Olive Safety, part of education technology company Olive Group, has reported a 50% increase in uptake of its safety courses, compared to this time last year, the organisation has revealed.

An Irish health and safety training body for businesses, Olive Safety has responded to the increased market demand by expanding the number of fully accredited courses available online via its Learning Management System, it said.

As a result, the company expects revenues to double to €5 million by year-end 2020, with continued growth leading to revenues of €6 million by the end of 2021.

As cases of COVID-19 start to rise again, businesses that are currently in operation are being faced with the challenge of remaining open, while also ensuring the safety of their employees and wider community.

Safe Pass for construction sector

Demand for health and safety courses is therefore at an all-time high and all health and safety courses in all sectors have had to be adapted. First aid courses, manual handling and Safe Pass for the construction sector have all had to be updated to include procedures to prevent and deal with COVID-19.

By adapting and increasing the number of courses available on its Learning Management System – overseen by regulatory bodies SOLAS and the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council – Olive Safety estimates that it will train some 20,000 workers in Ireland this year, up from 10,000 in 2019.

So far, there has been a particularly strong uptake from the construction (Safe Pass), retail, nursing homes, healthcare, pharmaceutical, hospitality and aviation sectors. And with flexible deadlines, all courses are internationally accessible and can be completed at the convenience of the participant. 

Part of Olive Safety’s growth is supported by its partnership with Dublin Town, a collective of more than 2,500 businesses based in Dublin city centre; and the Port of Cork, that promotes the development of the county’s natural deep sea harbour.

Doubled number of classroom training centres

In addition to its online courses, Olive Safety has also doubled its number of classroom training centres from two to four locations across Dublin: Dun Laoghaire, Croke Park, Parnell Square and on the Naas Road. Regional businesses can also access in-person courses via satellite sessions at various locations around the country.

To ensure the safety of participants, Olive Safety has implemented all safety measures as recommended by the Health Service Executive to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These include pre-assigned seating plans to ensure participants observe social distancing; a designated COVID-19 compliance officer to oversee each first aid course; and a quarantine area for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Gerard Farrell, operations manager, Dublin Town, said: “When the first wave of restrictions was eased, we wanted to make sure that of our staff were up to speed and ready to return to work safely as soon as possible. Olive Safety was recommended to us by a supplier and we were extremely impressed with the convenient way in which the courses were delivered.

“We realised that many of our members had similar concerns about their own staff and those concerns have been magnified by the recent rise in cases.

COVID-19-specific safety training courses

"We partnered with Olive Safety to give businesses access to bundles of COVID-19-specific safety training courses online, so that businesses can work together to stem the spread of COVID-19 while also remaining open in compliance with HSA directives.”

Peter O’Shaughnessy, head of HR, Port of Cork Company, said: “The Olive Learning platform makes the ongoing management of training easier. Most importantly, the high-quality training programmes are flexible and learners can engage via laptop, desktop or smartphone - working through approved content, clear design, interactive graphics, high-quality video, with knowledge checks throughout.

"The initial benefits to the Port of Cork have been significant as we have delivered important safety training and briefings during these challenging times.”

Kevin Doyle, managing director, Olive Safety (pictured), said: “At Olive Group, we are committed to supporting the business community through this difficult time and ensure that those who can stay open, do stay open.

'Adapted our programmes'

"As a result of the HSA’s COVID-19 safety measures, we quickly adapted our programmes to offer companies a wide range of health and safety online courses that can be branded and delivered through the eLearning platform.

“Our courses have been modified to include the current social distancing rules and regulations. As a result, we are expecting twice as many people to take up our training this year compared to last.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Dublin Town and the Port of Cork to train businesses and staff so that they can keep their doors open safely. We look forward to playing our part in the recovery of the economy.”