5 Major Benefits of Onsite Training

5 Benefits of onsite training

Onsite training offers the perfect balance between flexibility and cost-effectiveness for training your team.

In this post, I delve into the 5 major reasons why onsite training can work for your business.

Read on to find out more.

Benefits of Onsite Training

1 – Flexibility

The biggest benefit of onsite training.

You get a choice of dates and times to suit you including Saturdays and evenings.

And, with Livius, you can split your course over a couple of sessions, so you don’t have to lose staff for a day.

Picking onsite training means you get the training you need at time convenient for you.

Group fire safety training

2 – Adaptable courses

With onsite training, you train in the environment your team work in on a day-to-day basis.

Therefore, each course is adapted to your environment; your team; everyday tasks being conducted and common problems faced by employees and managers.

The result?

A well-trained workforce who have the knowledge to work safely in their environment

3 – Safer working practices

Following on from the previous point…

Receiving practical, simple to follow advice which is relevant to your situation makes employees safer at work

So, you’ll see a boost in productivity and a reduction in days off through illness and injury.

A win-win for you and your team.

Manual Handling Training HSE
The Health and Safety Executive have been urging businesses to purchase tailored courses which take into account your workplace’s risks and hazards. Read more here.

4 – Open Health and Safety Discussions

As a manager, it can be hard to spot every single hazard in a working environment.

So, talking to your team is greatly advised.

But, without training, they maybe unsure about the risks they currently face.

Group training gives both employees and managers the chance to think and reflect on issues faced in their everyday working environment.

Which they can discuss with the trainer and take any advice given back into their day-to-day activities.

In the end: Open streams of communication will lead to safer working environments.

5 – Cost-effective team training

Cost-effective training

All these benefits must come at a cost. At least, more so than sending staff on open courses?

Not necessarily.

In fact, it can work out cheaper for larger groups.

Over a certain number, you’ll start seeing the savings.

And, for smaller teams? Well, the added flexibility might be worth the slight increase in price.

Conclusion

When looking to train your team, it is important to consider onsite training as an option.

In this post, we have discussed the 5 major benefits of onsite training, from greater flexibility to cost-savings.

So, next time you need your team training, you’ll have a greater understanding of onsite training and whether it can work for your business.

For a personalised quote, fill in our form on our onsite training page. Alternatively, pick up the phone and call us on 0143 396780.

Yorkshire’s Ambulance Response Times: How Long Will You Be Waiting?

Ambulance

The time it takes for an ambulance to reach you can mean life or death.

Based on data from the Ambulance Trusts (Jan–Oct 2018) we have compiled a list of urgent ambulance response times based on the postcode districts of Yorkshire.

How does your postcode measure up to the national average of 7m 41s?

Take a look…

Yorkshire’s Ambulance Response Times

Before we get going, let’s discuss what the data actually means.

Firstly, each response time is measured as the time taken for a trained person to reach a casualty on an urgent callout.

And, secondly, an urgent call out is classified as any of these cases below:

  • Cardiac Arrests
  • Stab Wounds
  • Major Blood Loss
  • Seizures
  • Casualties who can’t breathe or are having difficulty breathing
  • Women in the end stages of labour

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the all-important data.

BD Postcodes

Fastest – BD8 – 5m 29s

Slowest – BD24 – 10m 35s

Average – 7m 51s

BD Postcode Response times

DL Postcodes

Fastest – DL3 – 5m 7s

Slowest – DL11 (Low sample numbers) – 22m 41s

Average – 8m 57s

DL Postcode Response times

DN Postcodes

Fastest  – DN2 – 5m 30s

Slowest – DN19 – 16m 47s

Average – 10m 0s

DN Postcode Response times

HU Postcodes

Fastest – HU1 – 5m 29s

Slowest – HU19 – 14m 16s

Average – 8m 19s

HU Postcode Response times

HG Postcodes

Fastest – HG2 – 5m 24s

Slowest – HG4 – 11m 58s

Average – 8m 15s

HG Postcode Response times

HX Postcodes

Fastest – HX1 – 5m 52s

Slowest – HX7 – 10m 41s

Average – 7m 55s

HX Postcode Response times

HD Postcodes

Fastest – HD1 – 6m 0s

Slowest – HD8 – 12m 21s

Average – 8m 20s

HD Postcode Response times

LS Postcodes

Fastest – LS2 – 4m 47s

Slowest – LS29 – 11m 42s

Average – 7m 44s

LS Postcode Response times

S Postcodes

Fastest – S3 – 6m 21s

Slowest – S17 – 11m 23s

Average – 8m 23s

S Postcode Response times

WF Postcodes

Fastest – WF1 – 5m 34s

Slowest – WF11 – 8m 52s

Average – 8m 7s

WF Postcode Response times

YO Postcodes

Fastest – YO31 – 4m 23s

Slowest – YO61 – 15m 6s

Average – 9m 42s

YO Postcode Response times

Yorkshire Ambuance Response Time Analysis

So, how does Yorkshire compare to the national average?

