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December 20, 2005

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Lions and tigers and. . .training packages

Forgettable training courses were fed to the lions at the launch of Working safely at London Zoo on 9 November.

More than 140 training professionals who work with companies and organisations all over the UK attended the launch.

Ringing the changes

Working safely has been a successful IOSH training course for more than 12 years, offering delegates a thorough grounding in the basics of health and safety training. In 2004, the IOSH marketing team within commercial affairs conducted market research among training providers to find out their views on the current versions of Working safely and Managing safely, the best selling IOSH programmes. The findings helped to shape the re-development of both packages, and Working safely was the first to undergo a transformation.

“The market research was a critical part of the re-design process.” Caroline Holden, IOSH director of commercial affairs said. “We wanted to involve training providers from the outset to make sure we reflected their opinions in the new course. The research data gave us the confidence to take such a radical approach with the re-design of Working safely, and to develop a more sophisticated and engaging course.”

The development team for the project included technical health and safety experts, a National Training Awards winner and other training professionals, graphic designers and animators, product development experts and editors. The green light was given to the new course after an extensive pilot scheme with training providers who had been involved in the research.

Keeping it simple

“Nothing has been taken away from the core content, but we have added topics such as the environment, violence and aggression and stress. The new course is based on training best practice — it’s about delegates and what they really need to know, so the learning is much more interactive, interesting and fun,” said Tracey Wright, marketing manager.

“Demystifying health and safety is definitely the right step forward, so we’ve removed the technical and legal jargon from the presentation and delegate workbook and developed a course that is refreshing and delegate-friendly,” Tracey commented.

The complete package

The course comprises five separate modules:

* introducing working safely;

* defining hazard and risk;

* identifying common hazards;

* improving safety performance;

* protecting our environment.

Sessions cover all the key areas including work traffic, fire, chemicals, electricity, physical and verbal abuse, bullying, stress, noise, slips, trips and falls and manual handling. Originally designed animated graphics engage delegates in the learning process and encourage debate about how to identify and manage hazards effectively.

The course meets the government’s guidelines for introductory health and safety training and is 100 per cent compliant with the requirements of the HSE ‘passport’ syllabus. Delegates who successfully complete the written and practical assessments can choose between a certificate or a credit card-sized ‘passport’ card.

Right on course across the UK

Support for the revamped training course came from all areas. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister for health and safety, congratulated IOSH in a letter to the then IOSH president Lawrence Waterman, saying: “The development of IOSH’s new Working safely course provides a vital step change in health and safety training. . .The interactive learning contained within the package will create a lasting impression on those people who attend the course and will be a key contributor to the objectives contained within the HSE’s 10 year strategy.” Lawrence Waterman called such an endorsement “extraordinary in the history of IOSH product launches.”

Hugh Robertson, speaking on behalf of the TUC, praised the course saying: “This package emphasises the importance of ownership of health and safety at all levels.”

The trainer’s perspective was given by Tony Cheesman from West Anglia Training Association, who was involved in the market research that led to the re-design. “IOSH is moving the quality standard forward,” he said, “let this be the first of many new courses.”

>When animals attack

Although no zoo residents interrupted the proceedings, one cuddly tiger was released at the event, as the raffle prize, paying homage to the ‘tiger in the cage’ of the old Working safely course.

A highlight of the speaker line-up was Chris Moon MBE, a former soldier who survived kidnap by Khmer Rouge guerrillas and lost an arm and a leg while working for a charity that clears landmines. He delivered an extraordinary speech reflecting on the importance of “healthy mental habits” and how organisations need to “create safe environments, get everybody to hit the ground running and take the lead” with health and safety.

“The positive reaction received today shows that by inspiring our training partners we can really make a difference to delegates.” Rob Strange added, “This really is a totally fresh take on health and safety training, and I think it shows exactly how we should continue to develop our courses in future. This course will be a significant contributor to IOSH’s strategy and vision.”

Click www.iosh.co.uk/enjoylearning to try out Working safely for yourself or call the training team on 0116 257 3152 to talk through your training needs.

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