The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-10-16T02:03:31Z Government Blamed for ‘Inaction’ as Fatality Toll Rises 2020-10-16T02:03:31Z government-blamed-for-inaction-as-fatality-toll-rises The Federal Government has been accused of ‘dragging its feet’ on work health and safety reform, as new Safe Work Australia statistics reveal the national work-related fatality has increased for the first time in more than a decade. SWA’s Key WHS statistics Australia report shows that while the fatality rate has decreased by 53 per cent since a 2007 peak, 183 workers died during 2019, 38 more than in 2018, with the biggest increases coming in transport (58 compared to 38) and across NSW (61 compared to 47). The data also shows the rate of claims through workers’ compensation for serious injuries increasing in agriculture, manufacturing, transport and logistics as well as health, community, and personal services. The ACTU has since accused the Federal Government of failing to act on the recommendations of a 2018 review of national WHS legislation which recommended industrial manslaughter provisions. Recommendations from the national review of the model WHS laws also included regulations governing psychological injury and ill health which would mean factors contributing to mental illness in the workplace would be treated like physical hazards. ACTU assistant secretary Liam O’Brien said the Government had caused the increased fatality toll through this inaction. “Every worker has the right to go to work and come home safe. Sadly, this data shows the appalling toll of Government inaction on workplace health and safety.” “The Morrison Government has been sitting on recommendations from the national WHS Review for 2 years. That inaction has made Australian workplaces less safe, and it has caused the first increase in workplace deaths in more than 10 years.” The ACTU noted that the increase in transport fatalities likely downplays the “horrific rates” of injury and death for delivery workers in the gig economy as many work-related deaths which occur on our roads are counted as traffic accidents, rather than workplace fatalities. “The rates of injury and death in the transport sector, in no small part due to the appalling conditions faced by delivery workers in the gig economy, is a national disaster. More than one worker a week died in transport alone in 2019,” O’Brien said. Key findings from SWA’s report include: 183 people were fatally injured at work in 2019 machinery operators and drivers had the highest number of fatalities by occupation (72 fatalities) in 2019 there were a total of 114,435 serious workers’ compensation claims in Australia in 2018-19 the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest worker fatality rate in 2019 body stressing was the leading cause of serious workers’ compensation claims in 2018-19, accounting for 36% of all serious claims vehicle collisions accounted for 43% of worker fatalities in 2019. Original Article The Internet of Things: The Future of IoT 2020-09-02T10:01:14Z the-internet-of-things-the-future-of-iot To better inform business leaders, myosh is conducting a 4-week article series that will take a broad look into IoT technology, and how organisations are using it to drive tangible business value: How does IoT work? (week 1) Making a business case (week 2) Common use cases (week 3) The future of IoT (week 4) The Future of IoT While even short-term technology predictions can be difficult, there are a number of trends within the IoT industry that are expected to have a major influence over the next five years. Growth and adoption The number of IoT devices connected globally is expected to surpass 75 billion by 2025. Enterprise adoption will grow as sensors become cheaper and increased competition amongst providers makes IoT investments more lucrative. More organisations will see IoT as not just a way of reducing costs and improving efficiency, but also as an opportunity to expand into new markets and develop new product offerings. Artificial Intelligence The merging of Artificial Intelligence technologies with IoT will be explosive. With a strong database, the accuracy and effectiveness of AI technology improves. As IoT continues to collect more data, AI will produce intelligent behaviour in machines of all kinds. AI-based data processing may even become necessary to make sense out of growing data sets that may require real-time analysis. AI will improve pattern identification, predictive analytics, and will vastly improve the ability of the IoT system to make decisions for itself, lessening the need for human interaction. 5G 5G is the fifth generation of cellular wireless technology that promises wider network coverage, more stable internet connections, and faster data transfer speeds. Major network deployments have already begun, and almost 40 per cent of the world is expected to be covered by 2024. These advancements are expected to spur IoT innovation and will allow organisations to build faster, more efficient IoT networks at scale. Security As organisations handle larger data sets and rely further on cloud storage, data protection will become increasingly important. And as network connectivity reaches further into the workplace, cybersecurity will become an organisation-wide concern. 