Cotton Court Business Centre

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GUEST BLOG: DOUG MELIA – SAFER HANDLING

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Back to the future

When should you repeat something you’ve already done? Or to rephrase, when should we recommend staff refresh their positive handling, physical intervention or restraint training?

First Aid At Work has for a while now been every 3 years, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is recommended now every 6 months whereas some providers of positive handling have for many years operated a refresher every 3 years. I haven’t picked up a squash racquet for 3 years I wonder if I had a go this evening, if Id be any good…

Law and legislation

There is already in place a requirement that physical skills are to be periodically refreshed on a regular basis. This is supported in Health and Safety law and the associated guidance documents, one of which is the Management of health and safety at work regulations 1999.

Regulation 13 (2) states that:

“Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety training

a) on their being recruited into the employer’s undertaking; and

b) on their being exposed to new or increased risk”

For example if new working activities are to be undertaken, a new piece of machinery is installed or, a service user or pupil presents new challenges that staff haven’t experienced or, simply aren’t prepared for. Sometimes incidents, near misses or accidents can be a reason to look at a risk assessment which could then identify a requirement for a fresh training needs analysis.

 “The training referred to in paragraph (2) shall –

a) be repeated periodically where appropriate;

b) be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the health and safety of the employees concerned and

c) take place during working hours

This act of parliament also refers to staff members “capabilities”;

“Employers should take account of the employees’ capabilities and the level of their training, knowledge and experience”

A risk assessment would have been carried out initially to identify which employees require training, this demonstrates compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which states employers shall provide (in accordance with the associated risks) information, instruction, training and supervision.

Any risk assessment should be being reviewed annually as a minimum unless where there is a change identified which could affect the health, safety or well-being of staff prior to that period. So if twelve months ago this training identified staff needed training of a certain level in specific physical tasks, twelve months on can we be certain that the employees “capabilities” to perform said skills haven’t deteriorated? Even if they never use them? By that rationale, does this mean, that staff who are intervening all the time, get better through having more practice? No, not necessarily.

Practice makes permanent

Now annually, along with other CPD commitments I refresh my own instructor training in the use of force at Lilleshall national sports centre with Mark Dawes and his team at the National Federation for Personal Safety. Why do I refresh? Best practice, consistency of my delivery, to be updated on new developments in the industry and to network with like-minded professionals. In a nutshell it keeps me fresh and current. Mark did a brilliant video on consolidation and re-consolidation which inspired me to put this post out for my connections and clients explaining why we promote annual refresher training.

If staff are allowed to let their competency and ability slip through there being no positive reinforcement or constructive guidance on honing physical skills, then by repeatedly performing certain skills incorrectly, they will get very good at performing them incorrectly!

Let’s take into consideration the principle of “recall”, when someone is told,shown and they also experience something (the importance of people practising techniques and pressure testing them is of importance here) then after 3 months they are likely to recall 65% of the content.

If staff aren’t using strategies then they are likely to forget techniques far more quickly, this is why an instructional video and an accompanying manual to any physical skills course should be something employers look for when procuring training. This allows staff to re-consolidate and remind themselves of techniques between their refreshers, these are also useful for audits and to assist with debriefs. Often, positive handling or physical intervention providers are not so keen on sharing visuals, perhaps for fear of being copied, potentially held liable for the repercussions of what they have been promoting or, of being shown up on the premise that what they are teaching, which often, to put politely, should be put in a DeLorean, driven to 88mph and banished from history.

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Ask your staff how often they wish to retrain

“Employers should review their employees’ capabilities to carry out their work, as necessary. If additional training, including refresher training, is needed, it should be provided.”

Health surveillance is one way of performing a review and can take the form of peer reviews, toolbox talks or questionnaires even. Ask staff members what they would like more of, how they felt the training benefited them and if there are any newly identified challenges which certain training could help them overcome, or if the training was any good at all! If training isn’t fit for purpose, doesn’t fit the needs of the staff or service users then additional or alternative training should be considered.

I didn’t know that

Sometimes when I start to quote paragraphs of statute law and refer to sections of approved codes of practice head teachers, managers, care home owners and others in positions of authority can shrug and laugh and explain that’s not their job or, they weren’t aware of that.

