Luck runs out, but safety is good for life. ~Author Unknown
Whether an industrial facility is domestically located or abroad, ensuring compliance, employee safety, and an effective response requires a comprehensive training and exercise program. All training and exercise components within a corporate enterprise should address site-specific operations, appropriate response processes, standardized company-wide best practices, and maintain location-specific regulatory compliance.
The challenge of managing and ensuring compliant training programs for multiple facilities and various regulatory agencies is complex. Certification efforts, enforcement mandates, and costly non-compliance fines may result from the lack of implemented, thorough, or effective programs. By utilizing available technology to manage an enterprise-wide training approach, companies can verify compliance and response readiness through a cohesive, yet site-specific standardization of best practices.
Through proper maintenance of a training portal, individuals will remain at peak optimal response capabilities. Training should include, but not be limited to:
- Response plan familiarization
- Individual roles and responsibilities
- Plan review training whenever a substantial change or revision is made to the plan that affects organization, procedures, roles and responsibilities, or response capability.
- Refresher courses, as necessary
Mid to large size companies should implement a preparedness and response training management system with the ability to identify and sort specialized data. When a company has multiple facilities, a centralized web-based database of scheduled, lapsed, and completed training enable facility managers to focus their efforts on operations and profitability. With a comprehensive, web-based, database-driven training management system, emergency managers and health, safety, and environmental departments can:
- Simplify training reviews
- Easily identify training inception and expiration dates
- Verify responder knowledge and ensure employee accountability
- Identify regulatory compliance training gaps
- Account for preparedness endeavors and associated costs
- Ease maintenance and administrative efforts
For companies looking to systematically manage the training and development of their staff, an enterprise-wide training management system is critical. Managing several disparate systems and multiple paper files is cumbersome and time consuming. Maintaining training information in a single, consolidated system provides significant benefits. A web-based training management system provides authorized users with secured access from a variety of locations. As facilities are added or modified, operations are revised, or employees are re-assigned, training records can be conveniently added, accessed, transferred, or updated for accuracy and compliance. A comprehensive, web-based training management system will:
- Reduce the need for multiple site training management and documentation
- Minimize administrative costs
- Minimize training discrepancies across an enterprise
- Provide a historical record of training certifications
- Streamline training directives from one source
- Serve as a legal instrument, if necessary
- Engage management in prioritizing preparedness efforts
- Enhance reporting functionality
- Identify regulatory compliance training gaps
Training administration can be time-consuming and difficult, particularly in medium to large companies with staff employed in different roles across a variety of physical locations. A customized training management system can streamline this administrative effort, making it easy to ensure staff members receive the appropriate training, and instructors are supported with the necessary resources. A comprehensive system can
- Track and report training completion or status by discipline, skill, position, individual, location, or over a specific time period
- Generate summary reports that provide a snapshot of various mandated training versus completed and scheduled events
- Print automated certifications and wallet cards
Advanced web-based technologies can also facilitate online training and provide classroom resources. While it is not essential to implementing web-based training, it can reduce costs associated with classroom instruction. Some web-based training solutions include tools to share critical training information and lesson plans with students, reducing the time required to duplicate and distribute training materials across an enterprise.
While optimizing training is critical for regulatory compliance and safety, cost is always a deciding factor. Implementing a customized training management system in highly regulated environments is a proactive, cost-savings measure that can reduce the overall costs associated with incidents, training maintenance, and non-compliance.