Data Center

WEBCAST: Eliminating Human Error (Part II): Training ‑ Using Best Practices to Develop a Site Specific Plan

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When a data center goes up, vendors and contractors often provide training for people that will be working at the site. That only makes sense, but the issue on who trains new hires, or even the people unable to attend the initial training session can become a problem to a consistent and smooth running data center operation.

In those cases other members of the technical staff will conduct the training or it occurs through the ever popular on-the-job training, where the trainee learns by watching others perform their work.

That leads to an uneven or incomplete process which can introduce risk into the critical environment. Human error.

“The second pillar of a safe, reliable and efficient operation is an effective staff training program,” said Bob Woolley, senior vice president of critical environment services at Lee Technologies, during part 2 of the Schneider Electric Data Center Webcast on how cut down on human error. “However, it is often provided as an afterthought. Shadowing a senior staff member around for a couple of weeks and browsing through the site manuals is an all too common training method, but it is not going to get the job done.”

As it is with most anything when it comes to cutting down on human error, having a plan of best practices and sticking to it should be a top priority, Woolley said.

Some characteristics of an effective training program are:

  • Site specific content
  • Multiple levels, with each level corresponding to a specific set of operational actions or activities
  • Detailed training plans for each level
  • Formal knowledge evaluation through oral and written tests, as well as performance demonstration. Certification achieved upon successful completion
  • Annual recertification to verify proficiency and cover updated materials
  • Ongoing emergency response drills
  • Feedback loop to incorporate lessons learned and trainee input into revised training modules
  • Continuing education for subject matter experts

As it is with training, there are certain levels or goals each trainee should achieve before moving on to the next step, Woolley said.

Introductory, or Level 1, training teaches an employee to be capable of knowing what is going on and being able to respond to emergency situations. This training level covers administrative functions, theory of operation, daily routines, security policies, and emergency procedures. This basic training should occur within 30 days of hiring start date.

The next level, or Level 2 training, focuses on learning the critical systems and being able to begin participating in routine work practices, including technical critical systems equipment knowledge, frequently performed and/or elementary operational procedures, and frequently performed maintenance procedures. Level 2 should start up within 3-4 months of completion of Level 1.

Level 3 focuses on non-critical systems, while getting more in-depth into the critical systems, including technical non-critical systems equipment knowledge, infrequently performed maintenance procedures, and infrequently performed and/or moderately difficult operational procedures. This training level should take place within 4-6 months of completion of Level 2.

Level 4 will enable the worker to become a subject matter expert, and training includes technically difficult procedures, specialized outside training, training course development, and training course delivery. This level of training should occur 4-6 months after completing Level 3.

 

 


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