England’s average ambulance response time was 7m 41s according to the BBC.

Whereas, Yorkshire’s average clocks in at 8m 35s, therefore meaning Yorkshire’s average ambulance response time exceeds the national average.

Within Yorkshire, the DL11 postcode district, which covers rural areas such as Reeth and Muker, experienced the longest average wait of 22m 14s.

However the sample of fewer than 50 callouts can be deemed as too small to draw reliable conclusions.

The DL11 Postcode Region

Conversely, the YO31 postcode region achieved the shortest response time of just 4m 23s.

Covering York city centre and York hospital provide a clue as to why the response time was so short.

YO31 Postcode Region
The YO31 Postcode Region.

What do these results mean to businesses and schools?

Consider the average response times for your area when deciding on the first aid provisions you require.

The longer the wait, the more beneficial it will be to have greater numbers of first aiders.

Why?

It is said that if CPR is administered immediately after a patient has suffered a cardiac arrest there is a 2/3 chance of survival.  On the other hand, every minute that CPR isn’t being administered a casualty’s survival rate diminishes by 6-10%.

For this reason, there is a need for sufficient first aiders in the workplace.

However, activities such as CPR are very intense and hard to sustain for a prolonged period.

And, slower response times mean that CPR will need to be administered for longer.

So, if assistance is available, first aiders can alternate every couple of minutes to ensure CPR is carried out continuously until the emergency services arrive.

We can provide you with HSE and Ofsted compliant first aid training in the following courses:

The data in this article is taken from this BBC article. They have in turn received the data from the Ambulance Trusts.

5 Invaluable Resources for Improving Workplace Mental Health

Workplace mental health is a subject that has never been more important.

Because conditions such as stress, depression, and even those, such as schizophrenia, can result from issues with our work.

Yet, due to the stigma surrounding mental illness, many people feel like they cannot open up to their colleagues or employers.

Which has led to, according to the Go Home Healthy campaign, around 595,000 sufferers of depression, stress, and anxiety in the workplace.

Luckily, employers can play their part in improving this statistic! 

But, you may not know what to do or where to start.

Thankfully, there are some great resources out there.

And, in this blog, we will take a look at 5 invaluable resources owners and managers can use to help take action in your workplace.

But, first up, let’s look at why action is necessary…

Mental Health at Work Statistics

  • It is estimated that by offering better mental health support, the businesses of the UK can save up to £8 billion. (Mental Health at Work)

Hopefully, you can see by these statistics the importance of taking mental health seriously at work.

5 Invaluable Mental Health Resources for Any Business

1) mentalhealthatwork.org.uk

Mental Health at Work

Launched in 2018 by the Duke of Edinburgh, this site is a collaboration between Mind, Heads Together and The Royal Foundation.

It’s aim? To act as a gateway to information, resources and toolkits all designed to help businesses improve mental health in the workplace.

Boasting over 150 different mental health resources makes it a must when you’re looking for guidance.

Don’t miss the toolkit section where resources are grouped together around a central theme.

These are especially useful when you have identified an area of mental health you’d like to target. This could be promoting a positive safety culture or tackling workplace stress.

Link – https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/

2) Time to Change – Take the Employer Pledge

Time to Change - Employers pledge

Fancy committing to improve mental health within the workplace?

Take the employer pledge with Time to Change.

Over 900 employers have committed to the pledge already including names such as:

(Click their name to get taken to their pledge)

When you sign up to the pledge, you’ll first submit your action plan for getting employees talking about mental health.

Time to Change can provide support during the creation of this plan to ensure that your plan works for you.

If you are looking for a great place to start your journey, take the pledge.

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/employer-pledge

3) Mental Health Toolkit for Employers

Mental Health Toolkit for Employers

This toolkit was born from a collaboration between Business in the Community and Public Health England.

Both organisations wanted to create something that offers practical guidance based on the research and evidence surrounding mental health.

Jam-packed with useful information, this 68-page toolkit can be used by owners and managers alike.

In addition, several case studies provide a glimpse into the types of actions other companies have taken to tackle mental health issues.

