How training and orientation are crucial to keeping new workers safe

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Imagine you’re starting a new job.

You have to meet your co-workers, learn the ins and outs of the company, and begin performing your duties.

Meanwhile, you have to stay safe. This can be a challenge for new workers: Employees in their first month on the job have more than 3 times the risk for a lost-time injury than workers who have been at their job for more than a year, according to research from the Toronto-based Institute for Work & Health.

Possible reasons for this? Peter Smith, IWH scientist, points out that new workers may be performing unfamiliar tasks – some of them hazardous. In addition, the workers may be unsure about their safety rights and responsibilities, and might feel uncomfortable speaking up about a hazard.

“We can only speculate on the ‘why,’” said Curtis Breslin, another IWH scientist who has collaborated with Smith on research about new worker safety. “One thing studies have shown is that there’s a lack of familiarity. That’s a common theme that could be contributing to new workers’ increased risk. The other possibility is that new workers might be encountering more hazards. Or their risk perception – they don’t have the knowledge and awareness, so they’re underestimating the risks. It could be issues with training, maybe they’re not being trained [or receiving] on-the-job, hard-knocks-type training that happens in the first or second month.”

IWH research has found that few new workers receive safety training – 1 out of 5 among a sample of Canadian workers, according to a 2007 study.

“The fact almost 80 percent of workers who were in their first year of employment could not remember receiving any workplace safety or orientation training is worrying for a few reasons,” Smith said. “This likely results in these workers being without important knowledge that could prevent them, or one of their co-workers, [from] getting injured.”

However, according to IWH, as novice workers gain job experience, their risk declines.

Looking at the numbers

In 2013, nearly one-third of the nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses that involved time away from work were suffered by workers with less than one year of service, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly one-quarter of these cases resulted in 31 or more days away from work, said Ken Kolosh, statistics manager at the National Safety Council.

Certain subgroups of new workers are at heightened injury risk. In the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, 45.4 percent of the injuries and illnesses in 2013 occurred among workers with less than one year of experience. In the construction and extraction industry, it was 34.9 percent.

“That makes sense because a lot of those industries are cyclical; they’re seasonally employed,” Kolosh said. “Almost by definition, many of those workers are always going to be new employees. The construction industry has a lot of seasonal employment. It has a lot of contractor-type workers, so a larger proportion of that population by definition is going to have less than three months of service.”

Construction workers frequently change jobsites as well, which can present problems.

“Every day, you have to be aware of what’s going on. You have to have good communication,” said Scott Schneider, director of occupational safety and health at the Washington-based Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America. “It’s less an issue on unionized sites, where people have a substantial amount of safety training in apprenticeship programs. They also, as apprentices, get mentored along the way. It’s still an issue in the sense you’re going to a different jobsite, and you may not be familiar with that jobsite.”

IWH research published in 2012 concluded that risk was higher among new workers who were older, men and workers in the “goods sector,” including construction and manufacturing. This may be because these jobs have more physical demands, and older workers might be more physically susceptible to injury, Breslin said.

Incident Management and its Importance

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The purpose of incident management is to reinstate normal service operations as fast as possible and mitigate the negative impact on business operations, thus making sure that the agreed levels of service quality are maintained. The operational state where CIs and services are performing within their agreed service parameters and operational levels is called ‘Normal service operation’.

There are two main aims of the incident management process:

– To restore services back to normal operation as fast as possible
– To mitigate the adverse effect of critical incidences on business operations.

ITIL Incident Management

According to ITIL terminology, an ‘incident’ is described as an unplanned interruption.

Incident management, as the name suggests, is the process that is used to manage the lifecycle of all incidents. Incidents can be identified by technical staff, reported and detected by event monitoring tools, be conveyed by communications from users (usually through a telephone call to the service desk), or reported by third-party suppliers and partners.

