The New Year is a great time to kick-start a fresh new training programme. If you are an in-house trainer or a consultant, this is the perfect opportunity, whilst people are in a positive, can-do frame of mind, to introduce refresher training for things like manual handling and evacuation chair operation.

A good idea as you start planning your new training regime is to involve everyone. A survey to collate views on what would be useful to include in the new training sessions will show colleagues that you value their opinions and will also provide you with precisely what you need to tailor the training to cover specific needs and real, live issues.

Manual Handling Training

If you are a manual handling trainer, you could for example ask the colleagues or clients you will be training for feedback on their previous training sessions so that you can incorporate any necessary changes into your new programme.

You could talk to supervisor and management level personnel to discover whether there are any particular issues arising on a regular basis that need attention. Have there been any incidents related to incorrect handling methods? Did these stem from a lack of understanding? If so, you should incorporate these issues into your new training plan.

Have new risk assessments been carried out that have identified risks that were not present before? Perhaps new processes have been introduced, or existing ones updated. If so, these will need to be added into the training where appropriate, as will the use of any new manual handling aids or equipment that have recently been introduced.

Taking a fresh approach to your manual handling training will not only ensure that any changes such as those mentioned are covered, but will also do a good job of capturing interest. People can tire of same old-same old, but will be enthused if they know there is something different to learn, especially if their own personal views and feedback have been considered.

Evacuation Chair Training

Evacuation chairs – and competent knowledge of how to use them – are vital components in any fire safety plan for buildings of more than one level. Thankfully, it is fairly rare to have to use an evacuation chair, but this in itself poses a problem.

When you don’t use something on a regular basis, you tend to lose your ability and confidence. This is precisely why regular evacuation chair refresher training is so important for your colleagues and clients.

Why not use the New Year to put a fresh training plan together? Again, talk to your chair operators and ask for their feedback and opinions on the training they have received in the past. Even if it was not delivered by you, you still stand to learn from it and can use the information to ensure your new plan addresses any particular concerns.

There are other things to consider when putting together your new training programme for evacuation chair operators.

Have any of your previous trainees left the organisation, or since being trained have become unable to operate a chair? You may find that you need to train a new batch of operators.

Have new chairs been purchased? Maybe older models have been replaced. All chairs are different and your training will need to be adapted to suit the specific model or models that are currently available on the premises.

Also consider whether the layout of the building or workspace has changed in any way. Perhaps there are new obstacles to navigate, or maybe your company has moved to a different floor of the building? Have new risks been identified? This will all need to factor in your new evacuation chair training programme.

You should also talk to the operators to find out whether in using the chairs during an actual incident, they faced any difficulties or challenges that they would like to see addressed by additional training.

Train the Trainer Refresher Courses

Finally, as a trainer yourself, you should consider attending a refresher course on a regular basis. Not only will it help you review and renew your own skills, it will also ensure you are equipped with the latest facts, figures and techniques to pass on to your trainees.

Our Manual Handling Train the Trainer: City & Guilds Accredited Programme – the ORIGINAL of its kind – and our IOSH Evacuation Chair Train the Trainer Course are both designed to provide you with the opportunity to refresh your skills and discover new ideas to feed back to your trainees.

For more information or to make a booking, call 0800 710 1099.