An excellent resource for those who need actionable advice.

https://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/sites/default/files/mental_health_toolkit_for_employers_-_small.pdf

4) Talking Toolkit – Go Home Healthy

Starting a conversation about mental health can be tricky. Even more so if you don’t know what to talk about.

Fortunately, the Go Home Healthy campaign has produced their talking toolkit in a bid to reduce workplace stress.

Follow along with the exercises to start talking with employees about the leading causes of workplace stress:

  1. Demands of the job
  2. Control over the work
  3. Support whilst at work
  4. Working relationships
  5. Role and Relationships
  6. Change

These difficult conversations allow employees the chance to open up about their roles and whether any aspect is causing them unnecessary stress.

Use the answers to spot any regular issues and address the core problem behind them.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/assets/docs/stress-talking-toolkit.pdf

5) Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Line managers and supervisors are a key group of your staff that need to champion mental health because they deal with your workforce on a day-to-day basis.

But, if they don’t know how to manage mental health issues, then it can be hard to build a good workplace culture.

In steps this gem of a resource.

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace combines theory with practical exercises to get you thinking about the prevention, protection, and intervention measures your business can put in place.

Adequate training for your managers can pay dividends when trying to improve mental health in the workplace. And, this offers a great first step.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/managing-mental-health-workplace

And, finally, lets take a look at some of the important dates for 2019 surrounding Mental Health and see how you can get involved.

Mental Health Dates 2019

  • Children’s Mental Health Week4th – 10th February 2019: This year Children’s Mental Health Week is looking to improve both mental health and physical health because a healthy body helps to create a healthy mind.
  • Time to Talk DayThursday 7th February: Time to talk day sets out to get people engaged in conversation around mental health in order to help end the stigma.
  • Mental Health Awareness Week13th – 19th May: This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is aiming to tackle the subject of body image and mental health.
  • World Suicide Prevention DayTuesday 10th September: This day throws suicide into the spotlight and aims to bring a greater understanding of suicide and how it can be prevented.
  • World Mental Health DayThursday 10th October: An annual day which aims to raise greater awareness about mental illness
  • National Stress Awareness DayWednesday 6th November: This day helps to raise awareness for stress and the effects it poses to mental and physical health.

Conclusion

There is no doubting that the workplace has to part of the responsibility for keeping their staff happy and healthy.

Slowly, but surely, we are realising this.

Employers and employees are waking up to the fact that good mental wellbeing at work is extremely valuable.

Now is your chance to act for the greater benefit of your working environment.

Which resource will you use? Which is your favourite? Is your business taking mental health seriously?

Leave your answers in the comments below.

Food Contamination: A Guide for Food Businesses

The repercussions of food contamination can be deadly.

Therefore, it is important that your business takes the appropriate measures to prevent contamination.

Knowing the right measures to put in place starts with understanding how contamination occurs.

Do your staff know the answers to the following questions? Do you?

  • What are the 3 types of food contamination?
  • How can you prevent food becoming contaminated?
  • What do the 4C’s of food safety stand for?

In this post, we’ll examine the different types of contamination, the consequences of food contamination and tips for preventing food contamination because understanding is the first step in prevention.

So, let’s start with the obvious question…

Why Care About Food Contamination?

Not only is it a legal requirement that food businesses ensure all food is safe for consumption, but a single case of food poisoning can cause serious problems for your business.

Consequences range from a drop-in reputation to fines and imprisonment.

Therefore, staying on top of food hygiene within your business becomes crucial retaining customers and building your brand.

But, wait, what exactly are your legal requirements?

Food Safety Responsibilities

Every food business has certain food safety responsibilities which have been outlined by the Food Standards Agency.

You must:

  • Ensure that food is safe to eat and the quality of food is as described
  • Not produce any misleading labelling, advertising or marketing
  • Record where food has been supplied from
  • Withdraw any unsafe foodstuffs and complete the necessary incident reports
  • Provide adequate food safety training for all staff
  • Follow a HACCP plan

So, let’s delve deeper into what can make food unsafe to eat.

Sources of Contamination

Sources can be separated into 3 broad categories: chemical, physical and biological contamination.

Chemical Contamination

Chemical contamination occurs when foodstuff contain harmful chemical substances.

Some of the most common examples are;

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Pesticides
  • Sedatives
  • Corticosteroids
  • PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls)
  • Acrylamide
  • Heavy metals
  • Cleaning Products

Over the years certain regulations have been put in place restricting levels legally allowed to be found in food.

You might be thinking “How can my business reduce this form of contamination?”

