Training Injury Prevention Program Aims to Limit Injuries Caused by Training Activities
The Training Injury Prevention Program helps reduce injuries to law enforcement personnel from training activities. The sheriff’s office and a designated safety officer work in tandem with the training instructor to provide a safer experience for the training session without compromising its effectiveness.
Implementing the training injury prevention program is ideal for training sessions that include a physical or practical application (i.e., a higher risk of injury to participants), such as use of force/defensive tactics, firearms training qualifications, active shooter exercises and the like.
With the hazards associated with law enforcement, it is perhaps no surprise that the majority of claims at MCIT come from sheriffs’ offices and jail operations. Training is currently the second leading preventable cause of injuries for law enforcement officers among MCIT members. On average these injuries amount to $264,000 annually in direct costs, in such areas as wage replacement, medical expenses, rehabilitation and retraining. This does not account for indirect costs that include shift coverage, lost productivity, diminished morale and the like.
The Training Injury Prevention Program seeks to reduce training injuries and is taken from the national award-winning program developed by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, the Association of Training Officers of Minnesota and multiple law enforcement and public safety departments.
Realistic Training Increases Safety Risks; Training Safety Officer Is There to Control Them
Training injuries can be attributed in part to the realism of sessions and scenario-based approaches to training. However, as training is conducted in a controlled environment, the Training Injury Prevention Program aims to build upon the controllable aspects of the training session to reduce the amount of injuries.
Together the sheriff’s office, training safety officer and instructor work closely as a team to plan, set up, observe and review the training session with a focus toward safety while ensuring a valuable training experience.
5 Key Components of a Successful Training Safety Officer Program
- Safety plan: The sheriff’s office and instructor meet to review the lesson plan, create a plan to address identified risks and develop a training-specific emergency medical response plan to address potential injuries.
- Site setup and inspection: The instructor and sheriff’s office prepare the training site and inspect the area for hazards, such as slip, trip and fall concerns, and set up a field emergency medical services station.
- Safety briefing: Immediately prior to the training, the training safety officer explains to participants specific safety rules for the training and briefly explains the safety officer role to participants.
- Training observation: The training safety officer observes the entire training session through the lens of safety and informs the instructor about problems to address before accidents occur.
- Review: After the training, the instructor and training safety officer review the training session to help prepare a more effective and less hazardous training in the future.
These steps form the framework of the Training Injury Prevention Program. To see benefits, not all steps must be implemented immediately. For example, a study from the International Association of Chiefs of Police demonstrated a significant reduction in training injuries with only the inclusion of a short safety lecture immediately prior to a training session.
Learn More, Get Started
MCIT loss control consultants can discuss the Training Injury Prevention Program with member sheriffs and their staff, as well as help them get started implementing the program. Members can contact their consultant at 1.866.547.6516.