The Prevent-IT! range of Health & Safety solutions is recommended by members of the Prevent-IT! network of independent consultancies for the efficient reduction of clients’ risk exposure.
Network members are practitioners with cross-sector expertise. They are Inside Track’s partners in developing and distributing the Prevent-IT! range of Health & Safety applications.
Our approach makes the employee central to Health & Safety training and assessment data collection. Prevent-IT! modules prepare staff to take action responsibly and provide year-round support. They enable risk assessors to focus on problem solving, cutting response times.
Best practice is where Health & Safety common sense is thoroughly integrated into peoples’ lives. It’s the reason why we build support tools into our DSE HealthWorks and the reason why health at work should not ignore the broader context. Prevent-IT's in-company Wellness Workshops help staff to deal with physical and behavioural challenges to healthy living. They create a structured understanding of how things work for and against them, address participants' personal experience and set up support networks to reduce sickness absence, raise energy levels and improve motivation.
Inside Track Media Ltd
4 Wood View Road
Tel: +44 (0)151 428 4741
Registered in England and Wales No: 4334085
VAT: 855 9351 88
Adidas chooses Prevent-IT! Office Safety
Barry O'Connor (L) receives Adidas' copy of Prevent-IT! from Dave Fanning GI Fire E, MIIRSM, IOSH (Associate) of Mersey Fire and Safety.
Adidas (UK) Ltd Head Office - 2009 winners of British Safety Council Sword of Honour, with assistance from Prevent-IT!
In December 2004, Adidas (UK) Ltd won the BSC's five star award for health and safety achievement. Quite exceptionally, this formal recognition of the company's performance was achieved at the first attempt.
Prevent-IT! - CCF April 2007
....is a new health and safety package for contact centres produced by Inside Track Media. Neither computer-based training or health and safety are particularly sexy subjects, so it was difficult to see how this product was going to enthuse. However, Inside Track's attempt to generate pro-active attitudes from what they admit is quite dry subject matter is successful and really quite impressive.
The web-based software....provides a virtual reality call centre, as well as text-based content. This is a refreshing idea, and provides verbal and visual cues to crystallise safety concepts in the minds of employees - as well as making it that little bit more fun to use. The delivery of the content is not tightly structured, leaving staff to work through their own agenda. This may be a disadvantage if you'd like more control - but thorough tests....
....covers key areas within call centres, which are not usually catered for in a single health and safety programme. These areas, such as acoustic safety, voice health and hygiene signify that an employer is not only fulfilling their legal obligations, but is keen to make a statement to employees about their worth.
Whilst the crux of this system is the content itself, the administration side of the system is also up to scratch - with a paperless results system to ease workload. It's also easy to provide printouts of staff data, allowing easy compliance with employees' right of data access.
Cracking service and contact centres' fight for quality staff - The Marketing Leaders, January 2007
Customer and staff retention in contact centres are linked. The drive for efficiency is essential but it can also be self-defeating. The OECD's global framework of corporate governance principles aims to improve performance by combining the most efficient allocation of scarce resources with an ethical regard for their value and rights. It might just be the recipe for contact centres, too.
As marketing professionals, we are probably involved in the growth of direct sales and distribution. It's a trend that distances customers from their suppliers, and it is clear that success can be vanishingly short unless we close the gap with effective customer service.
As consumers, subscribers and council tax payers, few of us are without some personal experience of service through contact centres.
Is it a happy experience? Not enough to stick in the mind, according to Callmedia's survey in 2006. Just one in 25 of us claims to have had a good experience with any contact centre at all. And it does not appear that the experience of contact centres' potential employees is any different. In fact, guidance for the BTEC Introduction to Contact Centres course assumes that staff have negative experiences of contact centres as customers, as well as positive ones.
Last year, the writers of a cross-sector report for The Institute of Customer Service found high customer satisfaction reflected in high employee satisfaction. The reverse was also true - high employee satisfaction motivates them to give good service and produces high customer satisfaction. If this is contact centres' aim, what's the level of achievement?
Worrying. Aston Business School's 2004 study found 84% of UK contact centres using management principles "more akin to manufacturing assembly lines than service operations designed to create positive interactions with customers." Loosely translated, it means that contact centres aren't treating properly one group of vital stakeholders, with the effect that another group of vital stakeholders isn't being treated properly either. It's no surprise that ORC International's Perspectives survey found that contact centre staff are the occupational group that least like the work they do.
