A contractor recently inquired about our RRP training services and the quality of our trainers. After a lengthy inquisition he said "training should be just like lead paint, it should stick for a long time"
Will your RRP Lead training stick? Are you sure the trainer you select is the right one for you, your employees, your sub contractors?
2010 is a pivotal year for the residential construction industry. The EPA RRP Lead Law has turned the industry upside down and promises to make things very interesting for years to come. Contractor compliance is no longer an option, it is a must. Training for RRP Lead Safe practices will be a big part of that compliance. OSHA training to coincide with RRP practices will follow. Quality training is a must to insure you have the right information and tools to comply with these regulations.
Demand for RRP training will increase as extensions end
In the first 6 months of the year, 3000 contractors in New England, New York and Washington D. C. went through our RRP training program. The spring was chaotic due to the 4/22/2010 effective date, high demand, a lack of trainers, available training seats, poor notification from the EPA, and the propensity for contractors to wait until the last minute. With that said, we expect a very busy fall. With the impending September 30th deadline upon us, contractors will once again scurry (some at the last minute) to schedule their training to comply with the EPA deadlines. Will there be enough quality trainers to meet the demand?
More EPA Approved Trainers
Over the summer the EPA has approved more training providers with the hope that there will be enough trainings to meet the demand. To date only 10% of contractors in this country are trained. The EPA is under pressure to increase the number of trainers as soon as possible. A large number of new trainers have entered the market hoping to expand their businesses. In the amendment effective on 7/6/2010, the EPA relaxed the requirement to become a trainer from 16 hours to 8. Now it is very easy to become a trainer.
Is it possible that some trainers will be rushed through to meet the demand? Will training providers convert existing abatement or safety trainers to RRP instructors even if they have little or no experience with the residential construction industry? Will the EPA, already severely short handed, be able to audit training providers to insure that the quality of training they expect is delivered?
We are hearing from contractors some trainers are lacking in relevant residential construction experience. Trainers who cannot relate to the world of the residential contractor may not be received well and the training may fall short. Given the severity of the fines and increased liability, contractors can ill afford to pay for training that is delivered by trainers who cannot relate to residential contractors.
In the conversation with the contractor above, I asked him what were his main concerns. He responded "I went to a training provider in New York to be trained on the RRP Lead Law. I shopped around and selected the best price I could find. I didn't stop to think about the trainer, I just knew I had to get it done. I was disappointed because the instructor had no clue about working for homeowners and he obviousy didn't know my world. He couldn't answer my questions and was unclear on the law. All he did was read from the slides in a monotone voice. People were nodding off because he was boring. He didn't teach me anything I didn't already know. In fact I am more confused now.
He then went on to explain that he had several employees to train and he didn't want to risk spending his dollars on training that wouldn't be suitable for his men. He said "training should be just like lead paint. It should stick for a long time".
Before you pick your trainer do some homework and ask them as many questions as possible to make sure your valuable training dollars are well spent. The risk of sending your guys and subs to someone who is not relevant to your world can cost you big time. Either in retraining costs, or worse, fines.
"Training immediately followed by implementation, insures what is paid for and learned in the classroom, makes it to the field."