Category Archives: Training

Havio’s guide to homeworking during COVID-19 and beyond

Once seen as an occasional perk, working from home is now part of the new normal. With the latest government guidance saying people should work at home if they can, it seems the situation will continue well into 2021, putting increased responsibility on employers to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of remote workers.

Whether employees are fully remote or splitting their time between office and home, employers must do what is reasonably practicable to safeguard them. They have a duty to control risks in the workplace wherever that workplace may be, and to protect workers from anything that may cause harm.

It is particularly important to recognise that home workers are lone workers and should be treated as such, particularly when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. There are always greater risks for lone workers with no direct supervision or anyone to help if things go wrong. Employers must always ensure regular contact with lone workers, including those working from home, to make sure they are healthy and safe.

At Havio we’re regularly asked for advice on protecting employees’ safety and wellbeing when they’re working from home at this exceptional time. This guide is designed to answer some of the common questions we receive, specifically addressing the areas of workstation setup, insurance implications and mental health, with links to additional resources employers can use.

 

Workstation setup

Health and safety requirements around display screen equipment (DSE) and workstation setup depend on whether the homeworking situation is permanent or temporary. Where employees are working from home on a long-term basis, employers must explain how to carry out full workstation assessments, as well as providing workers with appropriate equipment and advice on control measures.

When employees work from home temporarily, which is common in the current climate, employers do not need to ask employees to complete formal home workstation assessments although an online assessment would be advised. However, during any period of temporary home working, employers need to regularly discuss these arrangements with their employees and provide advice on completing their own basic assessment at home. If DSE work is adversely affecting the health, safety and welfare of their employees, they should take appropriate steps.

Here are some simple steps everyone can take to reduce the risks from DSE work:

  • Break up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks of at least five minutes every hour, or with changes in activity
  • Avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
  • Get up and move regularly or do stretching exercises
  • Avoid eye fatigue by changing focus or consciously blinking

This useful PDF from The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors can be shared with employees to provide more information about setting up a workspace when working at home.

   

Home insurance implications

Many employees are understandably concerned about the impact working from home could have on their home insurance. Whether or not insurance cover is impacted by homeworking depends on the phase of the pandemic and the official government advice.

During the COVID-19 pandemic. As the crisis means there are currently an unprecedented number of people working from home who would not usually do so, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued a statement to confirm that in the majority of cases home insurance cover will not be affected. The ABI website states:

“If you are an office-based worker and need to work from home because of government advice or because you need to self-isolate, your home insurance cover will not be affected.”

The ABI goes on to explain there is no need for people to contact insurers to update or extend cover if they are working from home due to the latest government advice or the need to self-isolate. There is an assumption made in this statement that the work being carried out is clerical in nature. Limitations may apply if employees are receiving visitors to their home as part of doing business. Employers can find further advice regarding insurance when working from home during the coronavirus crisis on the ABI website.

After the COVID-19 pandemic. When the crisis phase of the pandemic is over, the government no longer recommends working from home, and employees have no need to self-isolate, the situation around home insurance will change. If employees are required to work from home on a long-term basis then homeworking will affect their home insurance. A standard home insurance policy won’t typically provide sufficient cover for people that work from home, particularly if they run their own business.

All home insurance policies offer varying levels of cover and have different exclusions so it is important for employees to check what is and isn’t covered with their insurers. It is also vital for employees to inform their insurers if they continue to work from home after the pandemic. Whether working from home full time, part time or even occasionally, it is essential to keep the insurer updated so they have an accurate picture of the employee’s circumstances . This allows insurers to let customers know whether they are or aren’t covered for the work they carry out from home, and ensure they have sufficient cover in place to protect equipment. Insurance may be invalidated if employees don’t notify their insurer they are working from home once the crisis phase of the coronavirus pandemic is over.

 

 Mental health and wellbeing

Coronavirus has plunged the world into uncertainty, and continuous news relating to the pandemic can feel relentless. Combined with the impact of social isolation, this is taking its toll on everyone’s mental health, particularly those already living with conditions like anxiety and OCD.

The BBC has published a useful article on protecting mental health during the pandemic, which employers can share with all their employees, not just those working from home. In addition Cigna Europe outlined the following eight tips to help people limit the impact of social isolation and loneliness on their health and wellbeing during this time:

