Orange County has a culture that takes Safety Seriously. To ensure this, facility managers are responsible for finding and delivering a solution which provides training to ensure that every staff member has been appropriately trained to maintain their high safety standards. This is then a standard that is audited annually, making sure that information is kept up to date and delivered and received by each learner.
Back in 2017, the Communications team was struggling to meet these requirements. To start, they established the role of Department Safety Officer within the organization, and then began searching to find a better way at delivering their existing paper based emergency preparedness training. This outdated model had become difficult to manage and even more challenging to deliver to 150+ learners in a timely and engaging way.
Visual Emergency Preparedness
This was when PlanSafe’s online Emergency Preparedness System was implemented. Assisting all staff working in separate buildings (over 50,000 SQFT), each learner was provided with role and site specific training which was stored within Orange County’s customised platform.
The platform uses innovative visual technology to help with absorption of crucial content. An interactive floor plan demonstrates emergency evacuation routes, the location of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machines & fire extinguishers, and the names of staff that are trained in CPR/First Aid. Shelter in Place locations and procedures are also a part of the visualised content.
Site Specific Customized Data
The map provides data based on where the user is located, giving an employee specific information that improves their own personal response in an emergency (role specific). EPS also features the capability to send out notifications to staff in the event of an incident (e.g. a scenario requiring CPR would notify training employees).
Stephanie Boffa is the Public Information Officer for Orange County Information Technology.
“PlanSafe helps the County communicate safety procedures and prepare for their annual safety Audit. The PlanSafe Dashboard provides me with reporting to show if my target on compliance is met and if not, who I need to follow up to ensure we fulfill our duty of care. I review our content annually and the team at Locatrix helps me ensure that content is correct and relevant. This includes making any changes to personnel, process or including any changes to our building lay outs, floor plans and building assets. The online training never takes more than 20 minutes to complete, enabling us to provide the necessary information to our staff effectively and efficiently in order to give them the tools they need in order to improve safety outcomes both in the office and at home”.
Supporting a Culture of Safety
KC Roestenberg, Chief Information Officer for the County of Orange, along with the rest of his Executive Management Team, strongly supports the culture of safety and is always looking for ways to add to the content library.
“That’s the beauty of a system run well, you aren’t busy looking for what’s wrong with it, you instead come up with ideas to improve it further, therefore improving the safety of your workers”.
Because of PlanSafe, the team are well prepared for their audits and take comfort in the fact that their staff are not overwhelmed with what was previously a cumbersome process, where training attendance was low and difficult to arrange face to face for all 150+ staff. The training is only required annually, but because it is now so easy to do, Stephanie takes advantage of California’s annual “Great Shake Out” as another opportunity to provide a link to the training to all staff for a refresher, which is received well by the department employees.
“When you make knowledge easily accessible, employees are much more receptive. Here at Orange County, we are proud of our culture of safety. Having a system in place to best support this culture makes safety effortless and keeps safety a priority”.
Accolades & Awards
This commendable implementation has won Orange County Information Technology a California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Challenge Award for most Innovative Solution for PlanSafe.
Orange Country is a great example of how Safety Training can be part of the fabric of an organization, and an integral part of the overall culture. Educating and empowering your people makes for a cohesive and positive work environment.