Health and safety is definitely no joking matter among the 25-strong team who work at the island’s leading marketing, design and public relations agency as all have undergone rigorous training in giving first aid and have the certificates to prove it.
“We all know how to go about resuscitating someone who has gone into cardiac arrest and, importantly, where the defibrillator is kept and how to use it in what might be a life or death situation,” said Home Strategic managing director Steve Wicks.
The Douglas-based agency embarked on first aid training for all its employees as a further stage in gaining ISO standards which it sees as crucial in helping to deliver an efficient and well run business. It already holds the ISO9001 Quality standard, ISO14001 Environmental standard and the ISO27001 Information Security. It is now looking to the ISO18001, the international standard for Health and Safety.
“There is often quite a lot of negativity around the very mention of ISOs but rather than force the business into the standard it is more about making the standard fit the business. We believe they are important in a constantly evolving business world which is why we have embraced them,” said Mr Wicks. “In terms of health and safety we recognise we have a responsibility to our staff, customers and contractors to provide a safe working environment.”
Kevin Burnell, director at ISO QA Ltd, which guides companies through the complexities but increasingly important ISO certification standards, said: “Home Strategic is taking health and safety issues very seriously and is actually doing so over and above what is legally required. First aid training also helps to build a positive staff culture.”
He added: “There is often the assumption that achieving an ISO standard is laborious when in fact, with appropriate advice, it can be implemented with minimum fuss and minimum disruption to the business.”
The training was carried out by Phil Bennett, commercial training and marketing manager with St John Ambulance Isle of Man who said he would like to see more companies on the island adopt the same attitude to health and safety issues as Home Strategic.
“Nobody should suffer for lack of trained first aiders in a company,” said Mr Bennett. “It’s worth emphasising that the chances of someone surviving a heart attack when there is a defibrillator immediately available, coupled with the all important knowledge how to use it, is around 80 per cent. This drops to less than 5 per cent when there is no defibrillator, or it’s there but no one knows how to use it.”
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