DigiTrain®. A Health & Safety Professional's Must Have!
Written by Gareth Milner, Director of Osteopathic Solutions Ltd
Why read this DigiTrain® Blog, from start to finish?
Well, firstly you have clicked on this page because you are interested in how DigiTrain® can benefit you and the Business you are employed by, as well as wanting to learn more about the features of DigiTrain®. Is that correct? This Blog will take 15 minutes to read. Much shorter than it takes to deal with an Employee Manual Handling Injury Claim, don’t you agree? If you are a listening type of person rather than a reading type, listen to the Podcast recording (recorded by Sean Antony) of this Blog via this link.
What is DigiTrain®? During 2020, Osteopathic Solutions’ competitors were providing Online Manual Handling Instructor Courses via Zoom. I didn’t think this was such a great idea, and asked myself the Question .... What Digital Product would be better? After some swirling of electrical activity in my grey matter around a few pathways or 2, the answer to my conscious mind was DigiTrain®. That’s what would be better.
DigiTrain® enables Health, Safety & Training Professionals to deliver Manual Handling Instructor (Train the Trainer) Courses in house. There are no yearly licenses or subscriptions and no restrictions in its use. You can train as many Manual Handling Instructors as you wish, indefinitely.
DigiTrain® was developed by Manual Handling Industry Experts* for Health, Safety & Training Professionals, like yourself. Since 2010 (when Osteopathic Solutions Ltd was born), I have been in consultation for 12 years (this Blog was written in 2022) with 1000s of Health & Safety and Learning & Development Professionals who have worked with me and my Team regarding Manual Handling Risk Management and implementation of Manual Handling Training Programmes.
When I refer to Experts* above, I am talking about Osteopathic Solutions Team of Occupational Osteopaths who since 2010 have a combined 70 years of Manual Handling Risk Management Experience from within all industries across the UK including Manufacturing, Food Production, Distribution & Logistics, Council Services, Aviation, Fire & Rescue, Search & Rescue, Retail, Schools, Colleges, Universities etc.
DigiTrain® will give you the content, knowledge and practical skills to perform as a leading Health & Safety Professional for the future. I will be your Ghost of Manual Handling Past, your Ghost of Manual Handling Present, and your Ghost of Manual Handling Yet to Come. Before we look at that Manual Handling present and future, let’s look at your Manual Handling Past. I hear you say ....
'I am a NEBOSH Qualified Health & Safety Professional. I can deliver Manual Handling Training, I could even train In-House Instructors if I put my mind to it’
Yes of course you can. No doubt about that. With that in mind, I will give you a quick analogy. I am a Qualified Osteopath. When I was in Clinic, I could fix most Back Injuries, and pretty fast. I knew spinal anatomy like an Anatomist Lecturer. But ask me to do a nerve block injection into someone’s neck and I might just stick the needle into their neck artery. And that wouldn't be good would it? Let’s go back to Manual Handling. Are you totally confident what you would teach for lifting an inanimate load is 100% correct? The feet position. The amount of bending through the hips and the knees. The grip. The trunk position. The neck position. The lifting phase. As a Professional in your field you want to get things right, right?
Let me first be your Ghost of Manual Handling Past. Let’s look at your NEBOSH Diploma. A high level Qualification, without doubt. From my 15 years in Manual Handling Risk Management, through talking to 1000s of Professionals, like you, I feel that your role is rather like a Healthcare General Practitioner, who know a little bit about a lot. And when they don’t know they refer to a specialist. And that’s what your Profession is rather like I feel. Let’s look at the NEBOSH elements covered.
1. Why we should manage workplace health & safety
2. How health & safety management systems work & what they look like
3. Managing risk – understanding people & processes
4. Health & safety monitoring & measuring
5. Physical & psychological health
6. Musculoskeletal health
7. Chemical & biological agents
8. General workplace issues
9. Work equipment
As you expected let me focus on 6, Musculoskeletal Health. Looking at the NEBOSH Syllabus, the following is covered:
What do you notice about the 5 subjects covered? You might say ‘Gareth, all the necessary elements are covered, MSDs, Risk Assessment, Practical Handling, Equipment’ And I might say ‘Yes, you are right, but look again’ and hopefully you would say ‘OK, I see. It just covers good lifting of loads’ And I would say ‘What about bad (hazardous) lifting of loads. And good and bad carrying, good and bad pushing, good and bad pulling, good and bad team handling’. What business with manual handling tasks, loads and environments has just lifting tasks. None. Of the Health & Safety Professionals I have spoken to over the last 15 years, the honest ones say ‘Not much’ as the answer to my question ‘How much did you cover Manual Handling in your NEBOSH Diploma?’
