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August 13, 2020

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return to work

The evolvement of online training to improve businesses’ workplace health and wellbeing

One major question for organisations dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic was how do you maintain safe, healthy, effective operations and develop your people without face-to-face training sessions?

laptopA collaboration between Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, Fujitsu UK and IOSH, has been delivering new learning experiences online to help firms sustain business continuity through the coronavirus crisis and recover. They’re now building on their experiences to deliver knowledge that equips managers and supervisors to lead safe returns to work and provide healthy workplaces.

Make UK was already digitising its course content before the outbreak of COVID-19. When the pandemic spread, it began to fast-track the process with clients and course-content providers such as IOSH, the world’s chartered body for health and safety professionals.

Innovations such as virtual classrooms, a new learner management system (LMS) and updated, relevant COVID-19 advice were all introduced and interested firms were directed to courses which would upskill their managers to sustain or restart businesses safely after the coronavirus pandemic.

By providing virtual classrooms instead of a physical one, all Make UK tutors are now delivering course content whilst preserving the safety and health of individuals worldwide. By allowing for content to be transferred to a new specialised LMS, training can continue to be delivered in the current environment with a high level of quality control with mentoring, online tutoring, assessment and feedback.

Commenting on the new approach and the implications of COVID-19 for safety and wellbeing, Andrew Ward, of Make UK, said: “As companies seek to return to work, safe working and wellbeing for employees is right at the very top of the agenda. There is little doubt that, with social distancing likely to continue for some time and the ability of people to travel around likely to be less attractive in the near term, we are going to see new and changed different patterns of working and learning. Our new virtual model is one that provides companies with an ideal and safe way forward.”

Richard Orton, Director of Strategy and Business Development for IOSH, added: “As the voice of the safety and health profession worldwide, IOSH shares its knowledge of safety, health and wellbeing with millions of working people worldwide. The world-leading training courses we develop teach leaders, managers and workers to understand and manage risk.

“We’re pleased to see a major training provider like Make UK invest expertise and innovation in delivering IOSH courses online so more businesses can benefit from the insights and skills they need right now to protect people, ensure business continuity and rebuild safer and stronger as the COVID-19 threat subsides and we restart economic activities.

“It is also powerful and encouraging for us to see companies like Fujitsu investing in training senior managers on managing occupational health and wellbeing. This is more vital than ever.”

As part of its new approach, Make UK teamed up with its client, global IT equipment and services company Fujitsu, to provide senior managers at the company with a one-day virtual IOSH Managing Occupational Health and Wellbeing course. Its subject matter is vital in showing managers how to protect and improve health and wellbeing at work.

Simon Head, Head of International Occupational Health and Safety at Fujitsu, highlighted the success of this innovative approach delivered online, saying:

“As part of leading Fujitsu’s international occupational health and safety COVID-19 response, it was essential that we provided a practical occupational health and safety development solution, one that was more impactful than standard e-learning options and delivered virtually throughout our regions.

“Our partnership with Make UK allowed an excellent opportunity to pitch the development at the right competence level, delivered by a professional team and delivered virtually in line with Fujitsu’s digital transformation strategies. The course instantly removed all of the logistics burdens for attendees, offering obvious business benefits and there was only positive feedback from all of the attendees. We are now challenging Make UK for all of our future development solutions to be delivered virtually going forward.”

Ensuring a safe return to face-to-face events

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we speak to an events venue, London’s ExCeL, and an events business, Informa Markets, to discover how they have worked alongside industry associations and government to secure a swift and safe return to face-to-face events, in a post-pandemic world.

Click here to listen to this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast.

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