5G technology will also play a part in this. As 5G technology becomes mainstream, an increasing number of devices will connect to the 5G network directly, forgoing the need for a Wi-Fi connection and increasing security concerns. Should GPS Technology Be Used to Track Those in COVID-19 Quarantine? 2020-08-11T03:10:46Z should-gps-technology-be-used-to-track-those-in-covid-19-quarantine Victoria Police are currently conducting random spot checks to ensure people who are in quarantine or isolation are complying with public health directions by staying at home. Officials recently conducted 3,000 doorknocks of people who were supposed to be self-isolating. This costly exercise revealed that more than one quarter were not at home. Non-compliance is jeopardising the health and livelihood of millions of people in Victoria. By next week, there will be 4,000 household visits by authorities every day. An additional 500 Australian Defence Force troops will be joined by 750 Victorian Police officers, plus an extra 300 health officials, for widespread checks across the state. In Western Australia last week, a dentist admitted to breaking a self-isolation order after flying in from over east. Police checks on her home address found she wasn’t there, and further checks found her at work. Given the potential for extreme outbreaks and the prohibitive cost of policing home isolation, a more efficient system might be to use technology like GPS tracking to identify a contact’s location via a mobile app. myosh has cloud-based, high volume GPS Contact Tracking Technology. If a contact leaves a pre-registered location or disables tracking, authorities receive alerts. An app like this aids compliance and can potentially save lives. If the app is used and fewer people infect others, lives will return back to normal sooner and the economy can ramp back up. Also, limited resources can be used to more effectively track the people who elect not to use the app. That way, people who don’t want to be tracked or set out to do the wrong thing are less likely to get away with breaking the law because the authorities can spend more time on those people. Asked about security concerns, myosh responded that Tracking can only occur with user consent. If this is not granted, then alternative quarantine arrangements will need to be made. The user controls and can disable tracking at any time. So how does GPS Contact Tracing work? Originally developed to protect the safety of lone workers in remote areas. Authorities register each contact’s location in the myosh Viking PaaS (Platform as a Service). Each Contact must agree and activate tracking on their phone. The app can also randomly ‘ping’ the contact to respond to ensure they remain with their phones (at home). Authorised personnel will receive notifications when a contact leaves their registered location or if their device becomes disconnected. A Dashboard can also be used to report and analyse contact locations and other data. myosh spokesperson, Sarah O’Leary, says that the technology is available right now. The platform can be configured for different scenarios. The Viking platform allows organisations to create their own ‘zero code’ applications. Create dynamic forms. Configure workflow and deploy to web and mobile. Create Interactive Analytics, share, review and drive constant improvement. Other uses for GPS tracking: Lone worker tracking Push notifications of hazards/information when people enter specific locations Automated timesheets to track when people start/finish jobs based on location Raise Emergency alerts with GPS coordinates for people in high-risk jobs eg Security Guards For more information on how this technology works, please contact Mental Health in the Workplace – Free Resources 2020-07-16T06:55:43Z mental-health-in-the-workplace-free-resources By Jared Butt | Coronavirus, Health, Safety Profession | 0 comment | 25 June, 2020 | Today, businesses hear more than ever about mental health in the workplace. Yet many businesses are often unsure what role they have to play in fostering wellness among their employees – if one at all. And even among organisations that have the desire to develop initiatives to support and maintain positive mental health outcomes for their employees, most don’t know where to start. The following collection of resources are designed to help organisations become a mentally healthy workplace; one that protects the mental health of all staff, promotes wellbeing, and supports staff with mental health conditions. Tips and tools The following collection of mental health resources, information and advice will help employees and employers understand some common mental health issues in the workplace, and provide practical strategies and support to those who may be experiencing a mental health condition. Link to all resources here : Manage Pandemic Risks with The Covid-19 Risk Assessment Module 2020-05-27T03:09:10Z manage-pandemic-risks-with-the-covid-19-risk-assessment-module The purpose of the COVID-19 Reporting Module is to allow people to report either a suspicion of or actual COVID-19 illness. It is designed to facilitate effective communications to HR and provide advice to affected individuals based on government guidelines. How does it work? Risks can be assessed by category eg health, financial, legal, and reputational. Once identified, risks are evaluated through risk rating. Control strategies are then evaluated and corrective