Buying from a responsible supplier with the current UK approvals is often your best bet when purchasing meat and washing all vegetables prior to use.

Understandably, chemical contaminants are the hardest form of contamination to control.

Acrylamide

Acrylamide has become a hot topic in the food safety world because of research suggesting it causes cancer.

Cooking starchy foods, such as potato and grains, at 120oC or above leads to the formation of acrylamide as certain sugars and amino acids react.

Note: Coffee and baby foods can also be affected.

However, the jury is still out on the negative health benefits seen through the consumption of this chemical; many questions about its carcinogenic nature are yet to be answered.

Nevertheless, in the UK, current legislation forces food businesses to consider acrylamide in the preparation of food.

But, fret no more, here are a couple of simple precautions you can take:

  • Aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when cooking starchy foods.
  • Don’t keep your potatoes in the fridge (otherwise they undergo a process called cold sweetening leading to increased levels of acrylamide upon cooking).

Physical Contamination

Physical contamination occurs when a foreign object enters the food stuff.

The most common examples are:

  • Hair
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Pests
  • Jewellery
  • Dirt
  • Plasters

Now, let’s see if how you can avoid physical and chemical contamination…

Avoiding Physical and Chemical Contamination

Physical and chemical contamination can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Food should be covered, where practicable, to prevent cleaning products and foreign objects from falling into the food.
  • Adequately controlling pests including insects and rodents.
  • Remove and dispose of any packaging as soon as it has been removed.
  • Repair or replace any broken equipment promptly. Teach employees to report any breakages to your responsible person who deals with faulty equipment.
  • Store cleaning products away from food.
  • Do not routinely use poisonous bait inside preparation areas.
  • Select utensils which are resistant to acid and salts.
  • Decant canned food, once opened, into food-grade containers before storing it in the fridge.
  • Dilute all cleaning chemicals to the correct level.
  • Ensure all ceiling structures, pipes and equipment are rust free and non-flaking.
  • Do not allow food handlers to wear jewellery.
  • Chewing gum and sweets should not be eaten/chewed whilst working with food.
  • Maintenance operatives and visitors should be briefed on your food hygiene practices.

And, so, the third and final type of contamination is…

Biological Contamination

Biological contamination occurs as a result of harmful living organisms growing on consumable food.

These microbes may be harmful in themselves or they may deposit harmful toxins on food.

Dangerous microorganisms can be found in:

  • Sneezing
  • Saliva
  • Pest droppings
  • Blood
  • Faecal matter.

And, are passed onto food through a process known as cross-contamination. This can either be directly or indirectly.

Direct Cross-Contamination: A contaminant comes into direct contact with food i.e. a piece of raw chicken touches a piece of cooked, ready-to-eat chicken.

Indirect Cross-Contamination: A contaminant is passed onto another piece of food via a vehicle i.e. a food handler touches a piece of raw chicken and then fails to wash his/her hands before touching cooked/ready-to-eat food.

But, the most interesting thing is…

This most common type of contamination found in the UK.

And, harmful microbes are the cause of food poisoning.

So, let’s look at the most common type of bacteria.

Food Poisoning

Under the right conditions, harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly and then continue to multiply after being consumed.

Amongst the numerous reported cases of food poisoning seen in the UK a year, the most common bacteria causing food poisoning include:

Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria

A group of bacteria found in the gut of animals. Salmonella bacteria are present in raw meat, undercooked poultry, unpasteurised milk and some eggs.

Listeria, Listeria monocytogenes

Often found on ready-to-eat foods such as cooked meats, soft cheeses, sandwiches, smoked meat and fish, pate and cooked shellfish. Don’t use these foods past their use by date and ensure that they are kept under the correct conditions. Sufferers offten present mild symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

camplyobacter bacteria

Campylobacter

This is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, with 4 out of 5 cases resulting from raw poultry.

Clostridium

Clostridium Botulinium Bacteria

A bacteria found in soil. The most well-known strain causes Botulism which is a very severe condition and can be fatal. Clostridium can found in many things including honey, improperly canned goods and pots of garlic.

E. Coli

E. Coli Baceria

Found in the intestines of humans and animals. Despite, most strains being harmless, some strains pose severe health risks, such as strain 0157. Outbreaks have resulted from raw and undercooked meat, unwashed salads and dirty water.

As with most diseases, those at greater risk are young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who have a weakened immune system.

However, the best part is….

These can all be prevented by following the 4C’s.

The 4 C’s of Food Safety

A food business can stay food safe and prevent biological contamination by following the 4 C’s.

These are:

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Chilling
  • Cross-contamination

Cleaning

Cleaning kills bacteria so that they cannot spread.