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)/ Common Manual Handling Injuries
- Work Related Upper Limb Disorders
- Manual Handling & Ergonomic Risk Assessment involving TILE
- Good handling technique for lifting loads
- Equipment to reduce Manual Handling Risks & Eliminate Manual Handling Tasks
6. Musculoskeletal Health
Let’s look at Experts out there. If your toilet didn’t work, you’d get a Plumber in. If your tooth hurt you’d see a Dentist (and not a GP). If your car broke down you’d take it to a Mechanic. If your back went into spasm you’d go and consult an Osteopath (I hope :)) You get my point. You might say to me now ‘Gareth, ok, if I am honest I have never really invested much time into developing my Manual Handling skills both theoretically and practically. Therefore I would just arrange for a company to come in and do it’. And I would reply ‘That’s great. With a Specialist like us, not a General Health & Safety Provider?’ ’ Yes, Gareth’ ‘Perfect, how many employees do you have to train’ ‘100-200 over the next 2-3 months’ . With Osteopathic Solutions, to train 30 employees in task specific, in the workplace, manual handling practical skills, we charge £695+vat. Therefore with 200 employees that works out at a minimum 7 days. Times this by £695+vat and that’s a total of £4865+vat. ‘Do you have the budget for this?’ You may say ‘Yes’ but in these post COVID, petrol going up every week times you more likely will say ‘No’. Of course you could shop around and go with the cheapest price, but you already know in life that you get what you pay for. You may then counter my objection and say ‘Well, I would look to bring in a specialist to train in-house Instructors’ feeling rather smug.
And I would say ‘OK, that will set your business back by £1795+vat to train up to 6 Instructors in an Accredited 2 Day Onsite Manual Handling Instructor Assessor Course.’ ‘Do you have the budget?’ ‘Yes’. My last questions would be ‘But what if some or all of the Instructors left the company within 12 months?’ ‘What if even after passing the Course, they didn’t take to delivering training in front of groups?’ ‘What if their job roles changed, as that’s out of your control?’ ‘Another £1795+vat spend?'
With DigiTrain® in mind, now let me be your Ghost of Manual Handling Present. Are you a Health & Safety Professional for a large Group with multiple sites? Lots to do I expect. Reports for Management. Team meetings, virtual and with travelling. Research. Exhibitions. Delivering workforce training (including Manual Handling). Continual professional development with In-House and External Courses. New Qualifications. Risk Assessments (including Manual Handling). Riddor Reports. Defending the Business from Manual Handling Claims. Court Appearances etc. Are MSDs high from Manual Handling?
If not, are they higher than they should be? Do you currently have to defend the business against a claim? Do you know what those Solicitor (sharks) are charging to defend the business? Is the claim indefensible? What is the payout going to be to the Ex-Employee? £5,000? £10,000? £25,000? £150,000? Crazy sums. But I can understand them. As an Osteopath I have seen some crippling spinal injuries. People who would have literally no chance of doing even a moderately physical job. Therefore if they can proove, with their Legal Shark, that your business caused their life changing injury then £150,000, quite reasonable. Click on the Legal Expert image to the right which lists £ numbers for a range of Manual Handling Injuries.
With DigiTrain® in mind, now let me be your Ghost of Manual Handling Yet to Come. If you could remove Riddor Reports from Manual Handling and Claims Management from you and your Team’s roles, what would that be like? If you could free up budget for other (Health & Safety) Business investments, due to no sick pay (from manual handling accidents) and claims payments, what would that be like? If you got a decent pay rise due to achieving the Group’s best ever Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents results, what would that Maldives holiday you’ve always wanted be like? Pretty amazing by the looks of it!