actions assigned. Viking Analytics provides a visual guide to your overall Covid-19 Risk Assessment Compare initial and residual risk ratings by category View risk assessments by status, assigned persons, and category. View actions assigned, completed and outstanding risk assessments by status, category and assigned persons. Join a Webinar on June 2nd, watch a short video or request a quote Can You Direct Your Employees to Download the COVIDSafe App? 2020-05-25T09:40:48Z can-you-direct-your-employees-to-download-the-covidsafe-app As organisations grapple with the various challenges presented by COVID-19, employers are being reminded that they cannot legally direct employees to download the COVIDSae mobile app. The controversial COVIDSafe app is part of the federal government’s initiative to slow the spread of coronavirus and is marketed as a key tool in protecting users, their family and friends, as well as means to “save the lives of other Australians.” The purpose of the app is to alert users when they have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. From a workplace safety perspective, it could be used to quickly determine which workers, or customers, have been put at risk. And as many workplaces begin to reopen, some employers are undoubtedly wondering whether they have the ability to direct their employees to download COVIDSafe in the name of workplace safety. The short answer is no. The fact is that the app is not mandatory and requiring a person to download it is prohibited at law. And the penalties for a breach are significant – a maximum of five years imprisonment or 300 penalty units ($63,000), or potentially both. The Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements—Public Health Contact Information) Determination 2020 (Determination) makes it clear that a ‘Person’ (which includes an employer) cannot require anyone (including employees) to: download COVIDSafe; or have COVIDSafe in operation on a mobile telecommunications device; or consent to uploading COVID app data from a mobile telecommunications device to the National COVIDSafe Data Store; collect, use or disclose any data from the COVIDSafe app (unless they are one of the authorities permitted to do so in the Determination) This determination holds true even when the phone in question is owned by the company. Employers must also ensure that they do not treat any employees adversely because of their decision not to download the app. A person (including an employer) must not: refuse to enter into, or continue, a contract or arrangement with another person (including a contract of employment); or take “adverse action” (as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)) against another person; or refuse to allow another person to enter premises; or refuse to allow another person to participate in an activity; or refuse to receive goods or services from another person; or refuse to provide goods or services to another person; because the other person: has not downloaded COVIDSafe; or does not have COVIDSafe in operation on a mobile telecommunications device; or consent to uploading COVID app data from a mobile telecommunications device to the National COVIDSafe Data Store. However, while it is currently illegal for employers to direct workers to download COVIDSafe, many employers are expected to strongly encourage workers to download the app as part of their general requirement to ensure the safety of the workplace and workers. Cleaners Not Receiving Key Resources During COVID-19 2020-05-25T09:31:00Z cleaners-not-receiving-key-resources-during-covid-19 Despite the increased need for high-quality cleaning of workplaces and public areas during COVID-19, a new survey has found nine in 10 cleaners are having to rush essential cleaning work and eight in 10 do not always have enough equipment to complete the job. The survey from the United Workers Union (UWU) also found that 74 per cent of cleaners report not having enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to do their job safely, and that 70 per cent receive no face-to-face training. UWU director of property services, Lyndal Ryan, said the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of cleaners, who are doing “essential work in a broken system.” “The crisis has shown everyone that high-quality cleaning that protects public health and safety cannot be delivered on a shoestring budget. Too often cleaners are asked to do too much, in not enough time, without the right training and equipment – because for years and years the contract system has driven cleaning wages and costs down.” “Re-opening the economy is contingent on cleaning – quality cleaning is essential to the management and prevention of COVID-19. We cannot have cleaning that is inadequate for the day to day protection of people as we rebuild public confidence in returning to public spaces.” Ryan said the focus on cleaning and hygiene during COVID-19 would propel a wider industry movement toward cleaners getting the resources and equipment they need. “The survey results show the current reality for our cleaners – rushing work, without enough cleaning equipment to do a quality job and without enough PPE to do their job safely. In the post-COVID world it is time for a reset, for too long contractors have been cutting corners, then cleaners bear the brunt.” “Federal, state and local