“Managers should be aware of relevant legislation and should be competent to manage health and safety effectively”

Ignorance of the law is not a defence. If work schedules or time constraints prohibit you or your team from keeping abreast of current and established health and safety principles then it my be time to consider procuring a professional to assist with this. There are plenty of health and safety consultants out there –competent, qualified and registered professionals who can advise you on such vital issues and make recommendations on how the law works.

This is not 1955, this is 2015 and although Lexus have, as the ultimate art imitating life gesture provided us with the hoverboard not much else has matched up to this being the year Doc and Marty were transported to in the film “Back to the future 2”. I for one certainly don’t have a flux capacitor and we can’t yet travel back through the space time continuum to right the wrongs of ineffective physical restraint systems. There are however guidelines for providing staff with easy to remember, effective and appropriate strategies, some of which I hope I have simplified in this post (it isn’t rocket science).

Forthcoming events at Cotton Court

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It’s going to be busy in the next few weeks at Cotton Court, as we have some new, exciting events being hosted here!

On the 3rd and 4th of October, No Frills Wellbeing are hosting an intensive 2 day course about Mindfulness and Self-Empowerment. If you come along to this workshop, you will learn about the neuropsychological, emotional and social mechanisms of wellbeing, which will help you understand the limits in your emotional intelligence. Included at this course, is lunch and refreshments. For more info visit nofrillswellbeing.com or give Haley a call on 07482 456313.

Our customers, 123 Drive, are introducing a driving theory course which helps learner drivers to pass their theory test easily. It is a one day course that covers everything you need to know to pass your written driving test. The next date that this will be held is on Saturday 26th September. For further dates, or if you have any other questions, contact them on 01772 508113.

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Also, on the 14th September, Ideas Lancashire held an informative, informal meeting for adults with autism or Aspergers. At this meeting, there was more information on their current project at the moment, which is to set up social and support groups for people with autism. If you’re interested, why don’t you attend the next meeting? It starts at 6:30pm until 8pm on the 18th November.

Project Export will be holding some events for their surgeries here too. They will be held on Monday 28th September and Monday 30th November from 2pm-6pm. If you want to know more you can either go to meet someone for a half hour one-to-one at one, or you can book a 20 minute Skype or FaceTime session with them. You can give them a call on 07947 495259 or just go to http://projectexport.businesscatalyst.com/surgeries.html.

Welcome Minerva Business Women to the building

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Cotton Court is happy to welcome Miranda from Minerva Business Women to the building!

Minerva Business Women, is a business growth club launching in the North West which focuses on helping women to create success on their own terms and works through connection, collaboration and taking business learning into personalised action.

We are looking forward to having Minerva Business Women run some events at Cotton Court in the future.

PENNY HOWARD – WOW! TIME FLIES AT COTTON COURT

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A year ago today, I started working at Cotton Court as a Receptionist/ business admin apprentice.

In the past year I have learnt new skills to do with administration, customer service and business operations. I am hoping to learn more about the financial side of things, like invoices and billing.

At the moment, the main jobs I do day to day include receptionist duties like call answering, mail handling, and greeting customers, sorting out the office and studio admin and also checking the conference rooms when they are in use.

I like being part of the Cotton Court team because it is a great place to work as it always has a nice atmosphere, whoever is in the building. I especially like doing the administration in the office and answering the phones as well, whether it’s for Cotton Court, or for other businesses.

Currently, I am completing my Level 2 apprenticeship course, and I am also considering moving onto Level 3 in October.

I love working in business, so in the future I am hoping to pursue working in a business environment, like being a personal assistant for someone.

BIBAs WINNER ANNOUCED AT CELEBRATION IN BLACKPOOL

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Winners at the annual Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) were revealed in a ceremony at Blackpool Tower. Around 1,000 delegates attended the event hosted by actress Stephanie Beacham.

Winners:
Lancastrian of the Year

Winner: Ian Hall, chairman, James Hall and Co.