I return to being your Ghost of Manual Handling Present. What if Manual Handling Risk Management is currently not important to you? If it’s not important to you, it’s likely not important to your Team and the Company as a whole. Your present is minimal Manual Handing Training delivered, just to tick a box, so that the Regulations are complied with. None, or very few, Manual Handling Instructors across your sites. Manual Handing Risk Assessments not being done, or the ones that are, are not being followed up on. Manual Handling Injuries rising. One Employee in contact with their Legal ‘No Win, No Fee’ Shark regarding a likely Prolapsed Disc (check out my Blog ‘The Life Changing Effects of a Prolapsed Disc’). Absence across sites increasing from MSDs. Production being affected. Low workforce morale.
Your Ghost of Manual Handling Yet to Come returns. That low workforce morale leads to many employees across sites leaving the business. Recruiting and Training costs soar due to this. That Claim turned into a £180,000 loss. A Prolapsed Lower Back disc was proven by MRI scan and in Court there was no doubt that the cause was a Manual Handling Task that did receive a risk assessment but, the minimal financial investments to reduce the risks of musculoskeletal injury were never actioned. £150,000 for the Ex-Employee (currently on that Maldives holiday that could have been you) and £30,000 for your Business’ Legal Shark (who currently is at the Porsche garage). There are rumours the Group is looking to close sites. There are rumours your job is at risk.
With this in mind, let's look at what DigiTrain® contains, its Features. You might say to me ‘Gareth, but I could come up with this content. We already have a PowerPoint.’ My reply ‘Of course. But how long would it take? A month? 2 months? More, what with your other projects and roles?’ DigiTrain® contains Expert content produced by a UK Team of Occupational Osteopaths with a combined 70 years of Manual Handling Risk Management experience across ALL industries. Not ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None’ content. I don't like to use the term 'Spoon-Feed' but I will. The term is defined as 'provide someone with so much help or information that they do not need to think for themselves.' DigiTrain® does exactly that. You and your Team will be able to plan, execute and follow up Manual Handling Instructor Assessor Courses with it ALL LAID OUT FOR YOU. Oh 1 thing. You will need to think about what tasks, loads and environments the practical manual handling will be covered in. That's it. And I can even help you with that by phone or on a FREE DigiTrain® Webinar via Microsoft Teams.
DigiTrain® USB, Case & Booklet
A4 Printed (& in PDF format) 'How to use DigiTrain®' 48 Page Manual
2 Day Manual Handling Instructor Assessor Course Lesson Plan & PowerPoints
2 Day Course Attendee 68 Page Manual
Attendee Certificate Template
Course Feedback Form
Employee Musculoskeletal Disorder Score Form
Workforce Training Booklet
Workforce Sign-In & Training Form
Manual Handling Training DVD Videos
Manual Handling Training Posters
To the left is the front page of the DigiTrain® Instructor Manual. This 46 Page Manual is received as an A4 Printed Book with the DigiTrain® USB Case. The Manual guides you through all the DigiTrain® content and most importantly how to use this content to train the highest standard of Manual Handling Instructors and Manual Handling Risk Assessors. The Manual's content is the following:
Before your first 2 Day Course
Who should you pick to train as Instructors?
Delivering Workforce Training
Course Feedback Form
Continual Professional Development (CPD) for You
Continual Professional Development (CPD) for the Attendees
Practical Tasks Form
To receive pages 1-11 of the DigiTrain® Instructor Manual click on the image to the left and LinkedIn Connect with me and I will send by LinkedIn pages 1-11 of the DigiTrain® Instructor Manual free of charge.
DigiTrain® Benefits - For You & Your Business
When you are purchasing a product or service for your business it isn't just the benefits this purchase will create for the business, its other employees, its Directors, even its Shareholders. Most importantly as you are deciding to make the purchase, it is the benefits it will create for you. Think of this DigiTrain® purchase as a purchase that will make your role easier, removing a range of problems. Even making your role more interesting. That's important too. Let's look at the many remarkable benefits of DigiTrain® to your Business and YOU.