Government, universities, big building owners, airports and shopping mall owners buy cleaning services and they need to understand that the cleaning of their buildings and services cannot be delivered on the smell of an oily rag. Quality cleaning requires trained cleaners, with the right equipment and enough time to do the job.” Main survey findings: 91% of surveyed cleaners always, often or sometimes have to rush their work because they don’t have enough time 80% of cleaners do not have enough cleaning equipment to do a quality job 74% do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to do their job safely 70% receive no face-to-face training Issues reported by cleaners in the survey: Not having enough time to finish work, constant rushing is very stressful Not having enough time to do a more detailed job, always being short-staffed Employers skimping on chemicals supplies and equipment, or diluting chemicals Not having safety issues taken seriously Not supplied with enough training, or with correct working equipment and PPE Has COVID opened the remote work floodgates? 2020-05-06T01:54:18Z has-covid-opened-the-remote-work-floodgates See Survey results here We are witnessing the world’s largest work-from-home experiment unfold in real-time. As businesses have been forced to uproot their existing processes to stop the spread of COVID-19, an unprecedented number of workers are currently working from home. The question is, what will work arrangements look like in a business world post coronavirus? Once restrictions are lifted, how many workers will want to return to the office every day? How many employers will be happy to be more flexible? The myosh team recently conducted a survey of workers to better gauge how they were coping at home and what their pain points were. The results of this survey can be found below in an interactive and drill-able chart powered by Viking Analytics. What we found, was that a large number of workers can see themselves adapting to the current norms long term. In fact, 34 per cent of respondents said they could maintain their current work-from-home arrangements permanently. Additionally, 56 per cent said it was very easy, or somewhat easy, to work in their current arrangement (with a further 25 per cent finding it neither easy nor difficult). There are, of course, some workers sitting at home thinking that they never want to do this again – especially those whose jobs require collaborative work. In our survey, however, we found this number to be small. Only 5 per cent of workers found it “very difficult” to work under their current circumstances, and only 23 per cent found it somewhat difficult – a number you would expect to drop if workers split their time evenly between the office and home. So what are the pain points for employees? The main ones concern communication (34 per cent); distractions (29 per cent); keeping a regular schedule (28 per cent); and social isolation (26 per cent). If people are going to do more work from home, these are the things that employers and employees need to be working through together. From an organisational point of view, employers are beginning to realise that some tasks they thought were impossible to execute efficiently at home are not only possible – they might even be easier. And cheaper. Could companies save a significant amount of money on office space and commercial leases if fewer workers came in each day? Of course. There are also significant sustainability and environmental benefits to increased remote work that are hard to quantify. These include reduced pollution and congestion, less strain on public transport, easier parking, and less money on expensive infrastructure. Now that more people have experienced teleconferencing, organisations could also save huge amounts of money by reducing their business travel. So what’s holding organisations back? Labour economist Julia Pollak says that companies are typically reluctant to allow employees remote work flexibility because of inertia and entrenched norms. But now both parties have experienced it. And many might not want to give it up. There is research to suggest that once people experience perks from their job, they tend to value those perks more than they used to. When life returns to normal, it seems likely that many employees will push to retain some flexibility. Will employers trust their staff enough to provide it? Staying Motivated at Home: Fun Tools to Keep Your Team Energised 2020-04-28T02:53:24Z staying-motivated-at-home-fun-tools-to-keep-your-team-energised Link to original Building a workplace atmosphere centred around teamwork, trust, and cohesion when everyone is in the same building is one thing. But what about when external circumstances have upended workplace dynamics and forced otherwise social creatures to work as a team online? Bringing people together and offering staff an opportunity to play becomes even more important. As an employer, you might think that the biggest challenges your employees face working from home concern staying motivated and minimising distractions. But this is not the case. A 2019 State of Remote Work Report by Buffer found that less than 10 per cent of workers express these troubles. So what actually does affect your staff when they work remotely? The two biggest struggles are unplugging after work and loneliness (22 per cent and 19 per cent