Outbreak training is a major component in keeping your personnel safe, but unfortunately it is also the most neglected of all elements in the overall safety plan. With outbreaks so prevalent in the world today, however, it is important that each and every worker is properly educated about what to do in the event of an outbreak and what to expect during outbreak preparation.
There are some industries where mandatory training sessions for employees are mandated by law, or where it is mandated by a company’s own standards. These situations may include employers providing mandatory crisis training to all employees in the case of an emergency, as well as mandatory training in safe handling of hazardous chemicals in the case of workplace accidents. This article will discuss the two primary types of outbreak training – company mandated and voluntary.
Mandatory outbreak training is a requirement in many industries, including food processing plants, chemical manufacturing facilities, chemical distribution warehouses, and other such establishments. In these situations, a full hour of training is usually provided annually and can be applied to any upcoming outbreak. There are several ways in which this training is provided, depending on the company, but the most common is to have it presented in a special classroom setting, with presentations by certified professionals such as medical doctors and nurses.
Outbreak training in the workplace can range from very short – only a couple of minutes – to an hour-long seminar. The latter, however, can be of some value to workers in the event of an outbreak, since it can serve as a good refresher course. Unfortunately, with this type of training, you are often faced with answering questions during the training session, not to mention being subjected to writing reports or taking tests on topics that are of little relevance to the main message.
Mandatory outbreak training in the workplace can be a bit more interesting than the mandatory type. It may be done over the phone, or even on the same day of the training session, without the employees having to leave their jobs. In this case, it is a good idea to focus on small details such as the use of personal protective equipment, rather than focus on hard science concepts that might be of no use.
Voluntary training can also be effective, if done correctly. For example, if the outbreak training course is provided by an independent organization, such as an environmental health professional, or by a local organization of concerned citizens, it can be of great benefit. All the student needs to do is take notes during the session, or deliver written reports afterward.
If a local level of government has created a plan that may make it mandatory, then all those who are involved in the industry should be informed of the plan and given time to prepare. That will include the workers, and it also includes those who conduct the training. If the teachers work in an agency of the government, and they are responsible for providing training to all employees, they need to be held accountable if things go wrong.
Even though mandatory training is important, voluntary training is just as important. Not only is it better for workers to be aware of the dangers and risks associated with any given situation, but it can also be better for the company as well. It is always advisable to have a buffer zone around any potential danger, as a secondary point of safety.