7 Digital Learner Preferences to Know in 2019

Digital learner preferences
Digital learner preferences vary between each individual and across different organizations and agencies.

 

What are the digital learning preferences of your employees?

If you don’t know, your employees may secretly hate learning, or worse, they aren’t absorbing what you teach them – leading to constant retraining, poor performance, and bad customer service.

All of which can be reversed when you do know about digital learner preferences.

And the Digital Learning Consortium is here to show you just what they are.

They recently released a survey titled Voice of the Learner conducted during the spring and summer of 2018 that gathered responses from 5,000 learners spanning 5 generations from 114 countries in 15 professions.

So you know they found some good stuff.

We’re going to detail the major takeaways from this study below to show you how to design digital learning programs that your employees look forward to taking.

7 Digital Learner Preferences

1. A.I. Without Privacy Violations

Most respondents said they would use A.I.

They recognize the benefits of A.I., such as automatically identifying skill gaps and recommending learning activities to fill the gaps.

There’s just one sticking point:

Privacy.

Many respondents said they were worried about how their managers would use information collected using A.I. They’re afraid it may be used against them when being given assignments or during performance evaluations.

Keep this in mind if you decide to implement A.I. and attempt to keep things as transparent and voluntary as possible.

2. Learning Records That Are Controlled by Individual Learners

The majority of survey respondents (over two-thirds) want learning records that follow them throughout their career, enabling them to view and share their progress with anyone.

But once again, the issue of privacy crops up.

These same employees want to be in complete control over their records instead of giving control to a 3rd-party. Essentially, they would act like “supercharged resumes or LinkedIn profiles” that were kept secure by the learner themselves.

3. Online Courses and Digital Reading over Video

While online courses had the highest mean importance, respondents spent the most time each week (1.6 hours) on digital reading, both overtaking video in importance and time spent.

It seems respondents didn’t enjoy audio or webcasting.

4. Learning Alone

Another surprising finding from this study is that 58% of respondents said they prefer learning alone rather than in groups (when engaged in a Massive Open Online Course environment).

At the same time, 70% of respondents agreed that peer-to-peer interactions enhance the learning experience. But if they form learning groups, most of them preferred group sizes of 3-6 instead of large group sessions.

5. Longer Learning Sessions over Microlearning

As if this report didn’t feature enough shocking information, it turns out that most people don’t prefer microlearning.

Here’s how the numbers broke down:

  • 51% prefer 20-45 minute learning sessions.
  • 24% prefer 1-2 hour long learning sessions.
  • 9% prefer 5-10 minute learning sessions.

This tells us that a mix of learning experiences would be best, allowing individual employees to tailor the learning experience to their preferences.

6. A Clear Link Between Learning and Their Career

Now, this next point should come as no surprise:

Over 70% of respondents are more motivated to learn when they see a clear link between what they’re learning and how it furthers their career.

If you can create a culture of continuous learning that rewards intelligent and competent employees with raises, promotions, perks, rewards, etc., then you’re employees will gladly engage in your learning programs.

7. Centralized Learning Hub

78% of respondents prefer a centralized learning hub where they can access all of their training from anywhere.

They don’t care much about seeing the speaker or in virtual reality, but they do care about having personalized recommendations and an organized knowledge database they can use at will.

The Next Step in Meeting Digital Learner Preferences

Now you know what your employees want from your learning initiative.

The next step is to give it to them.

But you don’t want to provide it haphazardly – one program for this and another for that.

Like the last point in our list above, you want to give your employees a central hub of information they can access while in the office, on a train home, or in their bedroom.

You have to make learning easy for them.

And it should include courses, reading material, and videos to cater to all different needs and learning preferences.

Where can you find all of this in one package?

Right here at Enterprise Training.

We have over 6,000 online government training courses covering everything from cybersecurity to project management.

If you need a one-stop-shop for your employees’ learning needs, then try a 14-day free trial of Enterprise Training today by clicking the button below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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The Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats to Schools (And How You Combat Them)

 

Cybersecurity threats hacked code
Cybersecurity threats in schools are growing and demand immediate attention to protect everyone’s sensitive information.

Since January of 2016, there have been 418 cybersecurity Incidents (and counting) in K-12 schools across the United States.

That number will continue climbing if schools don’t tighten their IT security.

But why are hackers targeting schools?

Well, according to Mary Kavaney, the chief operating officer of the Global Cyber Alliance, “school environments often don’t have a lot of technology resources dedicated to security, but have some of the richest personal information on people, including social security numbers, birth dates, and, potentially, medical and financial information.”

She went on to say, “If bad actors can access student [personal data], that information can be exploited for the purpose of fraud and committing crimes for years before it is detected. It’s often only upon application for a job, or application for financial aid to attend college that students find out that their social security number has been used fraudulently — they may have poor credit due to false applications against their history, or worse, find that crime has been committed in their name.”

To solve this problem, schools first have to know what techniques cyberattackers use to hack their school.

The Top Cybersecurity Threats Facing Schools

According to CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), there are 5 major cybersecurity threats schools need to be aware of. They are:

Phishing

We wrote about phishing in this post on cybersecurity tips for employees. It’s one of the most effective and dangerous hacking techniques.

