My wife and I just visited the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero. Emotionally poignant and beautifully done.
This anniversary should remind us about training.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, one company with 2,600+ people present in the South Tower lost just one life. While losing one life is a tragedy, given the mass casualties of that day, it seemed a miracle that everyone else went home safely.
Their safety director helped make that miracle possible.
He had trained and drilled all employees regarding emergency response every quarter for years—in spite of management and employees whining that this was over-the-top. The safety director ignored them. It was his commitment to training and drills that helped saved over 2,600 lives that day.
No company or campus rejects emergency response training as important on an intellectual level. Unfortunately, almost all workplaces resist training on an emotional level.
“Too much time and money” is an excuse disguised as rationale. Some think they can use on-screen training as an on-demand, cost-efficient way to train. Unfortunately, most on-screen training is very thin, aimed at individual workers and not workforces, and—if used solely as employee training—illegal!
Here’s your Emergency Insight:
- Great plans are a smart thing. Training is everything. If we don’t get the words off the paper and into our employees’ heads, we have failed. People don’t rise to the occasion; they sink to their level of training. Those 2,600+ people in the South Tower responded to their training and drills under unthinkable conditions. They didn’t need to think. They knew how to respond.
- OSHA requires that every workplace in America—without exception—shall train all its employees in emergency response annually and at hire. OSHA’s position: “Your first day on the job should not be your last day on earth.”
- OSHA requires that training shall be in a classroom with a “qualified” trainer—by dint of training or experience.
- The law requires that planning and training be site-specific. By definition, on-screen training does not comply operationally or legally.
- On-screen training can supplement. But, it can never substitute for the annual classroom training.
- On-screen training may be helpful for an individual. But, if the training is not ubiquitous to all employees, the employer has failed.
- By definition and by law, training is based on and aimed at a written plan of site-specific emergency response procedures. The sequencing shall be PLAN, TRAIN, DRILL, EXERCISE. So, training some employees, on-screen re the Active Shooter Protocol—when your plan is non-existent or incompetent on this Protocol—is counter-productive and perhaps dangerous.
National research reports that 85% of your employees believe safety at your workplace is their most important issue—by far, more important than raises, salary and benefits.
I have trained 18,000 employees like yours over the last 11 years. Our anonymous and confidential surveys found that 98.5% of those 18,000 were confident they could respond successfully after having been trained. Frequent employee comments include, “This is fantastic that management did this for us” and “Can we do this more than once a year?”
One day, you may become a miracle maker, just like that safety director in the South Tower on 9/11. Don’t allow whiners to dissuade your commitment. Remember, training is everything.
Please let me know if this was helpful.