesses also. She understands the challenges of keeping compliant while trying to operate a business. With her aviation background, she understands CRM and change management and the importance of training to bring about that effect.
As a member of the Irish Institute of Training and Development and NISO, Gina believes in keeping in line with best practices and the latest developments in the training sector.