  1. Avoid negative thoughts. Constantly thinking about the negatives associated with isolation can worsen emotional distress. Accepting the situation is the first step in controlling our emotions and minimising the chances of feeling lonely;
  2. Use technology to create emotional connections. Social relationships are essential for both our physical and mental health. Now it’s more important than ever to maintain regular contact with our social circle. This can be done via video calls, instant messaging or phone conversations. However, we must use these means in a healthy way  avoid placing COVID-19 at the centre of all conversations and try to talk about other things that will help distract us;
  3. Practice meditation techniques. Mindfulness or conscious breathing can become great allies to calm anxiety and reduce stress. Breathing and meditation exercises can even help delay the ageing of our brain, helping the immune system react more strongly in the production of antibodies;
  4. Maintain a certain level of physical activity. Physical exercise helps release endorphins in the brain, so if a certain level of activity is maintained during this period, the production levels of these hormones will remain high. Working in line with your Circadian Rhythms will help meaning exercising earlier in the day, if possible.
  5. Watch your diet – it’s essential to improve our mood. Since approximately 95% of serotonin  the hormone that works as a neurotransmitter and regulates sleep, appetite, and mood  is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, a balanced diet will be essential to cope with loneliness. In this way, eating more foods such as white meat, eggs, pulses, whole grains, nuts, seeds, bananas or dark chocolate, always within the limits of a balanced diet, will contribute to improving our mood;
  6. Communicate regularly with colleagues. Adjusting to working from home can impact people’s emotional well-being as the work environment is often a place for social interaction. For this reason, it’s important to continue maintaining regular communication with colleagues, either by phone, email or videoconference;
  7. Get some sun, if possible. Not easy within the coming Winter months but even weak sunlight can strengthen our immune system and improves our mood, as it stimulates the synthesis of vitamin D, a key substance for the central nervous system that helps control depressive symptoms.
  8. Establish a routine with regular sleep schedules. It’s important to set schedules and maintain routines, especially regarding hours of sleep, eating and physical exercise. The longer we are busy, the lesser room for loneliness.

 

If your employees are once again working from home following the latest government advice, or you just want to do everything possible to protect the health and wellbeing of your remote teams, check out our new e-learning training bundle, Health and Wellbeing Training for Remote Workers.

Combining two practical courses relating to remote working and DSE, the bundle is available throughout October at a one-time cost of £45 per person. Contact us to find out more or visit the Havio e-learning page.

eLearning – Havio courses

Havio recognises the importance of flexibility and a blended approach to health and safety training and development. For this reason, we’ve worked hard to make things easier for you, with our range of cost-effective online E-Learning solutions.

Our range of online training services provides practical, flexible and convenient ways of learning, designed to fit around you and your business needs. Our health and safety courses are designed to provide users with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe in the workplace. All of our courses are fully editable, intuitively designed, and regularly updated to ensure the highest standard of training.

Available Courses

Health and Safety Training

  • Asbestos Awareness
  • Business Communication
  • Code of Conduct
  • Communication Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Contractors Safety Procedures
  • CPR Essentials
  • Cyber Security
  • Drivewize Training
  • Ebola Virus and Disease
  • Electrical Safety
  • ErgoWize (DSE) Awareness
  • Evacuation Procedures
  • Fire Safety Essentials
  • Fire Wardens
  • Food Safety Essentials
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Hazardous Substances (COSHH)
  • Health and Safety Induction
  • Healthy Living Awareness
  • Homeworking Policy
  • Legionella
  • Lone Working Essentials
  • Managing Health and Safety
  • Managing Mental Health
  • Manual Handling Awareness
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Mindfulness
  • Modern Slavery
  • Money Laundering
  • Noise at Work
  • Pandemic Awareness
  • Pandemic Procedures
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Physical Activity
  • Prevent Duty
  • Resilience
  • Risk Assessment Awareness
  • Safeguarding
  • Security and Terror Alerts
  • Sexual Harassment (UK)
  • Sleep
  • Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Social Media Policy
  • Stress Awareness
  • Whistleblowing
  • Working at Height Awareness

HR Courses

  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness Policy
  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption
  • Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • Data Protection
  • Disciplinary Policy
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Grievance Policy
  • Internet User Policy
  • New and Expectant Mothers Policy
  • Stress Awareness

Assessments

  • DriveWize Assessment
  • ErgoWize (DSE) Assessment
  • Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment
  • Homeworker Safety Risk Assessment
  • Lone Worker Risk Assessment
  • New Mothers Risk Assessment

Why Choose Havio for your Online Training Requirements?

  • Candidates can carry out the training at work or at home, in their own time, and can leave a course and come back to it and pick up where they left off if they need to.
  • Provides a blended approach to learning.
  • E-Learning can be carried out on PCs, laptops and tablets.
  • E-Learning is available in 68 different languages, and we are able to offer this facility to our clients.
  • We offer clients the opportunity to live demo the training before making any commitment.
  • On successful completion of courses, users receive a unique E-certificate. Users are able to view, download and print their E-certificate at any time.
  • Excellent value for money with reduced rates available for high volume purchases.
  • Havio can administer all your E-Learning training requirements for an additional fee.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

What are musculoskeletal disorders?

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or pain in the human musculoskeletal system, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons and structures that support the neck, back and limbs. The most common and disabling musculoskeletal conditions are osteoarthritis, back and neck pain, fractures associated with bone fragility, injuries and systematic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the causes for musculoskeletal disorders?

How can businesses help their employees?