 

Most Inspiring Business of the Year:

Winner: Jobs, Friends & Houses Community Interest Company, Blackpool

Finalists:

Build Up, Blackpool

Conlon Construction, South Ribble

Fylde Executive Cars, Fylde

KTG Social Care, Preston

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston

Our Local Heros Foundation, South Ribble

Windrush Initiatives CIC, Preston

 

Exporter of the Year:

Winner: Evans Vanodine, South Ribble

Finalists:

Chemical Innovations,South Ribble

Colossal Group, Blackpool

Excel Cheer Centre, Chorley

GA Petfood, South Ribble

Pakawaste, Preston

Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Synergy Health (UK), Chorley

 

Small Business of the Year:

Winner: Power Efficient Systems (EnergyAce), West Lancashire

Finalists:

Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Chorley

Building Careers, West Lancashire

Excel Fostering, Fylde

Forepoint, Preston

Innova Solutions, Pendle

MendIT, Burnley

Vedas Group, Burnley

 

Medium Business of the Year:

Winner: ROQ IT, Chorley

Finalists:

MAC Clinical Research, Blackpool

Direct 365, West Lancashire

Lakeview Rest homes, Fylde

Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Service Care Solutions, Preston

Star Tissue UK , Blackburn

The Cartford Inn, Wyre

 

Service Business of the Year:

Winner: Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Finalists:

Colossal Group, Blackpool

Excel Fostering, Fylde

Lakeview Rest Homes, Fylde

Our Local Heroes Foundation, South Ribble

Pakawaste, Preston

ROQ IT, Chorley

Springhill Care, Hyndburn

 

Professional Services Business of the Year:

Winner: Physiofusion Ltd, Burnley

Finalists:

Barcadia Media, Blackpool

Bespoke Internet, Preston

Farleys Solicitors LLP, Blackburn

FTS Merit, Blackpool

Home Angels, Chorley

MJH Accountants , Preston

TUTIS Concepts, Blackpool

 

Micro Business of the Year:

Winner: GROUP55, Ribble Valley

Finalists:

Bizzi Growin, Chorley

Blackburn Distributions, Pendle

Gconnect, Lancaster

Love Displays, Blackpool

QiSOFT, South Ribble

The Ink Squid, Blackpool

The Little Big Voice, Preston

 

Entrepreneur of the Year:

Winner: Phil Lawson, Virtue Technologies, West Lancashire

Finalists:

Lee Kirton, Collosal Group, Blackpool

Nicolla Moran, Home Angels, Chorley

Anthony Payne, Love My Gifts, Blackburn

Hannah Warren, Oxygen Personnel, Preston

Gary Vizard, Power Efficient Systems Ltd (EnergyAce), West Lancashire

Steve Pearson, Our Local Heroes Foundation, South Ribble

Adrian Meakin, The Ink Squid, Blackpool

 

Business of the Year:

Winner: Danbro, Fylde

Finalists:

Chemical Innovations, South Ribble

Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Conlon Construction, South Ribble

Gold Medal Travel Group, Preston

Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Springhill Care, Hyndburn

Warden Construction, Fylde

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New Business of the Year:

Winner: KaBo, Chorley

Finalists:

Astute Motoring, Wyre

JCK Professional Building Services, Blackburn

Love My Gifts, Blackburn

Rope Access Inspection – North West, Blackpool

The Property Family, South Ribble

TUTIS Concepts, Blackpool

World Travel Lounge, Blackpool

 

Best Use of Information Technology:

Winner: Direct 365, West Lancashire

Finalists:

Virtue Technologies, West Lancashire

ROQ IT , Chorley

MendIT, Burnley

The Ink Squid, Blackpool

Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Chorley

Blackburn Distribution, Pendle

Love My Gifts, Blackburn

 

Employer of the Year:

Winner: Gold Medal Travel Group, Preston

Finalists:

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston

Danbro, Fylde

Service Care Solutions, Preston

Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Direct 365, West Lancashire

Cummins Mellor, Hyndburn

Innova Solutions, Pendle

 

Best Use of Creativity in a Business:

Winner: Bizzi Growin, Chorley

Finalists:

Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Chorley

G A Petfoods. South Ribble

Inside Studio, Preston

Knightime Creations, Lancaster

Little Gargoyle, Lancaster

The Little Big Voice, Preston

WUK Media, Lancaster

 