Also, a significantly smaller proportion than in the working population as a whole believe they are making good use of their skills and abilities. And this from people who are recruited on the basis of their determination, empathy and intelligence to explore new opportunities, understand issues, listen to points of view and sustain and exploit customer loyalty. Applying such qualities in the context of budgeted wrap-up times and a variety of performance targets puts some pressure on every individual's moral and physical strength. Contact centre staff want to give great service. But they see barriers.
In 2006, a Sanderson & Neale attitudinal survey found 72% of employees of Welsh Contact Centre Forum members having no commitment to their employer and nearly half of these expecting to leave. Other studies covering the UK as a whole showed 23 - 30% of contact centre staff remaining with their employer for one year or a shorter time, compared with a UK average of 18%. Contact centre employers stand to benefit less from the experience of their staff.
Staff attrition has a negative impact on brand reputation, day to day. Where a centre is working near capacity, the loss of even one operator seriously affects waiting times. It isn't a theoretical issue - unauthorised staff absence is at 5.8%, according to ContactBabel, and is understood as being much higher than that in some large centres.
Of course, not everyone leaves for negative reasons. But with its adverse impact on customer service and with recruitment costs which can be £5000 per person, staff attrition represents a significant business risk to be kept in check. Recruitment provides no easy answer. For more than half of contact centres, recruiting staff of the right calibre is a problem.
Is the right response operational or strategic? If the prime cause is strategic, then the operational efficiency of current staff can't make up the deficit, other than in the very short term. Dealing with the cause means having to achieve conditions which make it possible to maximise efficiency - a larger, stable and motivated resource pool.
The Northwest Contact Centres Project applied Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to structure an approach to maximising the impact of health, safety, welfare and other conditions of employment. Given that the most basic of motivations demand the most immediate response, it is easy to see the positive impact of getting employees' first year right - staff churn reduced by a minimum of one in five leavers.
Getting the Basics Right
At the most basic level, faced with a constant need to perform, staff have to feel physically comfortable and free of unreasonable stress.
It is a legal requirement, defined in health and safety law and in the good practice guidelines for work in contact centres. These require staff to be given an understanding of the issues and knowledge of what they ought to be doing to help themselves. In conjunction with a feedback loop for reporting problems, this understanding enables staff to share responsibility for compliance in the working environment with management. That, on its own, gives them a stake in the success of their organisation.
The next step up in terms of being in control of one's surroundings is knowing one's way around and "knowing the ropes" in what can be a very large workplace.
Formal communications fail because of their formality. Official guidelines, po-faced instructions and handbooks don't engage this generation of twenty somethings, any more than their parents. Finding the right tone of voice is essential if training materials' message is going to register, and "buddying" provides reassurance in a personal way that handbooks don't achieve. A multi-sector study by Crystal Interactive found that feeling part of a team was more important than pay and flexible working, in terms of its effect on morale.
Battle of the Giants
Nowhere is the competitive pressure for suitable, local staff greater than between regionally concentrated contact centres employing many hundreds of operators, often using converted warehousing on the edge of town. This puts the centres relatively close to each other, as far as prospective employees are concerned, but also far from local services.
Various initiatives are underway. Some extend conventional thinking to the task of increasing the resource pool.
Offshore outsourcing does this, and it lowers costs, too. But customers' response to the language gap has brought about some well-publicised policy reversals.
Bussing in people from outlying market towns has been tried for similar reasons. But tolerance of 40 minute commuter journeys varies across the country, and the anticipated influx of fresh staff has not always been there.
Flexibility in the deployment of existing staff actually increases the resource pool. Call blending increases call-time availability by enabling suitable inbound operators to make outbound calls when inbound volumes are lower.
Belonging to Each Other
Other initiatives address the motivations of Maslow's middle range - stability and belongingness. Their aim is to root employer and employee in each others' respective operational and family systems, to their mutual advantage.
They include teleworking, the progressive flipside of bussing. It is proving successful for the AA and others in terms of overhead reduction and makes it possible to call on additional staff with little notice. It is also a family-friendly policy - important in an industry, where many employees have young children.
Another example comes from one of the several telecoms centres in Warrington. During 2006, it ran monthly "open days". These gave local college students space in the central canteen area to provide staff with a variety of wellness-related services. While staff obtained greater value from their scheduled breaks, the initiative provided positive exposure for the contact centre's working environment among the student population.
There is a need for initiatives which challenge the idea that staff are there for the short-term only. It is done by demonstrating the employer's commitment to the staff's wellbeing over the longer term. A biodiversity scheme, for instance, can improve the contact centre's surroundings, and it will offer opportunities for involvement and competition, much as charitable schemes do.
