8 Emergency Response Training Challenges and What to do About Them
-By Micah Bongberg Google+ | @annuvia
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Organizations of all sizes are flummoxed with the challenge of providing cost-effective, legally compliant safety programs for their organizations. Commonly, administrative professionals, human resource departments, and facility managers are asked to build programs, plans, and safety teams from the ground up by management. Typically this challenge comes with additional constraints such as strict deadlines, zero additional human capital resources, and absolutely no financial assistance. So what challenges are organizations facing? Here’s why you aren’t alone:
1. Not knowing where to begin. Solution: define your program’s scope. What are the goals for the organization? Minimum legal compliance or an effective, long-lasting program? It is typically best to begin with a set of micro-level goals, rather than large, intensive programs. Like writing a term paper, the author should begin with a strong outline, then work section-by-section, knowing that many drafts will take place.
2. Defining the program’s structure. Solution: Compartmentalize your organization’s goals into buckets: written documents (ERP, IIPP), training programs (CPR and First Aid training), business continuity, or a combination of all elements.
3. Beginning. Solution: Begin! Create an outline, call reputable vendors, and schedule next steps. Doing something will not hurt and can only help!
4. Growing too fast. Solution: Understand the specifics of your organizations growth plans. Will the organization spread to many different facilities, or will it occupy additional floors at its current location? Either way, scalability is key. Develop a core program for all stages of your organization’s life cycle. For instance, from zero to one-hundred employees you will provide training in a,b, and c skill sets. For offices which are larger, you will do a, b, c, d, and e.
5. Getting overwhelmed with OSHA compliance and State laws. Solution: Start small and add, edit, and amend your program as you go. Establish regular check back periods (perhaps annually or after monthly walkthroughs) to add to the living, breathing document you are growing. Don’t try to do it all up front, nor should you try to memorize rules and regulations in one sitting. Do your best and expand the program when something specific reveals itself. Call the professionals if there is something glaring that draws your attention.
6. Translating written documents to literal action. Solution: Involve your co-workers. By offering regular, engaging, and exciting training courses and topics employees at your facility find interesting will help ensure your program is long-lasting and always improving. Make sure your safety program isn’t only distributed and available to employees via written copy, but more importantly involved through active, real-life training courses.
7. Organizing leaders and participants. Solution: You’ve already started planning, you’re a national leader! This does not mean you’re responsible for doing it all. In fact, your primary responsibility should be to build the team, assign responsibilities, train, and manage. Sounds like a lot, and is, but you’re not the one evacuating the office, taking roll, and asking the organization to rest their weight on your shoulders. FEMA offers great scalable solutions you can use to ensure your firm is using the model the pros use. Its simple, effective, and easy to implement.
8. Maintaining a program and managing for the long-run. Solution: Since you’ve defined goals, begun the program aware that it’s a living breathing evolutions, involved the office and a diverse array of participants, your left to manage the program and continually build on its success. This can easily be done by asking participants what topics and training courses they find most interesting. Devise a schedule, invite lecturers, and build on the knowledge and skill sets of your team. Remember to continually offer important courses like First Aid training, CPR and AED courses, and Incident Command Exercises (ICS). For instance, if you’re hosting emergency medical drills, call your team to the meeting using the methods from your ERP. Don’t forget, safety done right is fun!