No matter what industry you’re in, there will come a time where your staff will come face-to-face with a challenging incident. Whether it’s a workplace injury, a serious safety hazard like a fire or flood, or a threat or assault, your employees and contractors need to have the training to properly handle any incidents they might face while on the job.
The type of incident your team is likely to face will vary depending on your industry, but here are a few general guidelines on how to train your staff to deal with incidents so they feel prepared to handle anything that happens on the job calmly and correctly:
The first step to properly training your staff to deal with incidents is to walk them through every possible scenario they might have to deal with while working for your company.
Obviously, the incidents your staff is most likely to face should take top priority. If you run a construction site, it’s important to train your staff on how to handle incidents involving injury from moving objects or falling debris. If you own an aged care facility or hospital, you’d want to make sure your staff knows how to deal with incidents involving patients.
But in addition to preparing your staff for the most common incidents they’ll face on the job, it’s important you also train them on the not-so-common ones. While it may be unlikely they’ll have to deal with a fire, a chemical spill, or sexual harassment, it is possible, so it’s imperative that they know exactly what to do if faced with those kinds of situations.
Dealing with an incident at work can be a stressful experience. Depending on the incident, workers may experience a heightened stress response, which could inhibit them from properly managing the incident.
Training workers on how to deal with incident-related stress, including how to handle stress in the moment and how to process it after the incident, can help your workers recover quickly from incidents and avoid any long-term stress-related symptoms.
When training your team, let them know the resources available to them to deal with incident-related stress, like taking time to recover after a stressful incident and talking things out with a supervisor.
Once your staff is properly trained on the incidents they might face on the job and how to deal with the stress they may experience, the next step is training them on the proper reporting procedures.
Properly reporting any workplace incidents is crucial; not only does it ensure you get the information you need to protect your staff and make your workplace safer, but it’s also necessary to have the proper paperwork on file for compliance purposes.
Make sure you review your reporting procedures with every team member. Walk them through the process step-by-step. What forms do they need to fill out? What information do they need to include? How long after an incident occurs do they have to file their report? How should they deliver the report? What kind of online incident management system do you use? Who needs to sign off on it?
The better your staff understands your reporting procedures, the better your overall reporting will be, which will make it easier for you to stay on top of any incidents that occur.
Workplace incidents are inevitable. But when you train your staff to deal with them properly, they don’t have to derail your business operations.