How Your Organisation Can Capitalise On Downtime

IOSH By Matthew Coombes

Businesses across the world have had to overcome and adapt to remain operational throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the UK, a lot of businesses have had access to the furlough scheme to ensure that workers still receive some form of income while they are unable to work, and many organisations have used the pandemic as an opportunity to provide their employees with extra training in the meantime. Some businesses have been able to adapt well to a more ‘remote-office’ structure of operating and have been able to keep their organisation operating well with employees working from home.
As the UK begins to re-open its offices and workspaces, many businesses are gradually reintroducing staff to ensure that risks are low, and that staff can start to get back to work, So, how can staff who are still furloughed make the most of any downtime?

Offer training:

Online health and safety training is a great tool for any employee to utilise, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. At ACT we offer a variety of e-learning courses that are appropriate for a range of roles within an organisation. As an employer, you have a duty to protect your workers from any risks they might face, whether they are working remotely, from home, or in the office. As such, now could be a great time to provide refresher courses for essential training such as Display Screen Equipment (DSE), Manual Handling and Fire Awareness, or to develop new skills centred around health and safety with online courses such as the IOSH Working Safely, IOSH Managing Safely®, and NEBOSH certificate courses.
All of our online health and safety training courses can be set up with a manager’s account for multiple license purchases, allowing the manager to monitor the progress of everyone on their team. With a manager’s account, you can see how much progress each person has made in the course, when they last logged in, and which units they have accessed and completed.

Why provide a refresher for essential courses?:

A good example of an essential course that could be a useful refresher for remote or home workers is Display Screen Equipment.
A lot of employees working from home will be using equipment with screens, such as home computers, smartphones and tablets. These devices come with their own set of risks and it’s the employer’s responsibility to manage them effectively. Although as an employer you are not required to carry out a risk assessment for a temporary home DSE workstation, the HSE have a basic assessment that employees can utilise to ensure that they are not increasing their risk of health problems associated with using DSE.

What does the IOSH Working Safely have to offer?:

The IOSH Working Safely offers an introduction to health and safety that applies to people working at any level, and in any sector. It also meets the government’s guidelines for introductory health and safety training, so it’s perfect for anyone wanting to take those first steps into health and safety management. This course focuses on the importance of health and safety in the workplace and highlights how changes in behaviour can make a difference in the well-being of everyone in the workplace. The course is fully online and is therefore perfect for those with access to a home office set up.

What can staff gain from an IOSH Managing Safely®:

The IOSH Managing Safely® is an internationally recognised health and safety qualification. It has been developed to properly reflect the requirements of the modern workplace, and provide essential knowledge of health and safety for leaders, managers and supervisors. The qualification takes around 22 hours of study to complete, so it is ideal to be completed from a home office. The assessment includes an online multiple-choice knowledge assessment, and a practical workplace risk assessment that is to be completed in your workplace, or a place of work that has provided you permission to do your assessment there. For more information about this course, have a look at our web page, give us a call on 01384 447915 or email us on

Improve the workplace:

It can be difficult when running an office space, or shared workstation to create time in the schedule where you can deal with issues or upgrades that may be beneficial to the working environment. A good example of this is ceiling lights – if you’re in an older building, you may have halogen light bulbs or fluorescent lamp tube lighting overhead. When compared to LED lights, they are often less energy efficient, they can flicker and have problems starting (especially when cold), and more often than not give off a darker and more orange hue of light. Poor lighting and flickering lights can lead to eye strain and headaches in workers when exposed over time.
It can be hard to find time in a working week to allow a contractor or qualified professional the access that they might require to get to the ceiling lights, especially when they are above permanent workstations. While members of staff are working from home, working remotely, or on adjusted hours, you have a great opportunity to get a qualified professional into the workplace to provide some small but necessary updates to the working environment that could make a big change.


If you have members of staff returning to the workplace then you should already have completed a Coronavirus Risk Assessment to ensure that you are doing everything that you can in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and in order to ensure your staff that they are returning to a safe working environment.

Related Articles

Page Loading

We now accept Klarna as a payment method. You will see this as an available option at checkout when completing the purchase. Dismiss