Excellence in Customer Service:

Winner: Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Finalists:

AM Support Services, Morecambe

Direct 365, West Lancashire

Innova Solutions, Pendle

Springhill Care, Hyndburn

TVS, Chorley

Wyrebank, Wyre

EQ Woman, Ribble Valley

 

Business Woman of the Year:

Winner: Louise Wilkinson, Lomeshaye Village Day Nursery / Carousel, Pendle

Finalists:

Hannah Warren, Oxygen Personnel

Helen Harker, Simon Jersey, Hyndburn

Lisa Brady-Munro, Perfect Recruitment, Chorley

Niccolla Moran, Home Angels, Chorley

Rose Watkins, Centaur Training, South Ribble

Ruth Quaglieri, North of England Training, Chorley

Tamsin Marlowe, Building Careers, West Lancashire

 

Leisure Business of the Year:

Winner: The Cartford Inn, Fylde

Finalists:

Blackpool Zoo, Blackpool

Catering Elite, Blackpool

Fylde Executive Cars, Fylde

Little Gargoyle, Lancaster

Preston Marriott, Preston

Wyrebank, Wyre

 

Manufacturer of the Year:

Winner: Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Finalists:

Chemical Innovations, South Ribble

GA Petfoods, South Ribble

Pakawaste, Preston

Power Efficient Systems, West Lancashire

Star Tissue UK, Blackburn

Tetrad, Preston

 

Construction Business of the Year:

Winner: Conlon Construction, South Ribble

Finalists:

Approved Inspectors, Lancaster

Build Up, Blackpool

Building Careers, West Lancashire

FTS Merit, Blackpool

JCK Professional Building Services, Blackburn

Pinington, Lancaster

Warden Construction, Fylde

GUEST BLOG: DOUG MELIA – SAFER HANDLING

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Have I got human rights for you

The thing about Human Rights is it protects humans. That means everybody…  not merely the people the Tories deci de are human. – Marcus Chown

The newly installed government are looking at replacing the existing Human Rights Act. You can’t avoid reading about this, it ‘s everywhere we look.

So what’s it all about? Is the HRA as the media often portrays it a “Villain’s charter” a ‘Get out of jail free card’ for the twenty tens?’  Well not really, rights of humans aren’t a new thing, the individual rights of people here in England originate back to the signing of Magna Carta some 800 years ago at Runnymede by Richard the Lion-heart. Since then we have seen the modern Human Rights legislation passed following the atrocities of the Second World War and the HRA as we know it receiving royal ascent here to allow us to try cases on UK soil in 1998.

Human rights information which often interlaces my presentations has all been gathered from reliable sources, published works and the newspapers.

Thanks has to go as far as legitimate resources are concerned to Edexcel’s brilliant qualification based learning on the Use of force, vast  input from my mentor on the subject of the use of force Mark Dawes, and my bedfellows and driving companions; Michael Mansfield QC, Professor Gary Slapperand the world renowned human rights lawyer John Wadham  (Amazon, iTunes and Waterstones receipts are entirely legitimate and tax deductible business expenses).

Answering queries on self-defence, pupil restraint, the searching of prisoners and which holds are safe to use with the infirm or vulnerable has over the years become a bit of a speciality for me.

“Do certain types of restraint amount to torture?” or, “If we do defend ourselves against an attacker and they are injured, then
have we breached his or her human rights?

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Questions like these are brilliant introductions which immediately seize the attention of others in the group. This allows me a public platform (something which the new charter aims to restrict further) to convey, in a language which frontline people, management & health and safety professionals alike can understand, the ways in which the law can be interpreted. Regularly I find immense job satisfaction when I can see that by passing on this information, people are empowered in their job-roles, enlightened with the facts and more often than not along the way I find I dispel a few myths, misconceptions and well, massive untruths.

Within this short 11 minute video which I have taken from a seminar I delivered at Cheshire Police HQ earlier this year is my interpretation of the HRA in relation to restraint and the use of force in general. Absolute and qualified rights are explained and without these safeguards in place I do worry if the interests of the vulnerable will be prioritised in this new charter at all.