1. Brings Manual Handling Training 100% In-House
How many Health & Safety Managers have I spoken to over the years who quite authoritatively tell me ‘We do Manual Handling Training In-House!’ and with a bit of looping to their objection and a few more questions I soon find out that they have Manual Handling Instructors that were trained by an External Training Provider. Well, that’s not In-House is it? DigiTrain® brings Manual Handling Training 100% In-House in ‘one fell swoop’. If you are a Group HSE Manager of course you will not have time to deliver the 2 Day Instructor Assessor Courses that DigiTrain® provides the Expert content for. Your national Team of HSE Advisers will though.
To the right is a collection of photos over the years of myself and the Osteopathic Solutions Team delivering our Accredited Instructor Programmes in a variety of industry environments.
Which of your Team would jump at the opportunity to learn to be a Manual Handling Expert? Which of your Team is fit, energetic and a born Instructor? Which of your Team is a Manual Handling Champion? Which of your Team would take DigiTrain® and implement it across your Group?
DigiTrain® also contains FREE our 2020 published Manual Handling Training DVD Videos. 4 x 30 minute ‘Setting UK Standards’ Practical Manual Handling Best Practice Videos in Manufacturing, the Food Industry, Council Services and Distribution & Logistics. So not only with DigiTrain® do you have Instructors trained across your UK sites (trained by your Health, Safety & Training Team) who are delivering Workforce Manual Handling Training, both Induction and Refresher training, but with DigiTrain® you also have a Digital Solution to training Employees when they start for your business, playing one of the 30 minute videos in a Training Room, with a Multiple Choice 25 Question Assessment taken after. No need for an Online Manual Handling Training Programme with per Employee costs or subscription costs. All in DigiTrain®
2. Enabling Indefinite In-House Training of Manual Handling Instructors
DigiTrain® has a one-off fee. There are no yearly licenses or subscriptions and no restrictions in its use. You can train as many Manual Handling Instructors as you wish, with no extra external costs, indefinitely. Yes you did hear me right. Always. Endlessly. Forever. Ok that's enough synonyms. You get my point! I will give you a scenario. Say for example you have 8 sites across the UK. You have taken the logical decision to purchase DigiTrain® and implement it into your business Manual Handling Risk Management Strategy, by your Site Safety Managers training a couple of Instructors (via the Expert 2 Day Course DigiTrain® enables) at each site. A year passes with 100% of the business' workforce trained successfully, but most of the Instructors trained have left the business or their roles have changed. As DigiTrain® is on each of your Team’s computers, with your say so, it is time to deliver another 2 Day Instructor Course at each site. Do you have to ring us to get our clearance to use DigiTrain® again? No. Do you have to pay us more? No. There you get it. Enabling Indefinite In-House Training of Manual Handling Instructors.
3. Removes Administration & Costs of External Training Companies
Let’s look firstly at ‘Administration of External Training Companies’. So you have DigiTrain®. You have a UK team of Manual Handling Instructors. What don’t you need to do now? Source potential Training Providers who can train In-House Manual Handling Instructors. When we source providers at Osteopathic Solutions, for example sourcing providers for the DigiTrain® case and USB, it takes a substantial amount of time.
Before you had DigiTrain® you had to look through their websites and Course literature (i.e. Course Outlines and Learning Outcomes); speaking to each of the potential Training Providers on the phone; have meetings with colleagues to discuss which Training Provider to choose.
Before you had DigiTrain®, say you have chosen the Training Provider, there are potential back and forth emails trying to secure dates, matching the Training Provider’s available dates to what ALL your chosen attendees can do.
Before you had DigiTrain® you would have to read through the Training Provider’s booking contract, with the potential of having your Procurement Department checking the terms and conditions, which may take a week or more in itself.
Before you had DigiTrain® you may have had delays in booking a Course due to waiting for Purchase Orders.
Removing Administration of External Training Companies. What does this give YOU? Lots and lots of time. As you know in business ‘time is money’. Time you can spend on other important tasks and projects. Perhaps time for writing your report to the Directors on the reductions of Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents that Group implementation of DigiTrain® has manufactured. Shot in the arm that one!