Self Sustaining Development
At the top of Maslow's hierarchy are requirements which relate to individuals' ability to achieve their ambitions and recognition of their capabilities. The industry's established system of vocational and professional qualifications facilitates both, and multi-site operations can offer greater development potential. Building the team's skills is an essential part of motivation. Without it, sustaining a service proposition as the foundation of competitive advantage isn't possible.
Argos' multi-brand centre at Widnes interprets the call blending approach dynamically, designing variety into the staff's workflow and giving them the authority to see many issues through to resolution. By maintaining staff skills across process areas, Argos is developing management potential.
The application of corporate governance principles is developing, as in every other business sector. They may appear to be a diversion from the industry's traditional focus on efficiency. By reducing attrition and increasing call-time availability, they are ingredients in a recipe for success. But how many contact centres apply them in a structured fashion from the bottom to the top of a hierarchy of needs?
Max Klein - Director, Inside Track Media
Why include Quick Setup with Prevent-IT's DSE HealthWorks modules?
Like DSE modules generally, Prevent-IT! modules are made available primarily on a one year licence basis. It means having unlimited access to training that most staff will be using just once a year.
But staff benefit from access to information at other times - when hot desking or taking over a temporary workstation - and they won't have time to go through a Prevent-IT! training module's 30 sections or some competitors' 300+ slides.
Quick Setup isn't there as a substitute for training - it provides a two minute reminder of the key stages of correct setup, making the best use of next to no time.
Insight 2 Drive are leading providers of fleet and individual business driver training and assessment designed to ensure Health and Safety good practice compliant, fuel-efficient driving and reduce corporate manslaughter exposure, incident rates and the cost of insurance and maintenance.
Mersey Fire and Safety provide fire and accident risk assessments, confidential consultancy and staff training. Highly illustrative techniques are used to bring out the implications of good and bad health and safety practice.
Plansafe Solutions provides a wide range of services to small businesses, major companies and public bodies. It offers cost-effective health and safety consultancy and training, fire risk assessments and is a UKAS accredited asbestos surveyor and manager.
R&R Safety Systems provide help to SMEs to make the workplace safer and thus comply with the Law. For a small monthly subscription they receive a site visit, telephone helpline and newsletter. We are also a NEBOSH Accredited Centre.
Synergy Health Studios are specialists in fitness, nutrition, ergonomics and injury prevention, helping to keep staff fit and motivated. With an international client base, Synergy have trained a network of personal fitness instructors in their best practice methods.
Total Safety Solutions the one stop for Health & Safety requirements, emphasising business fit and value. We develop cost-effective solutions that integrate safety into your business and deliver general & bespoke group training and individual coaching for your H&S professionals.
There's a Prevent-IT! DSE HealthWorks for contact centres because the equipment and the intensity of work create Health & Safety issues that are distinct from those of general offices. Reducing tiredness and sickness raises productivity and improves customer service.
Like its Office Safety equivalent, this DSE HealthWorks provides training and support meeting the requirements of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations. There is additional contact centre specific information on hearing, voice health precautions and in other areas.
The interactive training avoids jargon. It uses visual and verbal "hooks" to show good and bad practice and bring home the benefits of good practice. Prevent-IT! DSE HealthWorks builds confidence by helping staff to to identify problems and deal with them, themselves.
Delivered directly to the workstation, DSE HealthWorks makes the best use of time. The quick setup visual checklist takes just a minute or two when taking over a shared workstation. Other features include seconds-long YMove exercises and direct access to the questionnaires for fast, post-resolution assessments.
For larger employers, a Results Management System provides real-time diagnostics, organisation-wide and department-level analysis and a follow-up audit trail to help prioritise, monitor and efficiently focus compliance activity.
Health and Safety e-learning and assessment available online, on demand and at the workstation.
Learning is user-led and jargon-free. Staff are helped to understand the implications of bad practice, shown good practice and encouraged to follow it.
All versions produce a date and time-stamped record of compliance which states staff members' answers to both the self assessment questionnaire and the test.
Office Safety modules are available with and without a Results Management System that focuses on issues at three levels - across the organisation, by department and by individual. This can be set up to give department managers access to the same information on their teams as central administrators have.
The RMS provides a means for you and authorised managers to control prioritisation. It helps direct effort at the most urgent problems and quicken response. Follow-up logs track each problem to resolution. And the cross-module To Do list keeps you in control.
Prevent-IT! Wellness Workshops provide staff with the concepts and practical tools necessary to motivate changing to a healthy lifestyle, make that change and support colleagues with theirs.
Everything you need for tailor-made, job-focused hazard awareness training and assessments that deal with real life situations - online.