Surely before a complete repeal, it would make sense to weigh up the alternatives, the motives for the choices that have been made and their associated consequences? Is there actually anything wrong with the law? Wouldn’t it make sense first to consider implementing;

A better awareness of the law within counter-terror, the police and in government departments, both central and local?
Improved information sharing and communication channels between these departments?
Let’s say we don’t? We give the cold shoulder to Europe and we blank a constitution, established over centuries which has been built on the sacrifices of others. Turning on our heels we throw it all away and get the first bus home? Well for the children, elderly and vulnerable members of society, it could be a long, scary walk back to say the least.

office environment is more important than you think

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When workers talk about their ideal job, they’re usually concerned with two main concepts: the pay and the people. But there’s a third that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, and it’s one that can have a profound effect on your business and its workforce: the place. No one wants to spend forty hours a week in a windowless dungeon, shuffling across a grey carpet from one grey cubicle to the next. And if businesses don’t start to realise the value that their workers put on their environment, they may struggle to attract and retain the best staff.

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Recent research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that nearly half of the UK’s workers want upgrades to the properties they work in – and that a team’s surroundings can have a huge impact on how they feel about their job.

“With numerous industries currently fighting a war for talent, capable staff and skilled new joiners are like gold-dust for many companies,” says Paul Bagust, UK Commercial Property Director for RICS. “On that basis, businesses should be doing everything possible to recruit and retain the best people.”

“It’s disappointing, therefore, that many employers seem to be under-estimating – or perhaps not realising – the power of property in motivating, attracting and keeping staff. A well-constructed, designed and utilised office or workplace can pay huge dividends for the business that inhabits it.”

We took a look at a few of the highlights from the study: how your office can affect your workforce, and what the UK’s employees really want from a modern workplace.

The right workplace can boost recruitment

According the RICS’s survey of 1,000 UK employees, nearly nine in ten (89%) Brits who work indoors believe that the property is a major deciding factor in whether or not they’ll accept a new job. Behind pay and people, place was the third most important factor, beating “progression opportunities” (40%), “company culture” (36%) and other perks, such as gym memberships.

At a time when unemployment is low, self-employment is high, and a continuing skills gap means that many businesses are still struggling to get the staff they need, companies of all sizes should be taking every opportunity to present themselves as attractive employers. That means offering competitive pay, demonstrating a rewarding culture, and having the right space for their workforce to thrive and be happy.

A positive environment creates a positive team

Let’s face it: life in the office isn’t always an action-packed adventure. And while spreadsheets and invoices definitely have their charms, working in comfortable, stimulating surroundings can make even the most dreary or stressful work a little bit more bearable.

It’s certainly something that UK employees are aware of. RICS’s research found that an overwhelming 88% of workers said that high-quality offices and workplace facilities have an impact on their overall job satisfaction.

But it’s not just a case of seeking the elusive concept of an ‘engaged workforce’. The quality and design of your office space can also have an effect on your team’s health and well-being. According to Lindsey Dugdill, a professor of public health at the University of Salford, even inexpensive features – such as the colour of the walls or the presence of plants – can make a difference.

“Certain colours, like green and blue, are seen to be less stressful,” she says, “so even quite simple things, such as the colour an employer paints a wall, can have quite a pronounced effect on the way staff feel”.

And a positive team becomes a loyal workforce

According to recent research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), more than a third of UK workers are hoping to leave their current job in 2015 – a figure that’s doubled since 2014, and tripled since 2013. While it’s encouraging to see what the ILM calls “the return of ambition to the UK workforce”, it also means that employers need to work harder than ever if they want to keep their most valuable employees from looking elsewhere.

But according to the RICS’s survey, it’s not just better pay or promising career opportunities that are making UK workers jump ship. Four fifths of the survey’s respondents said their workplace had an effect on whether or not they intend to stay in their job, which means that businesses need to think carefully about their premises if they want to give their workforce what they want.

So just what do the UK’s workers want?

