Covid-19 has been a major part of our lives, day in and day out, since government shutdowns and restrictions took place in mid-March of this year. We have been living with this in every aspect of our lives for over seven months, and with the second wave upon us, it’s not going away anytime soon.
We, as a society, have learned a lot since the early days of the pandemic as the science has evolved. We know the simple things that we can do to protect ourselves and others, like wearing masks, physically distancing, washing our hands, and cleaning and disinfecting equipment, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, what we have also seen, is a large amount of misleading information. This misinformation is not only shared on social media but has been spread around by some world leaders and through some mainstream media outlets. This has led to a large amount of confusion and made it difficult for people to trust or understand what steps they should take to reduce the spread of this virus.
While employers have done their best to ensure they take the steps required to protect their employees and visitors from contact with the virus, it is not always easy to ensure your entire workforce understands how the virus works and why the steps the company has put in place need to be followed.
Governments have done a great job providing guidance and best practices for workplaces to follow, and this has been invaluable to employers. For a program to have the best rate of success however, a true understanding of the virus is needed by those who are required to follow the guidance.
It is no different than hiring a driver and asking them to drive your truck safely and efficiently. In order for that to occur, we can’t just hire a driver who has a proper licence and send them out on their own. When they come on-board, we spend time to mentor them, refine their skills and teach them the specific skills needed for handling the equipment, freight, and customers.
Sending them out and telling them to be safe will never work if we do not provide the means and knowledge to achieve this ask. With this in mind, how many companies have been able to provide training to all of their employees on Covid-19 and how the virus works?
My guess is a low percentage, and through no fault of your own. With the virus being so new, the training programs, for the most part, have yet to be developed. In addition, companies have been working hard to ensure they keep up with ever-changing government guidelines and regulations, not to mention just trying to keep the lights on and employees on the payroll. This has been a challenging and unprecedented time for everyone, with no history to refer to.
With this in mind, the PMTC Board of Directors has agreed to partner with Bluedrop Learning Networks, a Canadian globally recognized e-learning provider to bring a proven Covid-19 Work Safe training course to our membership, and for our extended carrier and stakeholder groups.
Bluedrop’s interactive online training course, which launched by the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador in July, was developed under the guidance of several noted national experts, including Canada’s former deputy chief public health officer, Dr. David Mowat. The course has now been tailored specifically for the trucking/shipping/freight management industry.
The results of the training are equally impressive. An online survey of over 200 course registrants was recently conducted to assess its impact. Prior to completing the course, only 49% of survey participants passed a knowledge check on Covid-19 best practices. After completing the course, the pass rate increased to 95%.
Overall, participants showed a 53% increase in workplace Covid-19 safety knowledge after completing the course. And 81% of those completing the course said that they now felt ‘very confident’ in their ability to keep their co-workers and customers safe from Covid-19. Finally, 95% of survey respondents said they would encourage their co-workers to complete this training.
The Covid-19 Work Safe Course has since been adopted by Workers Compensation Board agencies and employer groups in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Manitoba, with more to be announced shortly.
In the next few weeks, the course will become available on the PMTC website at www.pmtc.ca, and we will provide more information at that time. The PMTC will receive zero revenue from this course offer, nor will Bluedrop. The reason for this partnership is to make the course available for as many companies and employees as possible, to ensure we all have the tools to reduce the spread of Covid-19 to keep all of us safe.
In the meantime, for more information on the training or the impact that it’s having, feel free to visit the SkillsPass Resource Page, and you can also register for the free 30-minute overview webinar on Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. EST. You can register here.
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