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


COVID-19 Templates, Checklists and Posters

“The COVID-19 Response Plan template and Good Practice checklists have been prepared to help employers, business owners, and managers to continue running their workplaces safely, and to help workers, in particular, the Lead Worker Representative understand what they need to do to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

The template and checklists have been drafted, based on the Government’s advice and the Transitional Protocol – Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.

The Transitional Protocol reflects the most recent public health advice, and it is the current guidance for the safe return and continued safe operating of workplaces.

The template and checklists should be read in conjunction with the guidance. Employers, workers, and their representatives are encouraged to continue working together to help continue to keep workplaces safe. The Response Plan template and Good Practice Checklists will help you to do that.” – HSA

It’s important to follow protocols and is crucial in ensuring all employees are safe in the workplace. Our COVID captured world seeks to look after our safety and well-being. So, create and maintain a culture that does that. It isn’t just about the checklists. It’s also about attitude.

Firstly, ask yourself what is your relationship like with your team? Secondly, is the safety and well-being of your people a priority?

Take a look at how healthy and safe your organisation is.

Thirdly, could you do better? (The answer is always yes).


By adding value to your training and boost occupational safety and health. Make your company vision one of zero harm in the workplace.  Most importantly, having your team work together to create and maintain a safer environment to work in will create a clear targetted path to your people feeling secure. They are being safeguarded and protected.

Safety briefings that are delivered consistently can help raise the awareness of safety and brings people together.

So, create a culture that prioritises the well-being of your people. As a result, this will relieve stress and raise productivity and efficiency. It will help them focus on what’s important. Don’t let checklists become a tick the box exercise.

Following the tick the box method is not the approach that should be used.

Instead, use them as a tool to see how you are doing. Let them help you keep your team safe. Use them to guide you into being an organisation that takes care of its people. Make your company a great one.

Contact us to learn how we can help you create that vision of ZERO HARM in the workplace at info@bridgetrainingservices.ie

Further information can be found at gov.ie, hse.ie, hpsc.ie and hsa.ie .

COVID-19 response plan template



IOSH Vision Zero

Coming in February 2022.


Bridge Training Services is pleased to announce that we will be delivering an exciting new programme for our clients.

Vision of a safer, healthier, better workplace can be made real, thanks to global partnership.

As a Covid-captured world seeks a safer, better life, a global movement that believes all accidents, diseases, and harm at work are preventable is announcing an exciting training package to make workplaces safer and healthier.

Vision Zero is a transformational approach to prevention that integrates the three dimensions of safety, health, and well-being at all levels of work. Launched in September 2017 by the International Social Security Association (ISSA), the programme quickly gathered support from governments and businesses around the world. This programme was originally launched in 2017 by the International Social Security Association (ISSA). This programme has quickly gathered support from governments and businesses around the world.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is a longstanding member of the ISSA, on its Special Commission for Prevention and chair of its Education and Training Section, and IOSH has supported Vision Zero as it evolved. Now, the two organisations have co-developed the Vision Zero training package, which IOSH training providers will deliver. Bridge Training Services are delighted to become an accredited trainer with such a prestigious organisation as safety and well-being in the workplace have always been at the forefront of its training delivery.

Everyone has been through challenging times and we are coming through a pivotal period in history. We must accept that the world is going through a rapid transformation and we all have a crucial role to play to create a healthier, safer workplace for all. Adding value to your training will enhance your training and deliver a quality of life to all and boost occupational safety and health in your business.

So, why train at all? Vision Zero offers businesses a chance to be part of an international drive to prevent people from being killed, injured or becoming unwell as a result of their work. This programme is to deliver training to those committed to embedding a vision of zero harm in their organisations.

To find out more contact us at info@bridgetrainingservices.ie


HSA Strategy Statement 2022–2024

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has published its Strategy Statement 2022–2024 and its Programme of Work 2022.

The Strategy Statement highlights key goals in tackling current and emerging challenges and opportunities in Ireland’s workplaces including the introduction of remote/hybrid working, advancements in technology and the green economy, the “gig economy”, and the particular needs of vulnerable workers and migrant groups.

Through the increased funding provided by Government the Authority is establishing a new division to give further emphasis on occupational health hazards and risks, including those associated with psychosocial and ergonomic risks, and exposure to chemical and biological agents.

Launching the new HSA Strategy Statement, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, stated:

“This new strategy clearly sets out the HSA’s priorities and goals whilst taking into account the ongoing challenges that workers and organisations, including the Authority, will face over the next three years. These include emerging from the COVID-19 public health pandemic, dealing with the continued fallout from the UK exit from the EU and addressing new ways of working.”

