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Boosting Your Credibility with EAP Customers

It's a no-brainer that employee assistance professionals boost their credibility with the workforce when they possess knowledge and empathy about their employee-client's occupation or the stressors faced on the job.

That's why some EA professionals within fire departments are often former first-responders. Why EA professionals in police departments may be former cops. And why former teachers may become EA professionals in schools. They need EAP education and training of course, but because they know the culture, they have an edge. It's a plus.

If you work as an EA professional in a hospital, you're toast if ask "Hey, what's 'drug diversion'?" Pack your bags if you work in a nuclear power plant and don't know what a "rem" is. Do you work with firefighters? You're toast if you blurt out in a crowded training room, "Hey guys, what's a 'flashover'?"

So, here's a resource you absolutely must possess if you work in the construction industry--information about workplace hazards. It's gem of a list and contains over 70 fact sheets that tell you everything you need to know about behavioral risk and exposures in this job arena. Armed with this information, you'll add solid armor, and who knows, maybe bullet-proof your EAP job security.

Go here, print this stuff, and make it part of your summer reading list:


This link is made available courtesy of your friendly U.S. Department of Labor. Each is a fact sheet, and each includes a diagram of the hazard in action, how injury or death occurs, and the issues, regulations, and rules associated with that hazard.

When you're in that next critical meeting with management, human resources, and the company doctor, and someone says, "Well, Joe was drunk and failed to use an MSS when he was hanging ceiling tiles", you'll stay in the game with a response like, "Are there a lot of employees who don't use motion stopping safety systems?"

You can bet these folks will be thinking, "Well, we hired the right person."

Sure, none of this stuff relates directly to the clinical aspects of employee assistance or EAP cost-benefit analysis. But my argument is this: Not rising to this level or practicality puts more EAPs in jeopardy than any other factor.

It's harder to farm out an EAP to an 800# when you know this stuff. Rest assured, it's not EAPs that get supplanted by 800#'s. It's the EAP staff! People make the difference. Be more valuable and you'll protect yourself and the profession more.

Special note to EAP students: Nothing is worse that getting caught looking like a dummy in this field. (If you're an old-timer in the EAP field, admit it, you've been there! I have.)

So, here's the link to everything you've ever wanted to know about construction and building trades safety hazards (to save face and be more credible on the job.):


Take care.

Daniel  Feerst