August Roundup: Best of Blogs

The monthly blog roundup is BACK!

After a brief hiatus to focus on helping our customers and communities stay safe and healthy during the COVID pandemic, we are excited to bring our roundups back so we can share the latest and greatest news from across the Vector family. Enjoy!

Vector Solutions: How to Improve Your Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practices in eLearning Courses (An Interview with Vector’s Director of Content, Laureen Palmisano Ranz)

“Casting is critical in ensuring that storytelling is representative of the diverse learners you’ll be speaking to. Diversity has long been focused on ethnicity and race, which continue to be important, but it’s so much more than that – including religion, culture, language, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, physical and mental abilities, socioecononic status, looks and body type, and lifestyle. “Proper representation needs to be there from the beginning, so finding the right talent for our courses is something we take very seriously. This means identifying a diverse set of ‘everyday-looking’ actors or presenters who look like your neighbor, your coworker, your teacher, your boss – people our learners will relate to and see themselves in. But even more importantly, it also means seeing people in our courses who are different from ourselves, people we want and need to understand better. My entire team ensures our courses have the right balance of sexes, ages, races, ethnicities, abilities and body types (among other considerations) represented – and that they are portrayed appropriately.”

One of the most critical components courses here at Vector Solutions is diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I). In this blog, we spoke to our Director of Content, Laureen, to learn her top tips for improving your course content by ensuring it’s authentically diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

Convergence Training: Bias in Incident Investigations

“Performing an accident investigation is an important role within the job responsibilities of a safety manager or safety professional. “The reason we conduct incident investigations is because we want to learn what caused the incident and hopefully prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.  “But that well-intended effort can be led astray and misdirected by cognitive biases that the incident investigator may hold and that may influence his or her decisions, judgments, and decisions during the incident investigation.” In this recorded discussion series, Assistant Professor Jennifer Serne from Central Washington University’s Safety and Health Management Program walks us through cognitive biases in incident investigations and how to guard against them.

IndustrySafe: What is an MSDS or SDS? Is There a Difference?

“It’s no secret that there are numerous hazardous chemicals in workplaces that can be dangerous to a worker’s health and safety. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed its Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) Standard to easily communicate the potential dangers of a chemical to its workers. “Part of the HAZCOM Standard requires organizations to have safety data sheets (SDS) for each hazardous material and chemical that could be encountered in the workplace. A safety data sheet (formally known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDS) is a document to summarize important health and safety information for hazardous chemicals. Each chemical should have its own SDS that is easily accessible to employees who may be exposed to said chemical.” Read more about the differences between MSDS and SDS sheets.

SafeColleges: University of Central Arkansas: A SafeColleges Training Customer Success Story

“Located in Conway, Arkansas, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is a nationally recognized leader for its continuous record of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. In 2019, UCA released an RFP to training vendors across the country to solicit the best solution for online education courses for students, faculty, and staff’ and selected Vector Solutions, the developers of the SafeColleges Training System, as the provider who best aligned with their vision and goals. “SafeColleges’ employee and student training solution was direct and specific to our needs, and they didn’t try to sell us additional solutions outside our request. In addition, we were promised excellent client support and they delivered!” – Charlotte Strickland, Director of Professional Development and Training Read more to find out how the SafeCollege Training System met the challenges and needs of the University of Central Arkansas.

SafeSchools: Student Sexual Abuse: Mitigating the Risk Amidst a Pandemic (Guest Blog by Diane Cranley, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Expert)

“As the coronavirus began to advance across the country early in the year, almost every state and US territory ordered or recommended schools close to all in-person classes to mitigate the spread of the virus. Educators quickly turned to technology as the new vehicle to deliver classes, but this urgency created safety and security exposures with little time and few resources to assess and mitigate the potential risks of student sexual abuse. “While the coronavirus demanded a quick response and continues to demand attention as the new school year begins, it’s crucial to proactively review the risks distance learning created. An effective risk assessment and mitigation process for student sexual abuse and molestation through distance learning should look at both external and internal risks.” Read more to learn about the risks related to sexual abuse and the steps to mitigate these risks in a distance learning environment.

Exceptional Child: Transition Planning

“Whether teaching and learning is happening in person, remotely, or a combination of both, supporting students through the transition planning process is still important. While COVID-19 will likely present challenges during this process, focusing on the key elements of transition planning will help students be successful as they transition to postsecondary life. From early intervention through adult transition programs, our school systems provide special education services for students who qualify. But what happens after graduation when these students exit the school system? Without an appropriate transition plan, they’re some of our most vulnerable citizens. After years of guidance, they could find themselves suddenly unsupported and unsure of what to do next.” Read on to learn more about transition planning and the three keys to help keep student interests at the forefront of the transition planning process.

TargetSolutions: Cortez Fire District Manages Employee Schedules with TargetSolutions Scheduling 

“At the start of 2020, Cortez Fire Protection District (Colo.) implemented TargetSolutions Scheduling™ to modernize their employee scheduling tasks. This workforce management application has helped the agency streamline how they plan biweekly schedules, contact employees for open shifts and track hours worked. “With the TargetSolutions Scheduling™ mobile application, they’ve been able to not only save time, but also increase fairness and keep more accurate records.” Learn more about how Cortez Fire Protection District utilizes this flexible system.