Now let’s look at 'Removes Costs of External Training Companies'. The cost of DigiTrain®, this unique, innovative product is just £995+vat. That’s half the cost of Osteopathic Solutions* onsite 2 Day Manual Handling Instructor Course which is priced at a highly competitive £1795+vat, taking up to 6 attendees. With the employment costs of your in-house Instructor over the 2 Day Course, that is a saving of around £400+vat* for the first Course delivered. Each Course after will save around £1300+vat*. If you are part of a big UK Group (as DigiTrain® is a USB product you can upload all content to your Group Intranet), if for example your Group ran 6 x 2 Day Courses over a 12 month period, that would save your business around £7800+vat*, not to mention the costs of administration. In 5 years, that is a saving of £39,000+vat*. You get my gist! All for a fixed ‘pocket money’ expenditure of £995+vat. Plus, you have a product forever! There are no product licences or subscriptions.
*Using Osteopathic Solutions 2 Day Course cost.
4. Upskills Health & Safety Managers
DigiTrain® will support you to become a Leader in your Field. Like when you were studying the NEBOSH Diploma, aiming for a Distinction Award, do you want to be a Health & Safety Professional of Distinction? If you have sufficient time, 5 working days of your year (let’s be honest that’s not much is it?) to consult and learn all DigiTrain® content, run a 2 Day Programme, mark Attendees' Assessments, and observe your newly trained Instructors' first Workforce Manual Handling Training Courses, DigiTrain® will give you something different, away from the Computer screen.
DigiTrain® will give you and your Team career progression, developing roles. DigiTrain® will give you more respect in your business. Employees with hard, physical manual handling roles will thank you for making their job physically easier, their back less painful. From my experience across the UK delivering Manual Handling Training, I have come across so many Employees who have some super hazardous manual handling tasks, with commonly people saying to me ‘they have done risk assessments but nothing has been done’. DigiTrain® will give you appreciation from your workforce for making a change. DigiTrain® will give you confidence in your capabilities to solve company wide issues. DigiTrain® will support your academic and career progression. You will become an Influencer in organisational and health & safety workplace culture, bringing you success and advancement in your chosen field. Could the saving on External Training Provider Fees and removal of Business Costs from Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents, Injury Claims and Legal Fees, be returned to you financially with a better pay package? Be honest with yourself, do you work for your Employer for fun? No you don’t. Having reduced or maybe zero Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents, Injury Claims and Legal Fees could help you leverage that pay rise in your next management meeting. Away from your current employer, maybe you are thinking about becoming a Self Employed Health & Safety Consultant. DigiTrain® will give you an Expert Manual Handling Risk Management knowledge, a higher ability to win business and a remarkable advantage over competitors.
5. Reducing Manual Handling Accidents
With DigiTrain® as a Health & Safety Asset, you and your business will be Proactive NOT Reactive to Manual Handling Accidents. Firstly though, when you have DigiTrain® but it just sits there in a desk drawer or on a computer file and is not implemented, will DigiTrain® reduce Manual Handling Accidents. Obviously no. A bit like will that revolutionary skin cream you bought make you look younger if your partner is using it? DigiTrain® is a Practical Digital Product which craves to be used. With DigiTrain®, from the 2 Day Course delivery, Manual Handling Risk Assessors are being trained as well. We all know that Manual Handling Risk Management starts with Risk Assessment.
With actioned risk reduction measures following Risk Assessment; entire Workforces receiving Bespoke Manual Handling Training from (DigiTrain® supported) In-House trained Instructors, resulting in higher awareness of hazardous manual handling techniques and practices, and regular application of safer manual handling across all tasks, loads and environments, a significant reduction in Manual Handling Accidents will be achieved, maybe even zero. You can be rest assured that the theoretical and practical knowledge that DigiTrain® provides you and your Team with is second to none. BSc Degree Qualified Occupational Osteopaths with a combined 70 years of Manual Handling Risk Management have constructed this remarkable 'Health & Safety Must Have' product. Your employees, make no mistakes, will be performing day in day out, the only way their human body should lift, carry, lower, push, pull and team handle inanimate loads. Finally, when we are not in control, it stresses us human beings. With DigiTrain®, gain control on Manual Handling Accidents and remove one of your Job Role’s personal stressors.
6. Reduces Manual Handling Injury Claims & Legal Fees
If you didn't earlier, click on the LegalExpert.co.uk image now (to the left), and read the page AFTER you have finished reading this DigiTrain® blog.