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating the most productive, engaging and comfortable workplace possible. But from the RICS’s pool of 1,000 employees, we should at least be able to get a representative clue. Here are the top 10 most desirable workplace traits:

01. Lots of natural light (63%)
02. Good heating/ventilation (62%)
03. Regular cleaning (52%)
04. Good kitchen facilities (44%)
05. Good security (38%)
06. A café/bar/restaurant on site (31%)
07. A space to work away from the desk (26%)
08. A gym on site (15%)
09. A good colour scheme (13%)
10. High ceilings (13%)

Attracting and retaining the best talent for your business isn’t an overnight fix – but finding the ideal premises might be. Find out how a smart, flexible, fully-equipped workspace could give your business the boost it needs.

To find out more about what we have to offer please call: 01772 507 767 and speak to one of the team alternatively you can email info@cottoncourt.co.uk

Why using a professional meeting space is important

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It is very important for any small business to create a good impression. Whether it’s a potential employee or a big-money client, appearances and perceptions are everything in business.

An increasing number of small business startups have indicating that coffee shops are no longer an appropriate venue for holding business meetings. Business critical concerns are now being raised about hosting an important meeting in a café or coffee shop, with problems such as safety and security, professionalism and eavesdropping raised by SME owners.

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Professionalism is everything. A dedicated meeting or conference room is therefore much more beneficial to improve productivity and avoid any data or confidentiality leaks that could occur when holding a meeting in a public place.

It may also be the difference between instilling confidence in a potential client that you are adequately equipped to carry out the task at hand.

Some business feel they won’t be able to afford to book a meeting room until they are making mega bucks, but with us it is in fact possible to secure proper meeting space in a professional working environment.

We work with a host of business owners still happy to work from home and simply hire meeting space on an ad-hoc basis. We provide space for a whole host of business and are also ideal for job interviews, consultations and client briefings.meeting-space1Some small businesses often choose to use our serviced offices and our shared workspace as a flexible solution to finding meeting space as well as the next step up from working from home. Flexibility is the buzzword with serviced office space as most startups can secure workspace within days on short term contracts with minimal notice periods.

Our serviced offices and desk space come fully furnished, complete with manned reception staff and a host of additional services such as telephone answering, shared workspace, access to meeting rooms and conferencing facilities.desk-space-3With NO hidden costs for internet connectivity, line rental or business rates. We make it easy!

Our meeting space from an hour to as long as an entire week, depending on your requirements. Ask a member of our team for more information by either calling 01772 507 767 or email info@cottoncourt.co.uk

The importance of professional meeting space should never be underestimated by any new business. It will almost certainly be the difference between winning and losing new business.

We wish you the best of luck in your business and look forward to welcoming you to Cotton Court Business Centre

Client Success Story – EJT Associates

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One of our newest clients, EJT Associates, are going from strength to strength having secured a number of high profile contracts including Transport for London, Babcock International, Bank of New York Mellon, Keolis Amey and the London Fire Brigade.

EJT Associates Ltd is specialist provider of resilience, health and wellbeing services to a range of organisations. Their“fitforlife” brand has been specifically designed to support your resilience, health and wellbeing by delivering a range of bespoke fitforlife events including the provision of Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Personal Trainers and Nutritionists.

Russell Francis said “I am delighted to announce our new office at Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston after working from my home address for the past two years. Now in our second month of tenancy we find the building, the support and the staff to be exactly what we require in order to run our business.”

EJT are passionate in designing and providing the right event for your organisation and staff alike.
For further information on our services please visit: www.ejtassociates.co.uk / www.fitforlife.uk.net or call us on 01772 508110.

3ManFactory create video to get brands thinking!

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We first spotted this in the days running up to Lancashire Business View’s Young ‘Uns Awards. Low and behold we didn’t realise the advert lead to this very clever video from the team.

Marketing on Fleek from 3ManFactory on Vimeo.

Need to connect your brand with 18-30s or teens? Want to build brand awareness, get your products or services in front of them, or attract the best and brightest talent?

3ManFactory are experienced in delivering high performance cross-platform marketing strategies and campaigns to engage and excite youth demographics.

Our sectors specialisms include: education, fashion, technology, entertainment and consumer.

So if your brand needs to be in front of Generation Y, Z, Millennials or teens, get your marketing right or rather, on fleek. Get in touch with 3ManFactory today.