Committing to workplace safety training is a smart investment. Employers with effective safety training programs reap the benefits of fewer workplace injuries, higher worker morale and lower insurance premiums.
Through quarterly safety trainings, your staff members can keep safety and health hazards top of mind and get updates on safety-related issues. Regular safety training also helps employees realize the importance of working safely and how much the company is concerned about their well-being.
The following steps are suggested by OSHA for the creation and implementation of an efficient safety training program.
Determine what training can accomplish
Companies should first determine if training can solve any issues at hand. If difficulties stem from worker performance, rather than structural issues, training is the most effective approach. If safety concerns are related to worker attitude, training may not be as effective as addressing issues around company culture.
Safety training is most effective at addressing a lack of knowledge about procedures, equipment or the work environment.
Pinpoint safety training needs
After determining what safety training can and cannot accomplish, the next step is properly identifying the training necessary to address any lack of knowledge or understanding. This involves figuring out the specific information workers must know in order to do their jobs safely.
An established technique for figuring out training specifics is to conduct a Job Hazard Analysis. This OSHA-sanctioned method involves documenting each step of a task while looking for and assessing potential safety hazards. This company can make high-risk activities a priority in the training plan, investing a greater amount of time in evaluating these processes.
Determine training session objectives
Once safety training needs have been identified, the objectives of safety training should be set. Training objectives should be clear and quantifiable, making it possible to assess the training at a later time. Training objectives should describe the desired behavior or action using specific language. Comprehensive learning objectives allow staff members and management to see the desired outcome of training.
Assess training program effectiveness
After each training session is held, it is important to assess its success in accomplishing stated goals. Ask the trainees for comments via survey or informal conversations. This will offer a fast review of initial training results.
Also, follow up with managers and record their observations about worker behavior before and following the training. This can reveal if the training had a noticeable outcome.
Finally, assess workplace safety information to see if there is a long-term trend in the direction of decreased incident or near-miss rates. This will be the bottom-line indication of a training program’s efficiency.
Continually refine the training program
A safety training program should not be static. It should be continually refined based using feedback. An ongoing study of job duties and related training can pinpoint any overlooked or new gaps in knowledge that can be addressed by training.
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