As an employer, you must protect your workers form risk of injury from hazardous manual handling in the workplace. Manual handling means transporting or supporting a load by hand of bodily force. It includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving loads. The law sets out how employers must deal with risks from manual handling. These include, avoiding hazardous manual handling, as far as is reasonably practicable, assessing the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided and reducing the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling to as low as reasonably practicable.

As an employer, you must also protect your workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE), such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time. The law applies if users are at a fixed workstation, mobile workers, home workers and hot-desking. Employers must carry out a DSE workstation assessment, reduce risks, provide an eye test if a worker asks for one and provide training and information for workers.

How can Havio help?

We are proud to offer something different when it comes to classroom based training. Our courses are made bespoke to each client with an emphasis on fun and engagement to ensure the most is made from the experience with our team of trainers. Our sessions are filled with useful practical exercises and real-life case studies to help focus on key areas needed and the ongoing application within the workplace. Whether the purpose of the training is to raise awareness or give employees the ability to carry out tasks, we can make the session informative by introducing practical and relevant application during our sessions.

Havio offer a range of classroom training including manual handling and DSE train the trainer. Our training lasts 4-8 hours depending on content which is bespoke to each client. The sessions can be delivered at your workplace or at a number of locations across London and the South.

Havio also offer a range of eLearning courses which include manual handling, DSE training and DSE assessments. These modules take on average, 30 minutes to complete. The modules are emailed to each candidate to complete in their own time offering a certificate at the end.

Back Care Awareness Week 2019 – Manual Handling Management

This week is Back Care Awareness Week and Havio would like to share some ideas on how to look after your back at work. This article focuses on Manual Handling Management.

Manual handling is defined by current regulations as the transport or support of a load by hand or bodily force. This includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying, manoeuvring or transporting. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) legislation was first introduced in 1992 and adopted into UK legislation and updated in 2002. Manual handling is one of the key health and safety concerns in the workplace as almost every organisation in any sector, have some form of manual handling activities being carried out.

So, what does good manual handling management look like? The regulations state that employers must:

  • Identify if your business activities include any manual handling tasks.
  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as reasonably practicable.
  • Assess the risk of injury from any manual handling task that cannot be avoided.
  • Reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, so far as reasonably practicable.

Some ideas below on reducing the risk of injury:

  • Plan the lift and carefully consider whether additional lifting aids are needed. A manual handling risk assessment may also be required at this stage.
  • Reduce the distance of the lift where possible.
  • Map out your route and remove any objects that may cause an obstruction.
  • Wear suitable clothing that doesn’t threaten or obstruct the lift.
  • Ensure you have good grip on the load, whether lifting, pushing or pulling.
  • Ensure the person handling the load has completed adequate training.

 

Havio offer Manual Handling classroom training and an eLearning module.

We believe that the classroom training is more engaging than the eLearning as the classroom-type setting will allow employees to work together, share ideas and learn from each other, as well as from their trainer. Another benefit to the classroom training is that your employees will learn in a practical environment. The classroom training is 4 hours and gives delegates a chance to understand more about the problems that can arise with manual handling, how these come about and how the body works. The course can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

The eLearning awareness module that we offer has a duration of approximately 30 minutes and is designed to reduce the risk of injury from carrying out manual handling tasks.

For further information on our training courses, please see our eLearning training brochure or our classroom training brochure. Alternatively, please contact us on 0333 577 0248.

Health and Safety Training for Directors and Leaders

Havio provide our clients with Health and Safety training for Directors and Leaders. This can be classroom training, which we recommend, or we offer an eLearning course titled ‘Health and Safety Awareness for Managers’. 

Training for Directors and Leaders is a critical starting point for those with strategic responsibility for determining and implementing effective Health and Safety management within organisations. Directors and Leaders are in a position to make and affect decisions, control budgets and influence cultures in the workplace. Having a sound understanding of Health and Safety management requirements will aid in decisions being made when it comes to Health and Safety.

This training is for anyone in a business who is a decision maker, an influencer, a leader or manager of people that involves risks to people’s health, safety and well being.

This training course is delivered by Rob Anderson, Co-founder and Director, who makes this course practical, informative and proportionate to your business.  The course can be tailored to meet specific needs of a business and the duration is approximately 4 hours. Please see the course contents below.

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Regulations
  • Civil and Criminal Law
  • Corporate Manslaughter
  • Health and Safety Duties and Responsibilities
  • Vicarious liability
  • Enforcement
  • Accident, incidents and near misses
  • Managing Contractors
  • Plan, Do, Check, Act
  • CDM

We recommend that our training is undertaken on an annual basis so that updates can be applied and learning experiences explored to enable attendees to remain focused on this critical area of business management.

Our Health and Safety Awareness for Managers eLearning course is designed to introduce managers to their safety obligations and responsibilities when supervising the employees who report to them. We can deliver the module directly to the delegates email inbox for them to complete.

Please contact us if you would like any further information on classroom based training or eLearning modules that we offer.