Phishing is simple: a hacker sends an email pretending to be someone they’re not (like a personal acquaintance, coworker, vendor, etc.) and usually asks you to click a link within the email. The link will install malware on your system and allow the hacker to access personal information or creep from your computer to someone else’s to access your data.

DDoS

DDoS attacks are another favorite of cyberattackers.

It works like this: hackers build a network of infected computers (botnets) and use them to flood your server with traffic, crashing it. While your data won’t be stolen, it can certainly be lost, along with plenty of worker productivity, and money, as a result.

Data Breach

A data breach is the big one everyone should worry about, for good reason. It’s how hackers steal identities, credit cards, and any other valuable information that can be abused or sold.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), “The number of U.S. data breach incidents tracked in 2017 hit a new record high of 1,579 breaches.” That means there’s been a “44.7% increase over the record high figures reported for 2016.”

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the scariest cybersecurity threats out there. Hackers infiltrate your computer (through other techniques like phishing) and then encrypt your data and require you to pay a ransom to regain access to the data.

The most infamous ransomware is WannaCry, which infiltrated over 200,000 computers in 150 countries in 2017.

IoT Vulnerabilities

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is a growing line of devices, appliances, and other objects that are connected to the internet. From watches to coffee grinders to thermostats, these little machines offer new innovations and many more dangers.

Many IoT devices aren’t regularly updated and often lack the security measures required to prevent hacking attempts.

How to Combat Cybersecurity Threats in Schools

Schools are vulnerable, as we’ve made abundantly clear in this post.

But you can protect your school, your students, and your data from hackers.

One way to do it:

Train K-12 students in cybersecurity.

This gets students involved in hunting for cybersecurity solutions and potentially prevents some students from launching their own hacking attacks against their school.

Plus, they may be able to help administrators ward off attacks.

The only thing needed is an on-demand portal where students can learn basic and advanced cybersecurity skills in the classroom, the bedroom, or on the go.

Enterprise Solutions can be that portal.

We offer books, videos, and courses on topics such as:

  • Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs To Know
  • Cybersecurity: Public Sector Threats and Responses
  • Implementing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

And much more.

To get started, claim your free 14-day trial of Enterprise Systems below.

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SB 1300 and SB 1343: What California Employers Need to Know

SB 1300 and SB 1343 #metoo movement sign
SB 1300 and SB 1343 were passed in response to high-profile allegations of sexual harassment.

Out of the 1,217 bills that passed across Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, he signed 1,016 and vetoed 201.

Two of the bills signed will dramatically alter the relationship between employers and employees in regards to sexual harassment complaints and legal action taken in the wake of an employee harassment complaint.

These bills are SB 1300 and SB 1343, and they were pushed and promptly passed in large part due to the #metoo movement.

They both expand mandated harassment training and SB 1300 in particular, expands the definition of sexual harassment and offers new legal protections for employees who are harassed, similar to what California SB 396 attempted to accomplish, but taking it one step further.

We’ll go over each of these bills in detail so you know what training you need to provide to staff and what the changes to the legal code mean for your relationships with your employees.

To start, let’s briefly cover SB 1343 since that’s the most straightforward of the two.

What is SB 1343?

SB 1343 only applies to businesses who employ 5 or more people.

There already exists a 2-hour sexual harassment training requirement for managers and supervisors, but SB 1343 mandates an additional training requirement for non-managers, including temporary or seasonal workers.

Both the 2-hour training and 1-hour training must be provided to staff by January 1, 2020. Every 2 years, you need to provide 1-hour of this training to all staff again.

If you hire employees after January 1, 2020, they must take the 1-hour sexual harassment training within 6 months of working on the job.

What is SB 1300

SB 1300 is a sweeping harassment bill that applies to all California employers regardless of how many employees they have or how large or small the business is.

We’ll do our best to cover all the major points here.

First off, employers are no longer allowed to offer the following in exchange for a raise, bonus, or as a condition of employment or continued employment:

  • Require an employee to sign a release that basically says they’re not allowed to possess a claim or injury against an employer or other entity, such as a civil action, or notify governmental entities such as law enforcement.
  • Require an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or something similar that denies the employee’s right to expose unlawful acts in the workplace, such as sexual harassment or otherwise.

Here are the other major points you need to know:

  • Employers may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees harassing employees and other nonemployees such as interns, volunteers, and service contractors.
  • A single incident of harassment is enough to bring the case to trial and raise the issue of a hostile work environment if the harasser’s behavior has unreasonably interfered with the plaintiff’s work environment.
  • No workplace will be held to a different standard regarding sexual harassment than any other workplace.
  • Defendants in harassment cases are prohibited from being awarded attorney’s fees and costs unless the court determines that the action brought against the defendant was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless or that the plaintiff continued to litigate after it clearly became so.

SB 1300 Bystander Training

SB 1300 takes their training a step further and authorizes employers to provide employees with bystander intervention training, which includes:

  • Information and practical guidance for bystanders to recognize harassment when it occurs.
  • The skills, confidence, and motivation to intervene in a problematic situation.
  • And resources to use if they do intervene.

What Judicial Decisions Does SB 1300 Affirm?

SB 1300 took a look at existing judicial decisions and aligned with those it favored and departed from those it rejects.