Programme of Work 2022
The HSA has also published its latest Programme of Work which outlines its key priorities and areas of focus for 2022, which include:

  • high-risk sectors and hazards which cause fatalities, incidents, injuries and ill health, such as falling from heights and the hazards of working with machinery,

  • occupational health hazards, in particular those associated with psychosocial and ergonomic risks, and

  • exposure to chemical and biological agents.

Looking forward there are also new challenges, including the impact of the pandemic in accelerating the move to remote/hybrid working and the continued growth of the ‘gig economy’ in Ireland. The strategy also highlights the particular needs of vulnerable workers and migrant groups.

Speaking at the launch of both publications, Dr. Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, said:

“Throughout the implementation of our new Strategy Statement and our annual Programmes of Work, the Authority will be setting out to achieve tangible outcomes in occupational safety and health (OSH), accreditation, chemicals, and market surveillance. The key to a successful and productive economy and workforce is a commitment to safer and healthier working lives for all.”

The HSA Strategy Statement 2022–2024 was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders and through public consultation. It was developed with the present and future conditions of workplaces and the needs of enterprises across Ireland in mind.

Tom Coughlan, Chairperson of the Health and Safety Authority, stated:

“Setting out the goals and key objectives of this Strategy Statement highlights the importance of partnership and collaboration and how it continues to be at the forefront of how we promote compliance. As a tripartite Board, with representatives from employee and employer stakeholders as members, we recognise the importance of constructive and co-operative engagement in meeting the goal of safe and healthy workplaces for all and we encourage employers and employees to continue to engage and work with the Authority in achieving this.”

To download or read in full please visit The HSA’s Strategy Statement 2022 – 2024 and Programme of Work 2022

Read the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Press Release.

For HSA information on workplace fatalities in 2020 click here.

Contact us at info@bridgetrainingservices.ie


Daily Safety Briefings – A Symbol of Reliability.

A daily safety briefing is one of the characteristics of dependable organisations.  These daily gatherings or huddles give the company frontline staff and its leadership a way of keeping up their safety awareness.

Keep your briefings short and to the point. Their purpose is to share issues that have recently occurred and usually within the last 24 hours. They are to highlight and anticipate potential issues.  It’s the chance to discuss previously mentioned issues including the steps that are being taken to resolve them.

Briefings are used in many industries and are used to address the 5 key principles of high reliability  (Weick & Sutcliffe*)

  • The opportunity to share unexpected events (preoccupation with failure).

  • Providing multiple perspectives & levels of experience in addressing issues (reluctance to simplify.)

  • Continual awareness of the stress levels within the organisation (sensitivity to operations)

  • Quickly addressing the issues that are brought up (commitment to resilience)

  • Frontline staff frequently have a good sense of what needs to be done but don’t always have the resources to achieve the remedy (deference to expertise)

What are the benefits of Safety Briefings?

There are a number of benefits to having daily safety briefings or huddles. This includes both at organisational level and at departmental level. This allows the leadership in the company to show their commitment to safety.

At organisation level, these daily safety briefings are valuable in:

  • Identifying close calls (near misses)

  • Identifying vulnerabilities and hazardous conditions.

  • Improving customer and employee safety.

  • Creating vigilant teams

  • Improving teamwork.

  • Alerting team members to issues, such as equipment failures.

  • Making others aware of possible issues e.g. slips/trips/falls.

^These briefings must be carried out with consistency. Departmental briefings can be a great way to channel important information up and down the chain of command.

Use these daily briefings to get to know your organisation. Improve your safety culture by creating greater awareness. Promote real-time identification and reporting of safety issues and concerns by committing to running these briefings.

  • Determine who will be involved: A representative from both operational and administrative (whatever departments you have) areas should be present.

  • Establish a timeframe: Set a fixed time and stick with it. Start with Monday to Friday. If you are a daily operation work up to include the weekend. Safety doesn’t work business hours and neither do incidents.

  • Decide the leader: Adopt a routine that has your leaders running these briefings. Take turns with the senior people in each department e.g. Duty Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders.

  • Identify how people will take part: Do you congregate in a specific area, do you have your people “dial in” to a call? Maybe you do both. Make it easy to attend.

  • Define what will be shared: Develop a guideline to structure the briefing and modify as you need to make it more efficient. This will give order for reporting. The person leading the briefing can bring and keep the focus on what needs to be addressed. This is not a platform for other company issues.

    • Review the previous day

      • Consider safety issues, injuries, near misses, slips/trips/falls, etc.

    • Look forward in the day

      • Examine anything that could have potential issues – new procedures, downtime of systems, equipment issues, start-up or ongoing works, etc.

