Training Delivery during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic & Furlough

Training Delivery during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic & Furlough
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Safety and Competency Remain Critical

The team here at Electrical Safety UK have been working closely with our clients following the easing of lockdown restrictions to begin delivering training solutions again. And successfully too may we add.

Understandably, even though we are seeing society starting to discover a “New Normal” there are still concerns surrounding maintaining good social distancing and hygiene methods. Companies have had to consider what is essential in restricting the spread of the infection by restricting movement and interaction between employees, restricting unessential subcontractors and visitors accessing premises and especially what is essential on spending at this difficult time.

But not forgetting, whilst COVID and all the difficulties it brings is currently ruling our lives at this time, it will pass and we still have a duty of care to our employees to ensure their safety in the meantime.

Health and safety laws continue to be enforced, avoidable accidents continue to happen, and Competency must still be maintained. The importance of ensuring Competency throughout the pandemic is evermore essential. The pressure to cut corners or simply forget about Safety, our limitations of our roles, or simply due to employees being on furlough with required skills to complete tasks may mean that persons are completing tasks without the necessary qualifications could result in a catastrophic incident resulting in company issues far outweighing any affect of the pandemic. Brand Damage, business interruption, and worse than any put together…. Loss of Life.

 

How can we facilitate training?

Training can be delivered in multiple ways:

  • Conference Calls and Microsoft Teams are being used to reduce the requirement for face to face training sessions and are helping our clients to receive essential training solutions through video conferencing and online training portal solutions.
  • We have arranged our training facility at ESUK head office including minimising numbers attending, extending social distancing measures and where practical training takes place ensuring each delegate has access to their own equipment so no cross-contamination takes place.
  • We have also sent our training to client’s premises, ensuring that our trainers adhere to the client’s safe working practices during COVID 19. 
  • Facilitating Competency Assessments and audits via online solutions, including carrying out Competency Health Checks and providing an online facility for clients to carry out their own Electrical Safety Self-Assessment to check compliance throughout this difficult time.

 

How can I ensure we are safe through the Delivery of a Training Course?

A new COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Safe Delivery of Training Policy has been developed and implemented which includes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) through the delivery of our training. The policy applies to:

  • All of our employees who physically work in our office or represent us on client sites.
  • All visitors to ESUK Head Office
  • All delegates attending Training hosted by ESUK whether on client’s site or ESUK Head Office.

At ES UK head office a maximum of 5 delegates is allowed in Training Room 1 plus the trainer to ensure social distancing guidelines can be met. Desks are spaced in order to exceed the 2 metre distancing guidelines. Kitchen facilities have clear marked routes and restrictions on use and Toilet facilities have clear guidelines for sanitisation and use to ensure the minimisation of the risk of the spread of infection. 

ESUK headquarters training room
6-person-max-capacity-during-COVID-19
ES UK training room
markers on floor for safe social distancing

We also include in our policy a section explaining the provision of practical training including the procedures required to avoid cross-contamination of Hand Tools, Test Instruments, Test appliances and work surfaces. Provided to each candidate is the relevant equipment required to protect and sanitise including face masks, gloves and antibacterial sanitising equipment.

 

Further guidelines for delegates attending training include;

On the training day:

  • Upon arrival to the building delegates are asked to ring the doorbell and then wait outside until called into the building by an ESUK member of staff.
  • Once entry is confirmed into the building the delegates will be asked questions including;
    • Have you in the last 7 days displayed Signs or Symptoms of COVID-19?
    • Have you been in contact with anybody displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    • Have you been abroad in the last 14 days?
  • All delegates must agree to temperature checked by a thermal imaging camera or a non-contact laser thermometer
  • Delegates will be asked to sign in for safety purposes and issued with a complimentary pen that we ask you take away with you.
  • Desks are placed at distances suitable to avoid contamination, our building has been deep cleaned prior to all training sessions taking place.


During the Training Day

  • Delegates are encouraged to wash their hands when entering the building and regularly throughout the day – using the hand sanitiser provided.
  • The wearing of masks is not mandatory, but if individuals feel more comfortable wearing one, they may do so
  • Delegates must inform a member of staff immediately if they become unwell or have any symptoms during the day no matter how insignificant
  • We are all asked to practice good hygiene and minimise risk. We ask that once a delegate has used toilet facilities, they use the sanitation products provided to wipe down surfaces for the next delegate.
  • Ensure maintaining 2 metre distance throughout the training day.
  • Tea & coffee facilities available, only one delegate is allowed in the kitchen at one time. They should avoid making drinks for other persons.
  • Please bring your own lunch as this will not be provided on the day.


What if we want the training carried out at our premises?

This is not a problem and easily carried out. We ask as part of our standard ESUK Risk Assessment and Method Statement that clients provide us with their Safe Working COVID procedures. Where these may not exist where possible, and with agreement from the client, our COVID 19 Safe Delivery of Training Policy will take precedent on the day.


But my employees are currently furloughed. Can they take part in Training?

Rishi Shunak’s Furlough scheme introduced during lockdown was introduced as a method to ensure that job retention and employment was maintained throughout the pandemic and enabling struggling businesses to keep their heads above water. Millions have taken advantage of the scheme and many have been able to return to the workplace in the short term, however many of our clients are still utilising the scheme. 

Whilst the prospect of personally being furloughed or having to furlough employees has been something of a reluctance, it has been necessary for business survival. But one area of furlough concerned for all is ensuring that employees remain connected to the company, engaged and ensuring they feel part of the company still.

When speaking with our clients it has come to our attention that many are not aware that within Government Guidelines for Furlough, whilst employees are not able to work for the employer, they are able to take part in training. In fact, the Government states;

“Furloughed employees can engage in training during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.”

Further information can be found on the government website here: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

By engaging furloughed employees in training, you may just be giving them the confidence that furlough is only for a short while and that you have plans for the future development of their roles within the company. It keeps them engaged, connected and ready for the time to return to work.


How can we talk about our training needs?

For individuals and companies wishing to book onto our courses you can find the information in the Training section of our website. Alternatively why not drop us a line on 01709 961666 and get in touch directly with a training engineer. Using our experience of the Electrical, Mechanical and Health and Safety Industries and legislative requirements we are able to develop training courses specific to your needs and requirements. All courses can be tailored to your needs even if a little out of the ordinary.

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