respectively). Great companies spend a considerable amount of time, money, and resources building and cultivating their workplace culture. This cannot stop now while we are all online. Instead, companies must now make more of an effort to energise their workforce. By encouraging workers to socialise, collaborate, and enjoy themselves, employers will find they will get more out of their staff when it comes time to work. The following list includes some simple, yet fun ideas for workplace activities online. Take a look and decide which would work best for your team. Think we missed something? Leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list. Have a chat Building strong work relationships is difficult when staff can’t bump into each other in the hallway and engage in non-work related chit chat. Donut is a popular slack extension that introduces teammates who might not know each other via direct message, and encourages them to meet or chat remotely. This tool can also be useful for new staff members, or to help foster relationships between departments. Learn to bake Humans naturally bond over food, so what better way to maintain staff cohesion than with some free online baking classes. And who doesn’t love bread? The Online Baking Academy runs several free online courses, videos and formulas – for both sweet and savoury treats. Have your team progress through them throughout the week and then have a bake-off on a Friday afternoon. Make sure to encourage pictures and a bit of friendly competition. Yoga Get your team up and moving. Gaia contains a vast handpicked collection of meditations, yoga practices, lifestyle videos, and articles. And apart from the various health benefits of yoga, the best bit about this activity is that it can be done as a group. Have everyone start at the same time over video conferencing. For best results, do this activity early in the morning so that staff feel energised for the rest of the day. Drink Friday afternoon drink rituals have taken a hit during isolation. But instead of simply having a drink and a chat over video conferencing, why not spice it up and make it interesting? Some of Australia’s most renowned mixologists have joined the team at Simply Cocktails to provide a new virtual cocktail workshop initiative. Drink responsibly! Music How many amateur musicians do you have in your team? Or singers? Create a group chat where staff can chat about their favourite songs and artists. If you want to go a step further, encourage employees to play and learn together. Yousician offers thousands of songs, exercises, and teacher-crafted lessons for all skill levels. There are also weekly challenges and competitions. Don’t play an instrument? Use Patatap to create unique sounds and mixes with your keyboard. Dance Speaking of music, virtual dance parties are all the rage right now. Dancing is incredibly therapeutic, is good for you, and can be a great way to get workers out of their shells. They can also be used to brighten the mood or celebrate the impending weekend. While there are a number of planned dance parties every day, the premise is simple and creating your own is easy. Press play and move. Into something more structured? Sydney Dance Company is streaming hip-hop, ballet and jazz for beginners classes. Tea and Coffee  Give your team an opportunity to socialise over a coffee and learn something in the process. Tea vs Coffee run virtual team building activities with real tea and coffee tastings. About a week before your event, they mail your team members a care package. The package includes four exotic drink packs plus chocolate. On the day of the event, everyone logs into a virtual hangout room and an instructor explains the quick-brew method, shares stories about the ingredients, and explains the flavour compounds at work. Tea and coffee not your thing? Tiny Campfire runs a similar program but with tiny virtual campfires, ghost stories, fun games, and s’mores. Pub Trivia A good activity for Friday afternoons. Free Pub Quiz contains over 750 questions (with answers) over thirteen complete quiz nights. Choose a host, split your team into smaller trivia teams, open up your video conferencing software, and play. Another idea is to rotate the host weekly and get them to create their own questions. Music, movies, politics, geography, history – change it up to keep things interesting. Online Gaming Whether it’s to promote some healthy competition or to create the experience of working together towards a collective goal, online games can be a great remote team bonding experience. Steam is the ultimate destination for playing, discussing, and even creating games. Daily gaming sessions can be a great way to increase engagement, improve communication, and enhance creativity. Simple Games Some simple morale-boosting games (that you already know of) are easy to adapt to an online setting – simply open up your video conferencing software and play. Bingo, charades, Pictionary, scattergories, three truths and a lie, highschool debating, virtual show-and-tell etc. Gardening Anything you can do to encourage employees to spend some time outdoors is a good thing. GrowVeg has apps that let you draw out your vegetable beds, add plants, and move them around to get the perfect layout. It also features extensive guides covering all aspects of edible gardening. Get your team together in a