Site-based health and safety training is not always delivered regularly, and individuals and companies may not keep detailed records of what training has been received. An online service, hasTalk targets these problems.
In November 2011, I wrote about UK-based Darley PCM and its health and safety and e-tendering services. While the DarleyDoc branding appears to have been superceded, Darley PCM still helps UK construction industry professionals produce tailored health and safety documentation for projects and activities, matching project management requirements with the consultation and communication required by law (method statements, risk and COSHH assessments, for example). CEO Emma Jeffery tells me her business recently launched a new service (hasTalk) delivering online health and safety talks. Jeffery says:
“Health and safety talks always seemed to be an issue that was picked up during site visits. Either they were not being done at all, or not very frequently, or records were not being kept. So I am hoping that this service can help to address that problem. The service can be used by individuals, but also by teams and businesses to take care of talk delivery, assessment, results and records.”
Subscribers can sign up to view daily talks (for individuals, the fee is £20/year; for organisations managing teams of five or more, the rate is £10/user/year). These can be tailored to particular individual or project needs, and a wide number of talks – over 100, typically five minutes each – are delivered as text onscreen, with a post-talk questionnaire used to help assess whether users have understood key messages. (I did wonder about the effectiveness of an approach based mainly on reading content and then answering written questions about it).
Successful completion of each assessment contributes to the compilation of a training log showing what users have seen and learnt, and – for employers – can provide evidence of health and safety training provision and levels of attainment. Individual users can view a “report card” summarising talks completed, passed and failed, and including a grade, talk streak and list of completed talks for the year.
The hasTalk website also includes a simple calculator indicating the potential cost and time savings (never mind the H&S improvements) that could be achieved by delivering health and safety talks in this way. Even based on minimum wages, the figures suggest an annual saving of over £200, with over 40 hours saved.
How will hasTalk work?
I put three questions to Emma Jeffery and these are her responses:
How will site-based users access the service?
It is early days since launching so this is from limited statistics, but currently around 50% of our users are accessing the site from mobile and tablets. I think users, particularly in the construction sector, will typically access the service from phones and tablets, and the team account managers will typically access reports and results from computer / laptop.
Will they be prompted to access it regularly?
We have only been launched for a couple of weeks and currently notifications are via email. We tend to email out new talks as they are added as a gentle reminder. But, yes, prompting / reminders is something we want to add, particularly push notifications for mobile. Getting users into a regular habit of taking the talks is important.
What about workers with literacy issues or for whom English is not their first language?
“We want the talks to be as easy as possible to complete, and considered other ways of delivering the information, but we decided against audio and video because if talks are accessed in a noisy environment it would be difficult to hear the information, and in a quiet environment if you don’t have headphones it could be very intrusive. We want users to be able to just pick up their phone or tablet and take a talk, if they are on site, in the office, commuting, or in a public place. In the future I would want to look at having the content available in other languages and perhaps other formats of delivery also.”