Here are the cases it approves of and used as a basis for this new legislation:

  • Harris v. Forklift Systems. In this case, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated plainly that “the plaintiff need not prove that his or her tangible productivity has declined as a result of the harassment. It suffices to prove that a reasonable person subjected to the discriminatory conduct would find, as the plaintiff did, that the harassment so altered working conditions as to make it more difficult to do the job.”
  • Reid v. Google, Inc. In this case, the California Supreme Court rejected the “stray remarks doctrine,” because the “existence of a hostile work environment depends on the totality of the circumstances and a discriminatory remark, even if made not directly in the context of an employment decision or uttered by a nondecisionmaker, may be relevant, circumstantial evidence of discrimination.”
  • Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. In this case, it was observed that “hostile working environment cases involve issues ‘not determinable on paper.’”

How Can You Prepare for SB 1300 and SB 1343?

Well, you’re going to need to provide extensive harassment training to your employees, managers, and supervisors.

Which means you need an easy way to access this information. You also want to make it as simple as possible for your employees to take this training.

We can help make this happen.

We have a full library of courses, ebooks, and videos that meet harassment training guidelines, such as:

  • Sexual Harassment Prevention for Employees
  • Smart Workplaces: Sexual Harassment Prevention for Field Managers & Supervisors California AB 1825 and all 50 States
  • Harassment Prevention for Managers – State and Local Government Sector Edition

The best part is, they’re all available immediately after signing up. To claim your free trial of Enterprise Training, simply click the button below.

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11 Major Issues Women in Trades Face and How to Solve Them

Women in trades cutting sheet metal
In a male-dominated workplace, women in trades face extra hazards that men don’t.

Most of the trades, like carpentry or cement masonry, are extremely dangerous to the average worker.

Some cities are even taking steps to ramp up their safety procedures, like New York City with Local Law 196.

But women in trades are especially vulnerable for a number of reasons and we need to be aware of these risks in order to mitigate them and provide a suitable work environment for women and men alike.

In this post, we’ll dive into the major problems women in trades often face and look at a few ways to solve these pressing issues.

Health and Safety Risks for Women in Trades (Based on SHEWT Research)

SHEWT was the study that broke open the door and shone a light on the issues women face in trades like construction.

It stands for Safety and Health Empowerment for Women in Trades.

According to their website, SHEWT was:

“A collaboration between the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and community partners Washington Women in Trades, the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center, and the Washington State Building Trades Council’s Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE) program.”

The purpose of SHEWT was two-fold:

  • Expose the harms and dangers that women in particular face in the trades.
  • And promote understanding of these unique risks in order to reduce them and replace them with better health and safety standards.

It should be obvious to anyone that construction workers face many dangers while on the job, such as slips and falls, contaminants, and potentially harmful machinery.

But what’s not obvious are the dangers women face in these male-dominated workplaces, such as stress resulting from harassment or discrimination, protective gear that wasn’t designed for the female physique, and even unclean facilities.

Here are the top problems women in trades face according to surveys conducted by SHEWT:

  1. Sexist stereotypes
  2. Physical limitations
  3. Discrimination
  4. Harassment
  5. Under-representation
  6. Having to prove selves
  7. No respect
  8. Poor work/life balance
  9. Poor training Inadequate
  10. Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools
  11. Women who set a bad example for everyone else

Now let’s take a look at the actual results of SHEWT.

Statistical Results of SHEWT

SHEWT surveyed almost 300 male and female workers, asking them questions regarding health and safety hazards in their respective workplaces.

The demographics were:

  • 68% women
  • 32% men
  • 43% were in an apprenticeship
  • 57% were on the journey level

And the majority of trades represented in the study were laborers, electricians, pipe trades, and carpenters.

Here are the results of SHEWT:

  • Women reported higher levels of perceived stress compared to men.
  • Over half of women surveyed said they pushed themselves past their physical comfort level at least half of the time in order to complete their work.
  • Almost half of women felt discriminated against at work due to their gender.
  • Women were more likely than men to report at least one injury at work in the past year.
  • Women were less likely to report their injuries because they were afraid of being laid off.
  • Women were more likely than men to report PPE not fitting properly.

Solutions to Hazards for Women in Trades

According to the women in trades surveyed, these are the solutions they see for the hazards they face:

  • More women
  • Education
  • Improved training
  • Treat women and men equal
  • Mentoring

Hannah Curtis, one of the lead researchers of SHEWT, was recently interviewed and largely agreed with the solutions these women laid forward.

Here’s what Hannah had to say about getting more women into trades:

“If you can get more women into the trades, if you can get more women into leadership positions especially, you can create more of a demand for PPE, you can make men more comfortable working with women, you can change the training so it’s more friendly for women’s ergonomics, just change the culture so it’s more supportive of women in general.”

On the topic of leadership, Hannah said:

“Having supervisors involved is really essential, especially having them set the tone in terms of anti-harassment. Making that a priority, and having it trickle down.”

And in regards to mentoring, Hannah said:

“I think [mentoring] is just such a wonderful way to help women deal with the stress resulting from the workplace stressors that they are experiencing. It can also be a form of prevention. If you give women the skills they need to navigate that culture, to work safely, to advocate for their safety on the job, you’re going to prevent them from getting into situations where things become overwhelming and they want to leave the industry.”