group chat and encourage them to share their progress and knowledge. Create something Designing and creating things online is a great exercise for creative teams. What you make will largely depend on what your team is in to. Into knitting? Use Bellish to design your perfect sweater and cast on in minutes. Or use Room Sketcher to create 3D floor plans and home designs (equipt with a large home office, of course). Everyone has some scrap paper – take an origami class. Or, take free drawing classes from famous illustrators here. Release your inner child myosh recently created a list of educational and informative resources online for kids of all ages. In creating that list, we found ourselves enjoying many of those exact same activities. Watch live animal cams, take virtual tours, or take daily art classes. Check out the list here. Free Webinar : Workplace Hygiene Management During a Pandemic 2020-04-21T02:39:31Z free-webinar-workplace-hygiene-management-during-a-pandemic Presented By Dr Michael Taylor, Greencap Register Here COVID-19 has presented a series of challenges to our health, safety and business continuity. Whilst many of the recommendations  for combatting this novel coronavirus are still being  debated, the principles underpinning good workplace hygiene will still mitigate much of the risk, and provide a framework for managing this outbreak, and future pandemics. This webinar will cover what we know about COVID-19, how long it persists in the environment, transmission, PPE, and disinfection, and will touch on wider principles which can be used to rapidly respond to future emergency situations. Examples of best practice being employed in companies across Australia in a variety of industries will also be shared. About Dr Taylor Michael Taylor is a principal consultant with an academic background in public and environmental health, microbial ecology and mycology. He has a research profile in the detection and spread of microbial pathogens in soil, air, water and constructed environments, and extensive experience in the translation of research results into accessible information for stakeholders and peers. He has consulted for and worked collaboratively with large utilities, local governments, statutory authorities, industry and private clients to provide advice on human health risks following exposure to potentially pathogenic microorganisms. He has extensive experience in the detection and quantification of fungi in buildings and their impacts on human health, having co-authored the SafeWorkSA guidance document ‘Understanding and managing occupational health risks from fungal contamination in indoor environments. He has lectured in environmental health and microbiology at Flinders and Adelaide University and maintains a position as an adjunct academic at Flinders University in the College of Science and Engineering. Regarding COVD-19, he has provided interpretation and application of World Health Organisation and Centre for Disease Control documents to provide advice for the safe handling and disinfection of critical medical service supplies, provided recommendations and gap analyses in virus management plans for power utility operators, and advised on suitable and effective cleaning processes with demonstrated anti-viral efficacy. Working from home with kids? Keep them busy with these free resources 2020-04-01T08:13:53Z working-from-home-with-kids-keep-them-busy-with-these-free-resources As social distancing measures force more and more workers into the home office, many are left wondering how they’re supposed to juggle their work tasks with kids that seem to demand around-the-clock-attention. Luckily, there is a wide range of educational and informative resources online for kids of all ages (and those who want to channel their inner child). We’ve compiled some of the best of those resources into the list below. Think we missed one? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page and we’ll be sure to add it! Armaguard Creates and Deploys Viking Crisis Management Module Within a Day 2020-03-26T07:39:16Z armaguard-creates-and-deploys-viking-crisis-management-module-within-a-day Armaguard creates and deploys Viking crisis management module within a day With a requirement to communicate rapidly changing information about the Coronavirus pandemic to staff, Armaguard Group acted decisively to deploy a crisis management module using the Viking platform – in the morning the module was conceived. By the end of the day, the module was deployed along with workflow and automated notifications to those who need them most. As needs change Armaguard will be able to modify the module and adapt it to their changing requirements. For example, targeted information can be released dependent on the groups people belong to and the categories defined within the documents if the need arises. Armaguard was able to develop the module themselves with their specific requirements. They were able to implement without the need to revert between IT specialists and programmers.   