One of the most critical components of a workplace health and safety system is a company’s safety training program.
The impact of just one poorly trained employee can be staggering – putting the rest of your workforce and your company’s productivity at risk. In this post, we’re going to discuss how safety leaders can rethink their training programs to deliver sessions that stick with employees long after orientation ends.
A Sad Safety Truth
As a safety leader, it’s imperative that all of your employees are properly trained and that no one is performing a task they haven’t been shown how to do. Training needs to begin during onboarding and orientation on day one, and should continue regularly throughout the employee’s entire tenure with your company. Unfortunately, only 1 out of 5 new workers receive training – a pervasive issue with far-reaching consequences for not just the untrained employees, but for the entire company.
When designing your safety training program, here are three things to keep in mind to maximize results:
Safety Training Variety
To deliver the kind of safety training that’s going to adequately prepare workers for the job and keep them engaged, you need to shake up your training mix. The most effective training programs now include a combination of in-person and e-learning courses. Not only does variety keep training interesting, it also supports different types of learning. Your training mix should include an equal number of safety awareness courses as well as more practical, hands-on workshops.
Safety Training Effectiveness
To ensure you’re offering the most effective and engaging training possible, measuring the outcomes of your sessions is key. A good way to evaluate training effectiveness is comparing pre-training and post-training performance. This will give you a good idea if your training is actually helping achieve the outcomes you were hoping for. If you’re not seeing much improvement after certain sessions, consider re-evaluating your delivery method. If an in-person, instructor-led course is yielding poor results, why not move that session online?
Safety Training Frequency
Tracking your training outcomes can also help you modify and improve your refresher training schedule. A good rule of thumb is to host annual refresher training courses, but let’s say that you’ve noticed that near-misses tend to spike at the 9 month mark after a refresher course has taken place. This can indicate that an annual course is too infrequent and that performance would be better if you held biannual refreshers instead.