Next Steps for Improving Conditions for Women in Trades

It’s up to all of us to help women feel more comfortable in the workplace, get along well with their male counterparts, and get access to equipment that works with their physique.

You can’t do it all, but as a start, you can help educate yourself and your employees on these issues.

And we can help you do it.

We can give you access to guides and courses such as:

  • Developing Women Leaders: A Guide for Men and Women in Organizations
  • Career and Family Challenges for Women Leaders
  • The Gender Communication Handbook: Conquering Conversational Collisions between Men and Women

If you want access to these and many more resources, get your free trial of Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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What Is CISSP Certification and How Do You Get It?

What is cissp certification
To answer the question of what is CISSP certification you should know why it’s important.

CISSP certification is #1 on the list of the 8 most in-demand IT certifications, according to CIO.com.

And Burning Glass reported that “the demand for certified cybersecurity talent is outstripping supply. In the U.S., employers posted 49,493 jobs requesting a CISSP, recruiting from a pool of only 65,362 CISSP holders nationwide.”

This spells out huge opportunities for motivated IT professionals who want to work in the private sector and public sector because even the Department of Defense considers CISSP certification one of the lead qualifiers for getting hired in their department.

If you’re interested in earning this prestigious certification, let’s look at what CISSP is, how to get certified, and how to start preparing for the CISSP exam today.

What is CISSP Certification?

CISSP certification was developed by (ISC)² to be the world’s most-valued cybersecurity certification. According to (ISC)², employers prefer CISSP 3 to 1 over any other credential.

CISSP demonstrates that the certified holder can design, engineer, implement, and run an information security program.

It’s also one of the requirements for employment in IT Security roles at the DoD.

A wide array of IT professionals choose to get CISSP certified, including:

  • CIOs.
  • IT directors.
  • Security systems engineers.
  • And many more.

Once certified, (ISC)² provides a number of member benefits.

From digital badges that let you show off your newly acquired skill set to a free subscription to the bi-monthly newsletter InfoSecurity Professional Magazine. CISSP certification benefits extend beyond just a new job title.

But before you can access these benefits, you’ll have to pass the exam.

What is the CISSP Exam?

You take a look at the CISSP exam outline here.

The exam will take you 6 hours to complete and contains 250 questions. Some are in multiple choice, and some are in “advanced innovative” formats, which are drag-and-drop and “hotspot” type of questions. Here’s a preview of these types of questions from the InfoSec Institute.

There are 8 “domains” that you’ll be tested on, each carrying a different weight in the final score. For example, Security and Risk Management accounts for 15% of your final exam grade, as compared to Asset Security which only accounts for 10%. Knowing this will help you prioritize your study materials.

What Are the CISSP Requirements to Pass the Exam and Get Certified?

The CISSP Requirements to become certified are fairly straightforward.

Out of 1000 points, you have to pass the CISSP exam with a score of 700 or higher.

You also need at least 5 years of full-time work experience in at least 2 of these 8 domains:

  1. Security and Risk Management
  2. Asset Security
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering
  4. Communication and Network Security
  5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  6. Security Assessment and Testing
  7. Security Operations
  8. Software Development Security

You can either receive this work experience prior to taking the exam or after. However, if you take the exam without meeting the required 5 years of work experience in at least 2 domains, you will NOT be certified.

Instead, you’ll receive the title Associate of (ISC)². You can leverage this title to gain greater employment and use it become a member of (ISC)² with all the benefits included. Then once you meet the other requirements, you’ll receive your certification.

How Much Does CISSP Cost?

The cost of the CISSP exam is $699.

Once you pass the exam, you have to maintain your membership. Every 3 years, you’ll be required to pay $85 and log 120 continuing professional education (CPE) credits.

How Can You Get Instant Access to CISSP Online Training and Start Preparing for the Exam Today?

If you want to prepare for the CISSP exam and get CISSP certified, then you need access to on-demand online training you can take anytime, anywhere.

To set yourself up for success, you need a whole suite of videos, courses, and ebooks you can use to upgrade your skills and knowledge.

Resources like:

  • Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK Fourth Edition.
  • CISSP: Communication & Network Security Design.
  • CISSP: Identity and Access Management.
  • And many more.

Here’s a preview of what these classes are like so you know what to expect.

And if you want to access all of the available CISSP resources, go ahead and start your free trial of Enterprise Training below.  

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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15 Tips on Writing Effective Harassment Policies

harassment policies bully poster
Writing an effective harassment policy will help keep employees safe and create a friendlier culture

Only 26% of employees believe their organization can swiftly handle workplace harassment complaints, according to the report “Reality of the Modern Workplace: Understanding Employee Empowerment.”

The report also found that 1 in 6 American employees avoid reporting an issue, most likely out of fear of repercussions.

Then again, maybe they simply don’t know what to do since 48% of employees don’t even have an employee handbook, and 76% of employees have no way of submitting an anonymous complaint.

If your agency has similar issues, it’s time to fix them.

The first step? Designing better harassment policies.

We’ll give you 15 tips for writing effective harassment policies in today’s post.

But first, let’s look at why harassment policies are so important.

The Purpose of Harassment Policies

First and foremost, effective harassment policies help employees be treated equally and feel safe in the workplace.

When employees know the behaviors that aren’t allowed in the workplace, and they know exactly how they’ll be punished if they engage in prohibited behavior, they’re less likely to harass fellow employees.