 

Objectives

The main objectives of the incident management process are as follows:

– Make sure that standardized procedures and methods are used for prompt and efficient response, documentation, analysis, reporting of incidents, and ongoing management.
– Improve the communication and visibility of incidents
– Improve the business perception of IT with the help of a professional approach, so that incidents will be resolved and reported quickly
– Line up incident management activities and prioritize them accordingly
– Enhance and maintain user satisfaction without losing the quality of IT services

Scope

Incident management includes any event which disrupts, or something which is capable of causing a disruption to the service. This includes events which are communicated directly by users – through an interface from event management to incident management tools – or through the service desk.

Value of incident management

– Ability to mitigate the risk of unplanned costs and labor for both  business and IT support staff
– Ability to detect and resolve incidents, which in turn results in lower downtime to the business, which means increased availability of the service
– Ability to line up IT activity to real-time business priorities
– Ability to identify the potential areas of improvement

 

Policies

– Incidents and their status must be reported in a timely manner.
– Incidents resolution should be within the timeframes acceptable to business.
– Maintaining Customer satisfaction is very important.
– Incident handling and processing should be in line with overall service levels and objectives
– All incidents should be managed and stored in a single management system
– All incidents should subscribe to a standard classification schema which is consistent across the business enterprise
– All incident records should be audited in regular intervals to ensure that entries are categorized correctly

Principles and Basic concepts

There are some basic things that need to be taken care of when considering incident management.

Timescales

Timescales should be agreed upon for all incident handling stages, based upon the overall incident response and the resolution targets within SLAs

Incident models

Many incidents are not new; there are some incidents which happen recurrently. For this reason, many organizations find it very helpful to predefine ‘standard’ incident models, so that they can be referred to when needed and applied to incidents as they occur.

Online Learning Management Systems – Which LMS format works best?

Beakon’s online learning management system (aka e-Learning system) is a simple and effective way to deliver online learning. We are often asked if our e-Learning platform is SCORM compliant; the answer is yes, but it’s easy to overlook the alternatives to SCORM formatted courses.

What Is SCORM?

The US Department of Defence developed an online learning management system in the 1990s. Not wanting to do things by half-measures, they created an advanced content management system to deliver engaging and interactive content for learning.

SCORM courses may include interactive quizzes, videos, images and slide shows; using interactive and multi-media learning makes it easier to understand and remember learning outcomes. Many e-Learning platforms are configured to deploy SCORM courses; linked to its flexibility, this often makes SCORM the format of choice for online learning management systems.

SCORM has seen several updates, SCORM 1.2 being the current version.

To SCORM or not to SCORM?

SCORM is very good for building engaging courses, but it does have some downsides that should be considered:

1) SCORM courses can be very large, making it more difficult to download over a slow internet connection.

2) SCORM doesn’t always display correctly on tablets or smartphones.

3) SCORM courses are time consuming and complex to build.

4) They’re equally time consuming to modify or change.

At Beakon, we understand how good SCORM courses can be, but appreciate that it can be quite time and cost intensive to build. For this reason, we’ve built a simple online course builder inside Beakon using a simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)  system.

Beakon’s course builder can deploy videos, pdf files, images, and text quickly and simply in a lightweight format.

Many Beakon clients use a mix of SCORM courses and simple courses built inside Beakon to give flexibility and agility in building and managing courses for effective online learning.

Things to consider

When deciding on an online learning format, consider who will use the course, how often it will be changed or modified, and how much money and time you can invest in creating the course.

If you want simple and lightweight, WYSIWYG is probably best, and for more complex and engaging courses, SCORM is still the best option.

We’re great believers in giving our users diverse tools to build and deploy learning – no two organisations have exactly the same requirements, and our experience is that you know your audience better than anybody else.

Find out more

To see how a WYSIWYG content-builder works (or if you’ve any questions about which online learning management system format will best suit your requirements, contact us today!

Why Worry When Health and Safety Training Keeps Your Site Safe

Proper Health and Safety Training Keeps the Work Site Safe Ensuring Peace of Mind

Most business owners and employers worry about their work place safety and the effectiveness of their existing methods of health and safety training. Other concerns include employees’ exposure to risks due to inadequate or obsolete health and safety training programs. If you are worried about these issues, the good news is that there is an effective solution to all of them. Health and safety training eliminates worry and provides peace of mind for both employers and employees.

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