From virtual meetings to Zoom interviews, the rise in remote working has forced businesses to fully embrace technology. As we enter the next stage of recovery and more employees return to work, our reliance on tech will take another leap forward.
Following the pandemic, many organisations are reviewing their policies on flexible and remote working. A recent BBC News article revealed that ‘almost all of 50 of the UK’s biggest employers…do not plan to bring staff back to the office full-time’. The vast majority will instead allow individuals to work from home for two to three days per week. As colleague expectations change, even smaller businesses should prepare for a new wave of WFH requests.
Whether you’re planning a hybrid or onsite set-up, technology can significantly smooth the transition to post-pandemic working. The right software will streamline H&S processes, risk reduction efforts and employee training and support, so you can confidently safeguard staff, wherever they’re based.
Here’s our quick guide to online compliance management after COVID-19.
Risk assessments and safety checks
To plan a safe return for your workers, you need to understand the dangers they face. Step one is to review your existing COVID-19 risk assessment, update control measures as needed and – crucially – document every action.
With the HSE running regular spot checks, it’s never been more vital to have robust compliance records, procedures and reporting in place. Taking a digital approach to H&S management means every risk assessment, audit and safety check is automatically catalogued and date stamped, delivering a ready-made due diligence trail.
Meanwhile, online COVID-19 checklists clearly demonstrate compliance and correct controls, even within specialist areas such as homeworkers, pregnant workers and display screen equipment (DSE). Similarly, you can effortlessly track routine assessments in general and sector-specific H&S segments, including fire safety, DSEAR, COSHH, food hygiene and workplace noise.
Staff training and support
After a year of shutdowns and disruption, you may have fallen behind on staff training. Depending on your team structure, your learning priorities may have changed too. COVID-19 safety information is still critical for all colleagues, but if you’re moving to a hybrid format, you’ll need to consider the unique requirements of onsite and remote workers.
Key subjects might include DSE, HSE-approved home workstations and health and safety fundamentals, tailored for each audience. Mental health awareness for managers should also top your topic list, to help leaders confidently identify and act on the early signs of mental ill-health.
H&S management software like Southalls’ Safety Cloud transforms the entire training process. Modules are available online and accessible at any time, letting employees work at their own pace to meet e-learning objectives. If a deadline is missed, the system sends an auto-alert to bring timings back on track. You also get a digital record of every assessment, result and milestone, so you can pinpoint knowledge gaps and future training needs.
Every employer has a legal duty to protect the health and safety of their workers. For some returning staff (especially those at higher risk of serious COVID-19 complications), this means ensuring they’re fit to carry out their roles. Health surveillance questionnaires track ongoing work-related health conditions and often flag the need for extra controls, training or treatment.
By moving the health surveillance process online, questionnaires can be administered, logged and recorded remotely, keeping workers safe and your business compliant under HSE record-keeping rules.
Non-COVID-19 health and safety
For more than a year, COVID-19 has been the main safety focus across every industry – often at the expense of other compliance requirements. Consequently, there’s been a sharp rise in on-the-job accidents and injuries.
Alongside mandatory coronavirus safety measures, businesses must tackle other occupational risks, from Legionella and asbestos to manual handling and working at height. Intelligent H&S software can schedule a rolling programme of specialist risk assessments and employee training, delivering timely auto-reminders to make sure vital targets are never missed.
See for yourself with a free Safety Cloud demo
Safety Cloud – Southalls’ bespoke H&S management software – ensures all your workers stay connected and compliant. Created by industry experts and trusted by 150,000 users worldwide, Safety Cloud automates day-to-day safety tasks and simplifies longer-term essentials like reporting, planning and accident prevention.
It’s fully scalable, cloud-based and available 24/7 on any device, so you always have an accurate view of company-wide compliance performance.
Fancy seeing the benefits in action? Schedule a free demo session with a Southalls consultant in your sector.