It will also protect your agency from lawsuits.

One of the first things judges look at is if agencies in a harassment suit provided adequate care, resources, and training to prevent harassment from occurring in the workplace.

And ultimately, a well-written harassment policy will help create a culture of respect and civility – dramatically lowering the instances of harassment.

15 Tips on Writing Effective Harassment Policies

Harassment policies need to be written so that people can easily identify harassment and they know precisely what will happen to them if they harass coworkers.

To help you write your own harassment policy, here are 15 tips for making it clear and effective:

  1. Expand your harassment policy beyond sexual harassment and make sure it includes race, ethnicity, age, national origin, disability, and religion.
  2. Provide a crystal clear definition of harassment and a detailed list of prohibited behavior, including harassment that could occur at work-related functions or online.
  3. Explicitly grant protection from retaliation to employees and bystanders who file harassment complaints.
  4. Describe your process for anonymously filing complaints.
  5. Let employees file complaints with someone outside of their chain of command to avoid unnecessary conflict or fear of retaliation.
  6. Ensure that you will protect the identity and confidentiality of the employees who file harassment complaints, especially if complaints can’t be filed anonymously.
  7. Allow for an impartial investigation into harassment complaints, either from within your organization or from a 3rd party.
  8. Pledge to your employees that you will take immediate corrective action when harassment occurs.
  9. Detail the specific penalties and consequences for harassing employees, including termination.
  10. Do not take any action involving an alleged victim of harassment without first receiving their consent.
  11. Include emotionally-charged language that helps your employees viscerally understand your policies and the seriousness of harassment (i.e. say “target” instead of victim and “predator” instead of perpetrator).
  12. Post your harassment policy throughout your organization, on your website, and inside your employee handbook and orientation materials.
  13. Train all managers and supervisors in appropriately handling harassment complaints, and outline their roles and responsibilities when a complaint is filed.
  14. Emphasize that employees are protected from discrimination when it comes to employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, and transfers.
  15. Require that someone in a position of authority must give employees who file harassment complaints updates about the status of their investigation and the punitive action taken against the harasser if they’re found guilty.

Want a Complete Guide to Effective Harassment Policies?

While the harassment policy tips we just gave you are helpful, they’re often not enough.

If you want to give your harassment policies a complete overhaul (or finally create your first harassment policy), then you need in-depth guides that show you how to do it.

We can give them to you.

We provide a series of books, videos, and courses on sexual and non-sexual harassment policies and best practices, such as:

  • Harassment Prevention for Employees – State and Local Government Edition
  • Harassment Prevention for Managers – State and Local Government Sector Edition
  • Investigating Workplace Harassment: How to Be Fair, Thorough, and Legal
  • The Sexual Harassment Handbook
  • The Workplace Law Advisor: From Harassment and Discrimination Policies to Hiring and Firing Guidelines: What Every Manager and Employee Needs to Know

Start using these resources and many more to design an effective harassment policy by getting your free trial of Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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Everything You Need to Know About Fitwel and Fitwel Certification

Fitwel-certification-building
Fitwel and the Fitwel certification is used around the world for healthier buildings

Fitwel is actively becoming the leader in healthier building construction.

In fact, it’s gaining international traction. Through a partnership with well-known global safety science leader UL, the Fitwel certification system is being rolled out in China where the demand for healthier buildings is rising.

But what is Fitwel? Why does it matter? What are its strategies for improving buildings? And why should you get your building certified through Fitwel?

All these questions and more will be answered in today’s post.

Let’s dive in.

What is Fitwel?

Fitwel is a certification system for optimizing buildings to support human health.

It was developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alongside the General Services Administration (GSA).

The Center for Active Design (CfAD) is the licensed operator of Fitwel. They were granted an exclusive license to lead future development within the private and public sectors by the Federal government.

CfAD was started by Mayor Bloomberg in New York City in 2011 and since then, they’ve helped inform the design of buildings and public infrastructure in over 180 countries.

The Fitwel certification system is the next step for CfAD to provide a proven standard for health-promoting strategies and building development.

Fitwel seeks to accomplish 7 goals:

  1. Impact Community Health
  2. Reduce Morbidity + Absenteeism
  3. Support Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations
  4. Instill Feelings Of Wellbeing
  5. Provide Healthy Food Options
  6. Promote Occupant Safety
  7. Increase Physical Activity

Why is Fitwell Important?

According to Fitwel, there are 3 major reasons buildings should consider getting Fitwel certified:

  1. Approximately 49% of building owners are willing to pay more for buildings demonstrated to have a positive impact on health.
  2. Approximately 45% of investors own impact investments (investments centered around environmental, social, and governance performance) or are interested in owning them.
  3. Approximately 97% of users report ease of use, and 84% understand how their buildings support health thanks to access to the information and performance data needed to certify a project.

What are Fitwel’s Strategies for Improving Buildings?

Becoming Fitwel certified means you adhere to specific strategies laid out by Fitwel.

There are 2 types of buildings they focus on:

  • Workplace buildings.
  • Residential buildings.

Let’s take a look at the strategies they propose for each.

