Safety Training Moving Front and Center at Mid-Sized Companies

Safety Training Moving Front and Center at Mid-Sized Companies

Jan. 12, 2021
“Due to a variety of factors including COVID-19 and compliance EHS training will become embedded in a company’s DNA," said Chris Fanning, CEO of KPA.

Training, of any kind, is something that companies do on an as-needed basis. But the training and tracking now required in order to deal effectively with COVID-19 related concerns, has changed how many mid-sized companies will both collect and use data.

“While training using technology is a trend that has been underway for years, COVID has been an accelerator,” explains Chris Fanning, CEO of KPA, Inc. “Moving forward EHS training will become embedded in a company’s DNA.”

KPA, using cloud software, provides online training and on-site auditing at over 10,000 locations. Back in September, the company expanded its offerings to include COVID-19 related training as companies requested resources.  The company offers a COVID-19 safety program, a resource center, and remote safety consulting services. Lessons on how to reconfigure workplaces, ensure social distancing and even on which cleaning chemicals to use, are part of the information offered. 

The key to absorbing this information is that the technology is easy-to-use and accessible for medium-sized companies.

“We were able to produce a lot of original content, that you couldn’t find elsewhere, on how to deal with COVID-19,” says Fanning. It was a case of quickly providing information but as the company had extensive training modules it could be quickly added on.

What KPA had is what companies will have to have going forward; a system that houses its training. The good news is that once companies have a more formalized EHS system, based on technology, data can be collected and analyzed which can in turn improve financial outcomes.

 “Our goal is to help companies get to a point there where they can use their own internal data to make better business decisions,” says Fanning.

There is another factor influencing the need for mid-sized companies to have a more formal program in place – a new administration. Fanning says the general consensus is that this administration will be much more regulatory in nature than the last administration. There is an intent to bring on more OSHA  inspectors.  And he feels that the practice of publicly posting OSHA violations will be resumed.

 With all of these factors pushing companies to have robust EHS systems, Fanning says that the objectives need to be communicated from the highest level of the organization. “Employees look to senior management to walk the talk,” says Fanning. “They must clearly talk about the benefits of training and work it into day-to-day practices.”

Using a software system as a method to collect data that is capable of measuring training efforts has been a key to success for the companies that Fanning works with. “Digital records that be sorted through to discover what’s working and what’s not and therefore determine corrective actions is quite valuable.”

To keep up with the technology trends in January the company acquired iScout, which provides flexible and “intuitive” EHS software design for both the mid-sized and smaller markets.

One of the goals of this software, and that of KPA, is to help companies manage data across facilities. The platform is centered on mobile applications for iOS and Android and is thus easily accessible.

These digital training systems are so comprehensive now that it’s not necessary to have data scientists on staff. But what will be necessary is for people to feel comfortable with data analytics. And luckily recent graduates who are now entering companies have had this training in school. “This ability is part of our future economy, and the students today are being trained for these new ways to manage businesses.”

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