      • Ongoing concerns – equipment in maintenance, weather issues, staffing levels

      • Discuss previously reported issues – give a progress update.

    • Follow Up: When the leadership within the organisation fails to follow up on issues that have been raised trust will be lost and the briefings will become ineffective. So, assign a person who will take responsibility for following up on an issue and report to the briefing leader or manager on its progress. By being able to report on these follow-ups in the briefings, it will demonstrate that there is a commitment to safety within the organisation.

    • COMMIT: Daily briefings won’t bring instant success. Persistence and consistency will play a crucial part in this. Understand that your people need time to adjust and may find it overwhelming.  Above all, be patient.


It WILL pay off.

5 FREE Safety Briefings

Get 30% off all online training courses for the month of November 2021 – CODE: Nov2021

*Resource: Weick KE, Sutcliffe KM. Managing the Unexpected, 2nd Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007

^The Joint Commission

Cyber Security

The essential function of any organisation is underpinned and protected by effective cybersecurity. Whatever the size of the organisation or the sector in which it operates, it’s vital that all staff regardless of seniority understand how they may be susceptible to a cyberattack or data breach and the steps they can take to ensure everyone stays safe online. While the primary responsibility for technically securing IT systems and associated technology lies with your organisation, you as an individual have a crucial role to play. This short video will explain why cyber-attacks happen. A great deal of this advice will also apply to IT systems and devices in your home.

Cyberattacks can be carried out by a whole range of individuals and groups.  They will target you as an individual as a way of getting into your organisation’s IT networks or systems

Cyber threat actors is a term used to describe any individual or group that creates incidents that could have a negative impact on any aspect of an organisation’s security. They could for instance want to steal sensitive data to sell it or block access to your IT systems and demand ransoms to let you back in.  Cyberattacks can also be funded directed or sponsored by foreign governments who want to access extremely sensitive or valuable information to give themselves a political or strategic advantage.  This information could be about your organisation or its people or could relate to third parties such as customers or suppliers.

Hackers are individuals with a wide variety of motivations they may want to test their skills or cause disruption for the sake of it or, for financial gain. For the most part, political activists are motivated by political or ideological reasons. They may for example want to access sensitive information to discredit or expose you or your organisation in some way. This type of cyber-attack is more likely if your organisation operates in an industry that experiences political activism or contains groups that adopt an aggressive approach to your country.

Terrorist organisations conduct cyber-attacks because they want to cause harm and destruction while spreading propaganda or for financial gain to fund their activities.  Cyber-attacks can also come from inside your organisation.  Disgruntled staff with access to data or IT networks can for example steal information to sell to competitors.  And finally, you should be aware of another area that can generate problems, but in these cases, there is absolutely no malicious intent. This group is negligent employees.  Data breaches or situations that lead to cyberattacks can be caused by employee negligence where for example someone stores information on a non-approved, insecure system or email confidential or personal data to the wrong people. We all have a part to play in being careful and managing the data we create and process on a day-to-day basis.

The National Cyber Security Centre of Ireland (NCSC) engages in a comprehensive set of tasks around cyber security, with a primary focus on securing Government networks and securing Critical National Infrastructure. It encompasses the State’s National/Governmental Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE).

To learn more about cybersecurity please click the link below for a free trial.

Free Trial

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 

Ergonomics can be done with a simple checklist.

What do you think ergonomics are?

Sitting properly, supportive chairs? If one or both of these were your answers, you’d be right but it doesn’t end there. You may even have learned about how to place your arms, position your monitor, and ensuring your feet are flat on the floor. This is all very important too, but that doesn’t mean it ends there. Simply downloading a checklist from the internet doesn’t mean you’re going to solve all your problems. You may even end up creating more harm and recommending/buying unnecessary ergonomic equipment because of a downloaded checklist. Simply jumping into ergonomic assessments can be detrimental to not only yourself but to your employees or colleagues.

There is a misconception that we can all easily search the internet when recommending equipment. But, do you know what you’re really looking for? Maybe you do know the reason why someone is experiencing discomfort but have you done the research to know what solutions are out there. Does the person who’s experiencing the discomfort know the reason why? Creating awareness on the set up of a person’s workstation is just as important, actually, I will go as far as saying educating people on ergonomics awareness should be number one on any checklist. It isn’t just about telling someone how to sit properly on the chair.

It’s important for all employees to learn and see the value of ergonomics. The benefits of practicing good ergonomics include reduction in upper limb disorders, fatigue, and eye strain. But to do that, both employers and employees need to take their responsibilities seriously and work together for the benefit of everyone. Checklists are great, they can help us remember what we need to do but, when you combine the checklist with training, following good technique, and developing good habits it will help even more.

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.