Strategies for Workplace Buildings

Here are some of the strategies Fitwel proposes for creating healthier workplace buildings:

  1. Location – optimizing transit access and walkways to support greater opportunities for physical activity, social equity and foster positive impacts on community health.
  2. Building Access – offering support for carpools, bikes, and pedestrians to support multi-modal access to buildings and opportunities for regular physical activity.
  3. Outdoor Spaces – creating provisions and policies for outdoor amenities, such as walking trails and smoke-free spaces to support mental and physical health.
  4. Entrances & Ground Floor – building entryway systems and appropriate lighting to promote improved air quality and access to health-promoting amenities.
  5. Stairwells – developing accessible, visible, and well-designed stairwells to present a convenient way for building occupants to add physical activity to their day.
  6. Indoor Environment – implementing smoke-free building policies and providing an asbestos-free interior to limit prolonged exposure to harmful airborne substances and pollutants in indoor environments

Strategies for Improving Workplaces:

Here are some of the strategies Fitwel proposes for creating healthier residential buildings:

    1. Dwelling Units – providing daylight, views, and operable shading at workspaces to assist in reducing morbidity and increasing comfort, while also instilling feelings of well-being.
    2. Shared Spaces – building kitchen facilities and an exercise room to promote health outside of the individual workspace.
    3. Water Supply – providing an ADA compliant water supply on every floor to allow residents access to fresh water.
    4. Restaurants & Groceries – establishing standards for healthy food and beverages that must be met by all on-site sit-down restaurants to increase access to healthier restaurants and food choices.
    5. Vending Machines & Snack Bars – offering pricing incentives for healthy snacks to help reverse the negative health impacts of traditional vending machines.
    6. Emergency Procedures – providing an Automated External Defibrillator and associated testing schedule to improve coordination and timeliness of emergency response.

What are the Benefits of Becoming Fitwell Certified?

There are 4 big benefits of getting Fitwel certified:

  1. Signal to employees, residents, investors, and others that you prioritize wellness within the design, development, and operations of buildings.
  2. Integrate the best strategies that science has to offer to optimize health within a building.
  3. Ensure that your company is leading the industry on the next frontier of sustainability.
  4. Improve the health of your employees or residents as well as the surrounding community.

How Do You Get Fitwel Certified?

To get Fitwel certified, go here.

You’ll pay $500 annually to use Fitwel’s portal and $6,000 per project you want to be certified.  

What Are Other Ways You Can Optimize Your Building for Health?

If you’re concerned about improving your building design for health and wellness beyond Fitwel certification, we can give you a variety of books, videos, and courses you can use, such as:

  • Creating Healthy Workplaces: Stress Reduction Improved Well-being and Organizational Effectiveness
  • The Corporate Wellness Bible: Your Guide to Keeping Happy Healthy and Wise in the Workplace
  • Healthy Organizations Win: How to Harness Your Organizations Maximum Potential

If you want these resources and many more, schedule your free consultation with Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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A Simple Breakdown of the NY State Sexual Harassment Laws

ny state sexual harassment laws #metoo sign
The NY State Sexual Harassment Laws have been implemented to protect more employees than before.

Update: As of October 1st, 2018, the New York State Government has revised its sexual harassment training requirement deadlines. Each existing employee must have their initial training completed by October 9th, 2019, not January 1st. New employees hired after October 9th, 2018 must be trained “as soon as possible”  – meaning within a reasonable amount of time from their hiring date. Learn more about the updated requirements by visiting the ny.gov FAQ.

Both New York City and New York State have passed new sexual harassment training requirements for all employers and employees, making it the most expansive in the nation.

Employers will have to abide by these new rules starting next month and beginning of next year.

We’ll go over all the dates, details, and requirements below.

What are the New York State Sexual Harassment Training Requirements?

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed the FY 2019 budget on April 12th.

It includes provisions for a variety of programs, including new sexual harassment training requirements for every single employer in the State of New York.

By October 9th 2019, employers must implement an annual sexual harassment training initiative.

Here’s a brief overview of requirements under the new law:

  • Sexual harassment guidelines that conform to State standards.
  • A detailed outline that shows precisely what constitutes sexual harassment.
  • A list of provisions and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment through federal and state agencies.
  • A display of employee rights under the law as well as access to the proper legal forms to file a complaint.

The policies you implement must conform to Section 201-g of the new labor laws.

Thankfully, the state of New York has released an initial draft of a model sexual harassment training manual that you can implement. These are the minimum requirements, so if you create your own manual, you have to meet or exceed these requirements.

Your training initiative must also be participatory, which could include interactive web-based training that:

  • Asks employees questions as part of the training.
  • Facilitates answering questions asked by employees.
  • Requires feedback from employees about the training and its materials.

Here are a few additional points New York employers should know:

  • Your employees should complete their sexual harassment training before October 9th, 2019.
  • Every year at any time during the year, each of your employees must complete sexual harassment training again.
  • New employees should complete their sexual harassment training within 30 days of starting work.
  • You should teach sexual harassment training classes in the language of the employees taking the training.

What Is the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act and Its Requirements?

Only a month after Governor Cuomo signed the NY state sexual harassment laws, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act on May 9th, 2018.

Any employer with 15 or more employees (which includes interns) is now required to provide them with sexual harassment training by April 1st, 2019.

Similar to the New York state sexual harassment laws, under this bill, employers will be required to conduct training for their employees every year.

