How to Comply with Hands-On Training Requirements during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The world is still battling with COVID-19 pandemic that has affected almost every sector of the economy. There are a lot of questions being asked regarding recordable cases of COVID-19 and how to comply with hands-on safety training requirements in the workplace. The pandemic has greatly affected hands-on training in most workplaces, making it hard for safety officers and employers to administer safety training without having to risk breaking the rules and guidelines set for battling the deadly virus and compromising the safety of their workforce. This article addresses these concerns and provides solutions to the questions. Please read on to learn more.
When is COVID-19 Recordable?
Employers are expected to be keen when it comes to recording COVID-19 cases in their workplace. Not every case brought forward should be considered recordable. COVID-19 workplace reported cases can be considered a recordable illness if an employee gets infected while attending to their work-related duties. The safety officers and employers can only record the cases if all of the following factors are found to be true:
- The cases are confirmed cases of COVID-19 as per the information from the tests done by relevant health bodies.
- The cases reported are work-related.
- The cases involve at least one of the general recording criteria as advised by the relevant health bodies.
How to Comply with Hands-On Training Requirements
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires that workers are properly trained on using different pieces of equipment and how to safely conduct different processes. However, most employers haven’t been able to schedule and conduct hands-on safety training to their workforce during the pandemic. Due to physical distancing guidelines meant to stop further transmission of the virus, it might be quite challenging to provide hands-on training without risking employees getting infected and infecting others in the process. But almost every business has now resumed operations after a long break, and safety is still the number one factor to consider before anything else.
The question is, is it possible to administer training amidst this pandemic? Simple answer is, yes. But you need to adhere to all the physical distancing guidelines in the process. You can install post and chain barriers in the training areas to encourage your workforce to keep a safe distance between one another. Consider if it will be possible to demonstrate before the workers as they take notes and ask questions. Ensure to also encourage your workers to observe proper hygiene before, during, and after the training. Water, soap, and sanitizers should be available in plenty and in strategic places across the workplace.
You should first thoroughly explore all other options for compliance with the guidelines, including the option of using remote communication strategies or virtual training. Consider the possibilities of interim alternative protections in place such as administrative and engineering controls meant to protect workers.
If the hands-on training can be rescheduled for a future date without compromising on the safety program and requirements, you may choose to provide refresher programs such as monthly newsletters on safety and regular safety messages.