Being a proactive organisation with a strong safety focus, Armaguard were able to quickly develop content to populate the module. At Netsight we are working in partnership with our customers on new modules to help with their response to the Coronavirus pandemic. If you have any suggestions as to how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who are more than willing to assist. COVID-19 Module Requirements Let us know what you need Some companies are required to repurpose in times of need, and myosh is able to deliver a host of business applications in a short period of time. E.g. Clients are already using the Covid-19 Reporting module with Viking Analytics and a Covid-19 alerts module. With the change in dynamics of the workforce, new challenges will arise and myosh can potentially help. The Viking platform allows for rapid development of business applications for deployment on both PCs and mobile devices Please feed back any requirements to manage your team or operations and we will see what we can do to put together solutions. We have a host of templates which can be quickly repurposed to meet unique requirements Tell us what you need and we will reply with a solution or suggestions. Examples include: Managing COVID-19 employee cases Managing staff working from home Retraining workers and adapting workplace learning Assessing contractors Managing resource availability Document control Organisational learning Webinar: Covid-19 Reporting Module 2020-03-23T07:46:07Z webinar-covid-19-reporting-module In response to rapid demand, the myosh team have developed a simple but powerful COVID-19 Reporting Module. Join the webinar to learn how this  module will help you critically manage the impact of COVID-19 on your workplace health and productivity. Employees and contractors have quick access to a digital form with simple questions to assess health, risk and recent history. HR/HSE can also submit on behalf of staff. Once forms are submitted, admin team conduct risk assessment for each record. Further actions include notifications to associated staff, risk levels and course of action required on a case by case basis. Viking Analytics reporting will provide real time detailed, drill-able data for each location. Register here Working from home – A case study from the myosh team 2020-03-19T07:38:47Z working-from-home-a-case-study-from-the-myosh-team With over 50 full time employees and contractors, the myosh team have been productively working from their homes for over 17 years.  As organisations review their operations amid this emerging coronavirus pandemic, we thought we would share the benefits of working from home. myosh is a workplace health and safety management platform.  The software includes around 50 modules that integrate to help HSE Teams manage hazards, report incidents, manage risk and conduct inspections plus many other functions too.  Our team includes management, analysts, programmers, sales, support, marketing and admin and while most are based in Australia, we have staff based in the USA and Asia too. We have a head office in Perth where some of us meet every Tuesday from around 10am till 3pm.   On Tuesdays we catch up with our teams, discuss our work, get coffee or lunch together and generally share friendly banter.  Many of us get together to play a game of golf or squash before or after work on Tuesday. At the office, we chat about our lives, politics and the news as most office workers do.  We arrive late at 10am (to avoid traffic) and leave early for the same reason. We use Teamwork software to review and assign our strategies and tasks for the short and longer term. As of this week, due to the coronavirus, Tuesday’s office meeting have been cancelled until further notice.  As organisations review their operations, many organisations will, where possible, allow employees the opportunity to work from home. According to Forbes, “remote work is no longer a privilege,” and Fast Company considers it ‘the new normal.”   So here’s an overview of what to expect, some tips and tools and feedback from a team that does it well: Productivity Increases When Employees Work From Home According to Fast Company, remote employees are simply more productive. “The biggest driver of the pivot to a remote workforce that’s currently underway in our market is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts. While many critics of remote working used to assert that letting employees work from home would drain them of their productive spirit, the past few years have produced conclusive evidence that employees who spend a bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.” Recent research from Gallup, for instance, notes that those workers who spend about three to four days of the week working offsite are substantially more engaged in their jobs than traditional counterparts who are stuck behind desks all day. The logic behind this productivity boost is actually quite easy to understand; by giving workers more control over their personal lives and permitting them to schedule their work-life balance accordingly, companies are making them happier and more fulfilled as they enable Average Joes to become workplace superstars. Flexible work hours translates to more productive hours when employees can choose to work at times in the day when they feel more productive and motivated. Less stress. Workplace bullying, harassment and other work related stresses are much alleviated in the home office environment. The Airtasker study found that average total unproductive time per day for remote workers was 27% less than that of office workers.  