While the law only requires training for employers with 15 or more employees, it allows employees working for any-sized business to file a sexual harassment complaint and be protected under this law.

Here’s what the training must cover:

  • A description of sexual harassment that explicitly refers to it as “a form of unlawful discrimination under city, state, and federal law.”
  • A list of sexual harassment examples.
  • A description of your process for handling sexual harassment claims.
  • A description of the sexual harassment claims process available to employees through the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the New York State of Human Rights, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • A list of what constitutes employer retaliation against an employee who files a sexual harassment complaint, and how retaliation is prohibited under the law.
  • A description of how bystanders can intervene if they see or suspect sexual harassment happening to others.

It’s not just employees who must undergo this training, supervisors and managers must be trained as well, especially on their responsibilities when a sexual harassment complaint is filed.

New employees must be trained within 90 days of being hired, unless they received training at their last job.

All employees must undergo sexual harassment training each year, any time of the year.

Use This to Help Conform to the NY State Sexual Harassment Laws

Using the model manual New York provides is a great start to designing and implementing sexual harassment policies that conform to the law.

But if you want to go above and beyond the minimum requirements, or if you want a way to implement training quickly, we can help.

We’ve created NY State compliant courses on preventing sexual harassment for both management and employees.

These courses live in a full service learning management system (LMS) that provides assignment due date configuration, chasing email reminders, and full course completion status reporting on demand.

Check out a course sample below:

And if you want to find out more about these resources and many others, get your free consultation with Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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How to Get a Cut of $10.5 Million in Safety Grants from the DOL

Safety grants cash in
If you qualify for safety grants, now is the time to cash in.

Want a cut of $10.5 million in safety grants?

Here’s your chance.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration just published a notice in the Federal Registrar that $10.5 million is available through Susan Harwood’s Training Grants.

There are 3 specific grants in total:

  1. Targeted Topic Training Grants.
  2. Training and Educational Materials Development Grants.
  3. Capacity Building Grants.

We’ll go over each of these grants, who can access the funding, and how to get your hands on these funds.

But before we do, let’s define Susan Harwood Training Grants.

What are Susan Harwood Training Grants and Who Was Susan Harwood?

Susan Harwood Training Grants are awarded to “provide training and education programs for employers and workers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces and to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.”

They’re run by OSHA, which established the original grant program in 1978, then known as New Directions.

In 1997, it was renamed in honor of the late Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA’s Health Standards Directorate, who died in 1996.

For 17 years, Susan Harwood helped develop OSHA standards to protect workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

What Does the Grant Program Support?

The safety grants program supports the creation of educational programs and in-person training for the following:

  • Workers and employers in small businesses
  • Industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates
  • Vulnerable workers, who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or are temporary workers.

The purpose of the grants is to fund training and education for workers and employers to help them identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards.

What are the 3 Types of Grants?

Susan Harwood Training Grants are provided for 3 distinct types of training:

  1. Targeted Topic Training.
  2. Training and Educational Materials Development.
  3. Capacity Building.

Let’s look at each one:

Targeted Topic Training Grants

This type of safety grant is exclusively focused on training and educating workers and managers on identifying and preventing workplace hazards.

Training and Educational Materials Development Grants

This type of safety grant assists leaders in developing, evaluating, and validating training materials that cover specific OSHA topics that are high-quality enough to be used in a classroom.

Capacity Building Grants

This type of safety grant aids organizations in developing and expanding their capacity to provide safety and health training and education.

You can apply for either of these 2 types of Capacity Building grants:

  1. Capacity Building Pilot.
  2. Or Capacity Building Development.

Capacity Building Pilot grants help organizations assess their training and development needs so they have a clear plan before implementing a whole safety and health education program.

Capacity Building Developmental grants help organizations develop the capacity to effectively provide full-scale safety and health training and education.

Who’s Eligible to Get a Grant?

Unfortunately, not everyone who needs or wants these grants are eligible to receive them.

Here are the only organizations eligible for Susan Harwood Training Grants:

  • Nonprofit organizations, including qualifying community and faith-based organizations, employer associations and labor unions.
  • State and local government supported institutions of higher education.

How do you apply for the grant?

If you’re eligible and want to apply for a Susan Harwood Training Grant, simply visit Grants.gov and register your organization through the site.

The registration process typically takes 3-5 days to process.

After that, you can submit an application for the grant of your choice.

Want to Accelerate Your Safety Training Programs?

While in-person training has its merits, it also has its drawbacks…

They’re normally more expensive than other forms of training (which is why safety grants are so important).

They’re time-consuming and require all your employees to be in the same place at the same time.

And the training can’t be repeated or played over – if employees wanted to refresh their memories, they would either have to take excellent notes (which, as you know, doesn’t always happen) or you would have to hire someone for another training session.

But you can avoid all of this by supplementing in-person training with Elearning.

It’s much cheaper.

You’re employees learn faster (and retain more information).

And they can learn anytime, anywhere, and go back to the training whenever they want.

If you’re interested in seeing how Elearning can enhance your existing training and development program, get your free online training consultation below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation

NYC Local Law 196: How to Comply (Without Getting Hit with $5,000 Fines)

NYC local law 196 job site safety
Local law 196 was created in order to protect workers through additional safety training

New Yorkers, are you prepared for unannounced safety checks at your construction site?

