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Health and Safety E Learning

Nov 28, 2007
In this day and age of compensation claims for even the most minor strains and accidents it pays all employers to comply with Health and Safety regulations to cover themselves as well as their employees. The Health and Safety Executive regulations have, for a number of years now, made it a legal requirement for all employers to assess and reduce the risk to staff in the workplace.

Some employers, pressed for time as well as money, find this a problem. Whole work days are sometimes lost, venues need to be booked and paid for and transport provided. All this comes at the expense of the employer but surely cannot be as costly as the amount of sick days taken in the name of work related health problems.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive for 2003/04 show that 448,000 British workers were reported to have suffered from work related musculo-skeletal disorders (the umbrella term for Repetitive Strain Injury). This was a staggering increase of 52,000 from the previous year.

Direct and indirect costs to society amounted to a phenomenal 5.7 pounds billion in the year 2004/5. The Health and Safety Executive attributes this to the 450,000 cases of workers absent through back complaints and 375,000 through back and upper limb disorders. Amazingly, they even report seven year old children to be suffering RSI complaints so schools also need to implement the regulations.

Repetitive Strain Injury is a common occurrence in offices where staff spend the majority of their day sat in front of a VDU, or DSE. Display Screen Equipment is a broader term for VDU and covers all the equipment at a desk including keyboard and mouse, which have been the cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome when used incorrectly.

DSE Risk Assessment and Training are Health and Safety requirements and are quite simple to practice. There are recommended guidelines for the angle of a VDU, the positioning of a keyboard, mouse, desk and chair. All should be set up for the individual employee to ensure comfortable working positions.

Employers are liable for the cost of sight tests for VDU operators when requested but there is no evidence that, when used properly, a VDU screen would cause any health problems. Only when there is unnecessary glare, bad posture or a wrongly positioned unit does a problem occur. There is certainly no evidence to suggest there is any worsening of eyesight from use of a VDU.

So, employees do not want to be injured at work and employers do not want to spend man hours and hard earned profits on Health and Safety Training. However, there is a solution. It is now possible to train all employers and their staff in all Health and Safety aspects without ever having to leave their badly positioned, overly bright VDU or their wonky chair.

It is now possible to meet all the legal requirements of Health and Safety Training on line. It is called Health and Safety e-learning. Risk assessments are set out for employers and employees can set their own agenda for DSE training thus reducing impact on work schedules. Training can be completed over time at a pace that suits the individual and training certificates can be printed out at the conclusion.

This solution is cost effective, requiring minimal resources and a Learning Development Advisor is assigned to the company involved to keep track of the training. It is also recommended that results be saved to a database to establish an audit trail and prove your company's compliance with Health and Safety Regulations.
About the Author
Health and Safety expert Shaun Parker looks into the new health and safety on line training. To find out more please visit http://www.complywise.co.uk/
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