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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Employers must keep people working from home safe

Mike Robinson

British Safety Council offers free training courses to help people stay safe and look after their mental well-being

AS millions of workers in Britain set themselves up to work from home in a bid to counter the threat of coronavirus, most will be adjusting to a whole new way of working and preparing to miss the social contact of their workplace.

To help support people in this change to their working habits, the British Safety Council is offering two online courses for home workers that are available for free until the middle of April: Remote Workers’ Health Safety and Welfare; and Mental Health: Start the Conversation. Both are aimed at all employees.

There is also a course on Managing Stress Within Your Team – helpful to managers looking after teams working from different locations at a time of major national crisis. Employers are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees, including those who are working away from the office.

Speaking from his home office this morning, Mike Robinson, chief executive of the British Safety Council, said: ‘Across Britain people are making big changes to their work routine and millions of people are working from home for the first time. This will mean quite an adjustment for lots of people. Working away from the office has implications for workers and managers.

‘Even in normal times it’s important for peoples’ well-being to make sure they are connected to their colleagues and their work if they are not coming into the workplace – at a time of serious anxiety in the life of our country, keeping an eye on your well-being and your colleagues’ well-being will be really important.’

‘It is our founding mission at the British Safety Council to ensure that nobody is injured or made ill through their work – and that includes people working from home in a national crisis. I hope by offering out our expertise for free with some accessible online courses people will see some real value.’

The British Safety Council is turning its attention to new courses and resources for workers that can be accessed online. This will include guidance on risk management, disaster recovery and lone working. The British Safety Council website includes information for employers and employees on coronavirus and links to the free courses.

Mr Robinson continued: ‘At times like these, every organization needs to put aside commercial imperatives and focus on pulling together to do the right thing. We’ve made plans to protect our staff and customers and those are in place as I speak. Now we are focusing our energies on how we can support our members and any other employers by sharing our expertise at no cost.’

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