If not, you could be hit with a $5,000 fine or more.

This according to bill Intro 1447-C, otherwise known as Local Law 196, which was signed into law by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on October 16, 2017.

Later in this post, we’ll explain what Local Law 196 requires, who it affects, and how to comply with it so you don’t get hit with any fines.

But first, let’s see exactly what it is.

What is Local Law 196?

Falling-related fatalities for construction workers reached an all-time high in 2017, totaling 10 deaths according to New York’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

Local Law 196 was introduced to prevent that number from climbing in 2018 and beyond.

It mandates that workers at certain job sites receive 40 hours of safety training, while supervisors at certain job sites receive 62 hours of safety training.

What are the Local Law 196 Requirements and Who Needs to Be Trained?

These are the people on your job site who must be trained:

  • New entrants to construction.
  • Supervisors such as construction superintendents, concrete safety managers, site safety coordinators, site safety managers, and competent persons.
  • Workers at job sites with a Site Safety Plan as well as job sites with a superintendent, site safety coordinator or site safety manager.

There are 3 phases of Local Law 196. We’ll cover each and explain exactly what is required of your workers and supervisors.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of Local Law 196 has already been initiated. It started on March 1, 2018.

That means all workers and supervisors at this point must have received a minimum of 10 hours of training. New entrants to your construction site are required to complete this training prior to working.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of Local Law 196 begins on December 1, 2018. All workers at this point will be required to carry at least a Limited Site Safety Training (SST) Card.

To obtain a Limited SST Card, you have to do ONE of the following:

  • Complete OSHA 10 and undergo 20 additional hours of training specified by New York’s DOB. This includes 8 hours of training about preventing falling-related fatalities.
  • Complete OSHA 30
  • Complete a 100-hour program approved by the DOB.

All supervisors at this point must complete site safety training to obtain their requisite SST Supervisor Card.

Phase 3

Phase 3 of Local Law 196 begins on May 1, 2019.

At this point, all workers are expected to have their training complete, which could be any of the following:

  • OSHA 10 in addition to 30-45 hours of training approved by the DOB, which of course includes those 8 hours on the dangers of falling workers and objects.
  • OSHA 30 in addition to 10-25 hours of training approved by the DOB, including 8 hours of preventing falling-related accidents.
  • A 100-hour training program approved by the DOB.

And again, supervisors will have to complete site safety training to get their SST supervisor card.

How Can You Meet the Local Law 196 Requirements?

If you completed any of this training online before October 16, 2017, it will be recognized and accepted as valid.

However, any training you take after that date will have to be in-person training or actively proctored online training – meaning, a person oversees your online training to ensure you’re present for the entirety of the training course.

Once you complete the course, you should receive a wallet-sized Site Safety Training Card that must include specific information and security features, such as:

  • Unique identification card number.
  • Photographs of the person to whom it was issued.
  • Date of course completion.
  • Expiration date.
  • Name and address of provider of issuance.

Who is Exempt from Local Law 196?

Not everyone needs to undergo additional training or obtain a Site Safety Training Card.

Here’s a list of everyone exempt from Local Law 196:

  • Delivery persons
  • Flag persons
  • Professional engineers
  • Registered architects
  • Department-licensees and Department-registrants (excluding safety professionals)
  • Workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations or the construction of a new 1-, 2-, or 3-family home

What Happens if You Violate Local Law 196 Requirements?

As we alluded to earlier in this post, owners of job sites with workers who don’t meet Local Law 196 requirements will face stiff fines.

If the DOB discovers an untrained worker on a construction site, the owner of the site, the permit holder, and the employer of the untrained worker will each be given a $5,000 civil penalty.

And if the permit holder hasn’t kept a detailed log that demonstrates all the workers on-site are trained, they’ll be hit with a $2,500 penalty.

Recap of Local Law 196

Just to make sure you understand what you need and when you need it to comply with Local Law 196, here’s a quick recap.

  • March 1, 2018 is when all workers are required to have at least 10 hours of training to be able to work
  • December 1, 2018 is when all workers (old and new) need to at least have a Limited SST Card and all supervisors need to have an SST Supervisor Card
  • May 1, 2019 or September 1, 2020 is when all workers must have an SST Card

And so it’s crystal clear on how to get an SST Card, here are the requirements again:

How Workers Obtain an SST Card

  • 10-hour OSHA training plus 30 additional SST training hours
  • 30-hour OSHA training plus 10 additional SST training hours
  • 100-hour DOB sponsored training

By the way, if you have 40 hours of SST training before December 1, 2018 you can simply obtain a full SST Card without getting the Limited SST Card.

How Supervisors Obtain an SST Card

  • 30-Hour OSHA
  • 8-Hour Fall Protection Course
  • 8-Hour Site Safety Manager Refresher Training
  • 4-Hour Supported Scaffold User Training
  • 2 hours of each of the following topics:
    • Site safety plans
    • Toolbox talks
    • Pre-task meetings
    • General electives,
    • Specialized electives,
    • Drug & Alcohol Awareness

This card will be valid for a 5-year period and will require 16-hours of SST training to renew.

And there you have it.

Everything New York construction workers, supervisors, and site owners need to know about Local Law 196.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!Schedule Free Consultation