Your cleaning practices should include:

  • Washing hands before, during and after food preparation as well as after going to the toilet.
  • Worktops, utensils, chopping boards, knives, and all other work equipment should be cleaned regularly.
  • Rinsing unwashed salad, fruit and vegetables in drinkable, cold water.

You should follow a 2-step process:

  1. Wash with hot soapy water
  2. Rinse with clean water

A cleaning schedule can really help you stay on top of things, check out the FSA’s example.

Cooking

Cooking kills bacteria on food when done properly.

But, because bacteria grow within a temperature range of 5oC to 60oC, dubbed the “danger zone”, the core temperature of food being cooked needs exceed 60oC for specific time frames.

Otherwise, food may still contain traces of harmful bacteria which can multiply further.

Current guidelines state that the core temperature must reach;

  • 60oC for 45 mins
  • 65oC for 10 mins
  • 70oC for 2 mins
  • 75oC for 30 secs, or,
  • 80oC for 6 secs

Monitoring this through a temperature probe and recording the temperatures daily is a good practice and should be included in your HACCP Plan.

Want more info on high risk foods?

Visit our blog on high and low risk foods.

Chilling

Chilling, either by refrigeration or freezing, slows down and even stops the multiplication of bacteria.

However, inadequate temperature control of high-risk foods (such as cooked meat) is one of the leading causes of food poisoning.

Therefore, it is an important aspect of food safety to get right.

Things to ensure:

  • Refrigerators should operate within the 1oC-4oC range
  • Commercial freezers should operate below -23oC
  • Cooked food should be refrigerated as soon as possible (usually with 1-2 hours) if not being used. Do not place boiling hot food straight in the fridge as this can cause it to raise in temperature above 4oC.
  • Defrosting food should be done in the fridge or microwave.
  • Your fridge should have clearly labelled sections with raw meat and seafood on the bottom shelves and ready-to-eat food on top shelves.
  • Cover all food within the fridge (where applicable) to prevent anything falling into the food.
  • Do not overfill the fridge and ensure there is adequate air circulation.
  • Rotate your stock each time you have an order arrive. Oldest to the front, newest to the back.
  • Check all best before and use by dates daily so that anything that has expired can be thrown away.
  • Monitor and record the fridge and freezer temperatures twice a day.

Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination refers to the transfer of microorganisms from contaminated surfaces to uncontaminated surface.

Avoiding cross-contamination is crucial to keeping food safe for human consumption, here are 6 ways to prevent cross-contamination:

  • Always keep raw and cooked food separate.
  • Never wash raw meat (this helps to spread dangerous bacteria).
  • Cover raw meat and seafood and store on the bottom shelves of your fridge.
  • Wash utensils, chopping boards, plates, etc thoroughly between handling raw and cooked foods or use different sets altogether which is the preferred option.
  • After every use, anything that has come into contact with food should be cleaned with the correct cleaning products.
  • Hands need to be correctly washed before, during and after handling any food and after going to the toilet.

So, hopefully you have got to grips with food contamination and know how you can prevent it in your business.

But, if you are ever a victim of food poisoning or accidentally serve up unsafe food, you’ll need to know how to report an incident…

How to Report Food Contamination

Consumers can report a problem directly to the Food Standards Agency.

You can report an incident of food poisoning, incorrect food labelling, poor hygiene practices or serious food crimes.

Additionally, businesses and employees can report issues including times where they have sold or produced food that is unsafe or any serious food crimes they have witnessed.

Conclusion

Handling food contamination is one of the many aspects of food safety that needs to be controlled.

Without the correct preventative measures in place, your business can leave itself open to legal action, a drop in reputation and lower hygiene ratings.

Remember 4 C’s: cooking; cleaning; chilling and cross-contamination and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

Most of the methods talked about here are easy and simple to implement.

Not only are these considered industry best practices but they are your responsibilities as a food business.

So, which method are you going to implement first? Let us know in the comments!!

Below, I have compiled a list of resources you can use to read up on all things food safety.

Excellent Resources

The Food Standards Agency

Food Standard Agency’s YouTube Channel

Safer food, better business – Guides on food safety for caterers, retailers, care homes and childminders.

North Yorkshire County Council’s Food Safety Page – Information for food businesses operating in the North Yorkshire area.

Acrylamide Toolbox

The Advice section of our website

First Aid FAQs

Creating a staff training plan for small to medium sized businesses

An effective staff training plan is a great way to maximise your return on investment from workplace training.

Yet, setting one up can be daunting.