Case Study

IOSH Managing Safely

Active Tameside

Background

Active Tameside is a charitable company limited by guarantee and was established in 1999 to deliver wide ranging benefits via both its leisure facilities and community programmes. Any trading surpluses are reinvested back into the business in order to sustain and enhance products and services.

Active Tameside manages 11 facilities which house a diverse range of products ranging from swimming pools to climbing walls. The operational management of these facilities is predicated on:

  • A strategic approach to planned, preventative maintenance via the Asset Management Plan
  • Cost effective and timely reactive maintenance
  • Compliance with all relevant Health and Safety legislation
  • Continuous improvement via recognised quality assurance frameworks eg Quest
  • A philosophical commitment to the environment underpinned by compliance with all relevant legislation

Stockwell Safety were selected to deliver a programme of training to include the well-recognised IOSH Managing Safely Certificate.

“New people were coming into the business wanting to grow and develop and have a credible qualification. We also needed refresher training for those managers who had previously done the IOSH Managing Safely training or those who were new to management. I met with Adam from Stockwell Safety, who had a good knowledge and liked his professionalism”

Gill Buckley, Area Contract Manager

Approach

The training was delivered over three days, using the following teaching methods:
 

Reflective Summaries

Reflective summaries are powerful learning tools for two reasons: they provide the opportunity for students to practice metacognition (awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes), and they challenge course delegates to succinctly synthesise the content of a topic with which they have engaged — a litmus test for depth of understanding.

Implementation Example: We use reflective summaries mainly to help with formative assessment by asking the learners to summarise what they have just learned onto a blank sheet of notepaper (without looking at the referring to the source material), such that if someone with layman’s knowledge of health and safety reviewed the summary, they would ‘get the gist’ of the topic. This learning exercise will illustrate any knowledge gaps (both to the learner and to the trainer).

Peer Teaching

Peer teaching is a learner-centred approach that involves flipping the traditional classroom course delivery method and by moving information transfer out and moving information assimilation, or application of learning, into the classroom. Research supports the effectiveness of peer instruction over more traditional teaching methods, such as pure lecture (e.g.: chalk and talk).

It also serves to take people out of their comfort zones slightly. Effectively managing Health and Safety in an organisation or department involves actively engaging with people and this teaching method encourages delegates to get involved in practicing that skill.

Implementation Example: We ask courses delegates to split into groups and go out into the workplace and look for hazards that are not currently being adequately controlled and to come up with effective, pragmatic solutions. When the delegates reconvene back in the training room, each group takes it in turn to explain their findings to the rest of the delegates, including the rationale behind the selection of appropriate control measures. Questions and queries from the rest of the group are encouraged. Fielding these questions and providing meaningful answers stretches the delegates and helps to cement concepts more thoroughly.

Worked Examples

This involved working through a problem/concept etc. step-by-step whilst providing explanations of the process to be learned. This differs from problem solving, where examples would not be used during the exercise, but might be covered the end.

Implementation Example: This method can be used with many areas of the course. For example, when covering the topics of the principles of prevention and hierarchy of control an uncontrolled hazard scenario is presented and the step-by-step process of assessing the risk and selecting the most appropriate control measures is explained with examples (ie. to control the risk created by obstructed walkways, the obstructions could be removed, but better health and safety management systems would go further to rectify the underlying issue, for example: decreasing inventory so existing storage capacity is not exceeded). We have found in previous courses that worked examples work well when helping delegates grasp the concepts involved in root-cause analysis. This also involves a teaching technique called ‘interleaved practice’ (discussed later). Worked examples can be gradually replaced with pure problem solving as the delegates starts to get the hang of it.

Retrieval Practice

This technique involves actively re-calling information to mind. It is not the same as re-reading previously highlighted information (a common revision practice that has largely been proven as ineffective). With this technique, there must be an attempt to ‘dig deep’ and summon information such that it can be recited, explained, or written down by the learner. We implement this technique during our face-to-face learning sessions by including the following activities:

Implementation Example: Flashcards – An extremely effective technique that can involves learning writing a very short question (usually one or two words) relating to a concept that needs to be learned on the front of an index card. On the back goes the answer. Once the learner has created a ‘deck’ of flashcards, they go through it one card a t a time, reading the front of the card and seeing whether they can explain what’s on the back. If they can, the card goes into the ‘I know this’ pile, if they can’t, it goes into the ‘I don’t know this’ pile. After the first round, the ‘I know this’ pile is left where it is and the learner pick up the ‘I don’t know this’ pile. The idea is to keep repeating the process until there are no ‘I don’t know this’ cards left.

Interleaved Practice

This technique involves mixing up topics within a training session, rather than focusing exclusively on one single topic. This allows learners to practice seeing connections between inter-relating topics. Health and safety does lend itself very well to this style of learning as it is such a diverse discipline.

Implementation Example: We implement this technique during our courses by actively working through a risk assessment exercise from start to finish, by the end having touched on all of the topics discussed through each of the modules that make up the course. The interleaved topics will include:

  • hazard identification techniques, sources of information on hazards, ways to categorise different hazards
  • how attitudes and behaviours influence risk perception, what is perception, what is expected of employees, managers and organisations
  • how harm can occur in the workplace and what types of harm, the difference between ‘health’ and ‘safety’, chronic and acute harm
  • the concept of risk and the factors that both comprise and create risk, how the law relates to risk and how risk is encountered in the real world
  • control measures that can be used to reduce risk and the concept of ‘reasonably practicable’, risk the difference between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ controls, what the law requires
  • how to effectively monitor controls, the difference between active and reactive monitoring

Properly executed, with active guidance and questioning by the tutor, all the above topics can be effectively ‘interleaved’ into an active risk assessment activity

The Results

There were 16 learners on the course, of which all 16 passed both the end of course exam and the risk assessment project.
Exam 100%
Project 100%

 

Here’s what Darren, one of the course delegates had to say…

“I attended the IOSH course conducted by Adam. The course was informative and enlightening. The content was quite comprehensive and I enjoyed the open format which enabled the attendees to voice their opinion and discuss scenarios. I would recommend the course to anyone that is serious about putting Health and Safety at the forefront of their business.”