The study also found that remote workers were 32% less distracted by management. Toxic workplaces. The study also found that 28% of employees had quit their jobs due to toxic relationships with co-workers. Less distractions. Offices can be noisy places with many distractions inside and out. Other Benefits for Organisations Sick Leave – While we have no official statistics here, it’s apparent that our workers suffer less from infections as they are not in an office environment on a daily basis.  We encourage sick team members to stay home on Tuesdays! And less infections means less sick leave expenses. Employee tenure is  deeply impacted by commute times.  In fact, long commutes cause 1 in 4 respondents to quit a job at some point. Remote workers have more time to exercise and they tend to have healthier diet options available. The benefits of having a healthy workforce are obvious and far-ranging, from taking fewer sick days to maintaining concentration.  Cost Benefits for Employees The first and most obvious benefits include saving on fuel, transport, parking, vehicle maintenance. One of our myosh employees said that working in the city at her previous job, she used to spend on average $15-20 per day on lunch, $5 for coffee and around $7-9 on public transport. Wow, that’s more that’s around $30 per day or $650 per month! Preparing healthy food at home is far more cost effective. Other Benefits for Employees Time saved on commuting can be spent on extra work hours, leisure, socialising or on chores. An Airtasker study states employees save an average of 8.5 hours of free time per week.   A flexible schedule is a no brainer. You can take breaks at any moment, feel no rush to hang up on your family members when they call, and eat lunch at any weird time you want. Flexible work hours. Some of us are morning people, and some are night owls.  Flexible work hours allows you to choose when you work best. Healthier lifestyles – According to Airtasker, remote employees were healthier in terms of exercise. On average, they clocked in two hours and 44 minutes of physical exercise each week, which was 25 more minutes each week than office workers. Both diet and exercise are important for the health of your employees, which might be why we’re seeing more employers offering wellness benefits. Sick leave – If you or the kids are unwell, working from home allows you the flexibility to do some or no work depending on your situation.  You might have a mild flu that keeps you from the office but still allows you to be semi productive at home. Improved work/life balance. Organisational Tools for Employee Engagement Some organisations implement screen or mouse tracking software to ensure employees are focussed on their work however this type of micromanagement can result in less engaged and productive workers. Studies have found that the most effective way for remote employees to stay productive were to take breaks, have set working hours and stick to task lists. Use Time and Task software for managing hours worked. We use Teamwork for project, task and time keeping functionality Where relevant, our staff quote estimated time for jobs and this allows us to manage expenses and monitor productivity. Use an Online Learning platform for Inductions, policy sharing and training.  Use technology like Skype for quick conversations, text messages, image and file sharing. Use screen capture software like Snagit to help with image communication. Hold regular online meetings with video and screen share technology. Eg Zoom meetings. Implementing a Remote Work Policy Ensure employees are equipped with discipline and clear instructions, tasks and goals. Implement a team mentality to ensure employees remain engaged with their team based goals. Be clear about timeframes and status updates and that you have a system in place to measure productivity. Make sure workers have adequate devices and software to work with. Ensure staff are clear about who to contact for help eg IT dept for software assistance, Admin for timesheets. The benefits of working from home are clearly great for both employees and organisations.  We hope these changing times will encourage a shift from traditional work practices to a more future savvy way that has many benefits on our health, our environment, our productivity and for the organisations that provide our means to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Coronavirus and Australian Business 2020-03-17T02:28:29Z coronavirus-and-australian-business The Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is already significantly impacting Australian workplaces. This free webinar will assist human resources, legal counsel, risk and senior executives to prepare to deal with existing and future challenges. Harmers Workplace Lawyers presenters: Michael Harmer, Chairman & Senior Team Leader, Madeleine Boyd, Senior Associate and Zeb Holmes, Solicitor, cover: An introduction to the Coronavirus and its potential impact on Australian workplaces. Your rights and obligations as the operators of business. Rights and obligations of employees, contractors, customers and others coming into contact with your business. Developing a Risk Management Plan for your business. Change managing the introduction of your Risk Management Plan consistent with Australian workplace law. Practical steps, trips and traps. A brief case study. Questions – which will be discussed by our panel during the webinar. View Video, podcast and Slides here :