Imagine now that you own a small Distribution Business. What is the biggest claim someone can make for a Manual Handling Injury? That huge payout sum could cause redundancies. Maybe even close the business? On that note check out my July 2022 Published Book 'Sorry! We're Closed' (pictured below right). To receive your FREE copy simply connect with me on LinkedIn or subscribe to my YouTube Channel, or follow Osteopathic Solutions on Twitter.
Imagine now that you are an Investor, like the ones on Dragon's Den. You have invested £500,000 of your hard earnt money and you are told at the next Directors and Shareholders meeting that there was a recent £180,000 business loss due to a Successful Manual Handling Injury Claim. Who do you think is responsible for this? The Health & Safety Manager? You are no longer the Investor. You are that Health & Safety Manager. That pay rise you were dreaming of for all those years of service, well eat some cheese tonight and you might be dreaming of it again. In Football as we all know, if the Team stink then who is responsible? The Manager, who soon gets the sack. If I was the Investor I would be recommending a change in Health & Safety Management, wouldn't you? With implementation of DigiTrain® across your sites there will be less Manual Handling Accidents and then if there are less of them, less Injury Claims and Legal Fees. Fact.
7. Compliance with Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR)
When I speak to Health & Safety Managers and they open up that they have HSE Inspectors coming in next week they sound concerned, uptight, stressed even. With life being hard enough, why make your Job harder and more stressful than it could be? With DigiTrain® you can be MHOR compliant with a new employee on Day 1 of their employment as you can provide Manual Handling Training with a 30 minute 'Your Industry' Video. You have a National Team of Manual Handling Risk Assessors trained from the 2 Day Course that DigiTrain® spoon feeds your Health & Safety Team to deliver. Manual Handling Risk Assessors performing unsurprisingly Manual Handling Risk Assessments. More MHOR compliance. All the Workforce trained in their working environment. Implementation of DigiTrain® through your business makes compliance with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations easy.
8. Clear & Repeatable Message across Sites
Over the years I have come across so many UK Groups who have one site doing one thing and another site doing another thing. One site using 1 Manual Handling Training Provider and another site using another Training Provider. DigiTrain® creates a clear, repeatable message across your sites for all your employees. Having Instructors that are teaching the same Manual Handling message (remember from earlier, a message from True Industry Experts) to all employees will remove confusions like I have heard on the factory floor like 'That Manual Handling Provider taught us that way to lift, and you are teaching me this way'. Employee confusion on what is best practice means little or no reductions in Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents. DigiTrain® also supports you in developing a Group wide Manual Handling Policy leading to Organisational Change. As our Manual Handling Posters are included FREE in DigiTrain®, onsite visibility of this consistent Expert Manual Handling message is there for all to see!
9. Leveraging Business Growth with Effective Manual Handling Risk Management
Take your Health & Safety hat off for a minute (you've had it on for a while now reading this blog) and put your Businessman Hat on. Here's a simple mathematical sum.
Higher than normal Total Business Revenue over 1 Year (due to increased productivity due to more 'at work' Employees (in £s) - Zero £s for Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents - Zero £s for Manual Handling Claims - Zero £s for Legal Fees
= More £s for Investments & Profits
And finally ...
I am again your Ghost of Manual Handling Yet to Come. DigiTrain®. You see it. You like it. You sure have read about it. And You Want it, Yes You do! I can see that tomorrow you request your Business’ Credit Card and you go to our Online Shop (tab below) and purchase DigiTrain®. As your Ghost of Manual Handling Yet to Come, in 12 months, with the implementation of DigiTrain® the Group you are Health & Safety Manager for has its lowest Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents in the history of the Company. You leverage this in your end of year management meeting. You get that pay rise. You book your Maldives holiday for you and your Partner and you buy that Porsche. Sounds good doesn’t it.
Join into my DigiTrain® Q&As Webinar!
Every Wednesday at 3pm, I host via Microsoft Teams a 'no cost to you' Manual Handling Questions and Answers session for up to 4 Professionals in Health & Safety, HR and Training. Every first Wednesday of the month at 3pm I host a special DigiTrain® Q&As Webinar.
As these sessions are very popular, to secure your place click the Book Online Tab below and complete the instructions listed or call me on 0845 299 3513 directly.