Training-room delivered and using an extensive library of hazard scenarios photographed at a variety of warehouse locations, Prevent-IT! Warehouse Safety helps develop knowledge of different hazard types and the ability to quickly assess a situation and deal with it correctly among staff who:
Teaching others is recognised as an effective aid to retaining information, and Group Training’s trainer-led peer learning process applies the power of the group to individuals’ experience and perception, understanding and ideas. It maximises commitment to behavioural improvement and stimulates positive engagement with safety and operational issues. There are on-screen tools to keep the discussion flowing and to the point.
Warehouse Safety is available with and without the Results Management System for tracking course attendance and assessment performance. The RMS has additional feedback facilities and resources for building custom assessments and for safety training preparation.
Prevent-IT! Warehouse Safety helps grow employees’ learning, thinking and people skills, as well as knowledge. It supports both formal and ad hoc training and delivers competence assessments quickly and efficiently. It is useful for employee selection, for induction, the assignment of new responsibilities and for post-incident training.
Prevent-IT! DSE HealthWorks helps you meet your obligations under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, amended in 2002.
Training content and support respond to individual needs. In addition to comprehensive core training on office ergonomics, there are optional sections on laptop use, desk lighting, hot desking, pregnancy and wheelchair use.
There's a quick setup guide that quickly deals with hot desking issues without having to log in and, in annually licensed versions, YMove video desk exercises to help everyone loosen-up - ideal for micro-breaks.
With a choice of affordable packages, DSE HealthWorks provides support that is tailored to users' circumstances and is adaptable to time pressures. The DSE HealthWorks course:
DSE HealthWorks is available as a hosted solution for small to medium employers and for medium to large employers. Both include a test and self assessment and generate a date and time-stamped results printout. The larger employers' version also produces an optional course certificate and features a powerful cross-module Results Management System.
There is a separate edition of DSE HealthWorks for intensive telephone users.
Eliminating hazards is a job best shared because people notice different things. Encouraging them to make use of their power of observation promotes a culture of safety in the office.
Prevent-IT! Office Safety HARI sets out expectations at induction, for staff moving between departments and as an annual Health & Safety refresher course.
HARI supports compliance with Section 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for the office environment. It addresses the requirements of:
Following a warm-up awareness-raising test, staff are trained to identify hazards and make necessary changes responsibly in order to reduce the causes of sickness and the chances of accidents happening. HARI covers:
The module finishes with a self assessment covering unresolved problems in the area around the workstation and wherever is familiar to individual staff members.
HARI is available as a hosted solution for small to medium employers and for medium to large employers. Both generate a date and time-stamped results printout. The larger employers' version also produces an optional course certificate and features a powerful cross-module Results Management System.
Mumsafe is a compliance system dealing with the special needs of expectant and new mothers who do office work or are contact centre agents.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require the risks to be formally assessed. Organisations benefit from the availability of assessment on demand to allow them to consider what is required and permit a timely response. Mumsafe enables management to: • act on requirements that would not be revealed by standard risk assessments, thereby helping to manage employees’ health and safety
But, using Mumsafe, mothers know how to make sure of working safely, too. In friendly, jargon-free language, Mumsafe brings out both pre and post-pregnancy issues, prompts mothers to follow the specific medical advice that they receive and keep their employer informed.
Both training and assessment, together, take three minutes to complete for expectant mothers - and less for the new mothers option.
Topics covered include:
Prevent-IT! Wellness Workshops deliver in-company Take an Hour, add to Life training, reducing sickness absence and improving staff's commitment and ability to deal with new challenges.
The programme of bite-sized workshops for groups of up to 20 includes substantial post-workshop support Staff are empowered to take control of their health, encouraged to integrate healthy living into their life at work and at home and re-energized for lasting performance improvement.
73% of office computer users report pain in their neck, back and / or limbs - Health & Safety Executive
...around 90% of men and 80% of women will be overweight...the annual economic cost of sickness absence...greater than the annual budget for the NHS - Dame Carol Black, DWP and UCL Medical School
Workshop 1. Release Energy (1 hour live workshop):
followed by twelve-week detox, nutrition and lifestyle routemap and group report to employer
Workshop 2. Build Momentum (1 hour live workshop):
followed by exercise plan, online mentoring service and group report
Our workshop facilitators are leading personal trainers in fitness and nutrition. The workshops build on a matrix of state of the art knowledge, internationally proven techniques, stimulus and participation. Each is unique, reflecting pre-workshop discussion and research, client-specific research and the in-workshop feedback.