Just the phrase “safety training” is enough to strike dread in the hearts of an organization’s leadership team, and the employees alike.
Safety training tends to be incredibly boring and highly technical, which tends to spell disaster in terms of how well employees retain the information. Despite the pitfalls of safety training, this doesn’t negate its importance in the workplace, and in particular manufacturing and production-based industries.
The Bottom Line Effect
Many employers only require safety training from a legal perspective. There may be legal requirements that mandate employees undergo certain training, or it may be to ensure employees are aware of certain laws and regulations within their position. See the top 10 safety courses.
These are important reasons for safety training, but it can go beyond this as well. When done correctly, safety training can have a variety of other benefits, including:
- Improved employee morale and reduced turnover. Employees may grumble about safety training, but they do want to feel they work in an environment where they’re cared about. When employees feel their employer cares about their well-being it can improve everything from productivity to job satisfaction, all of which also improve the overall work environment.
- A safe workplace is great for brand image to not just employees, but also the public. Even one accident can tarnish an organization’s reputation, which is problematic on a number of fronts.
- There are costs associated with a lack of effective safety training, whether it’s from lawsuits and legal issues, to the costs of repairing assets or machinery that may have been impacted by these accidents. It’s much less expensive to invest in effective safety training and prevention, as opposed to having to invest in damage control later.
Can You Create Effective Safety Training?
Even if you’re an organization that understands the magnitude of safety training, your next question may be how to make it truly effective?
eLearning is the path many organizations are opting to follow, because it provides the necessary framework to actually ensure employees aren’t just completing coursework, but that it’s also effective and information is being retained and utilized in real-world situations.
A few of the many reasons eLearning works so well for safety and compliance training include the following reasons:
- eLearning allows for the introduction of multimedia content that’s been shown through research to improve retention. Employees learn best when they’re able to engage through a variety of graphics, pictures, interactive components and videos. eLearning makes it easy to incorporate all of these different components, as opposed to traditional learning, which often relies on reading long sections of text.
- Modules from eLearning can be accessed from any place at any time. This is important to help guide employees when they’re actually on the production floor, or faced with a real situation requiring the use of information presented in their safety training coursework.
- eLearning is an optimal way to standardize learning materials, and this consistency is vital to ensure information is properly presented to everyone in an organization.
- eLearning courses can easily be translated into native languages. Communication barriers, including language, are often a key reason safety training is not effective, but this hurdle is easily overcome in eLearning modules.
Tips to Improve Safety Training
Whether you’re already using eLearning as a way to present safety information, or just considering its implementation, there are some proven ways to make sure it’s as effective as possible:
- Include demonstrations within modules. Demonstrations are one of the most powerful learning tools, and also one of the biggest advantages of using eLearning. Demonstrations can take place in videos or graphical representations.
- Pay attention to the narration style used. Since the material can be overwhelming, technical and boring, it’s best to use narration that’s friendly and conversational, and also to use lots of positive language to reinforce concepts.
- Use quizzes after every training module. Quizzes keep the learner engaged, ensure concepts are being properly understood, and gives employers an opportunity to gauge how effective the eLearning is, where things can be improved upon, and can also reduce liability issues in the future.
- Include an opportunity for question and answer sessions throughout training. This not only improves the learner’s engagement, but this kind of back-and-forth also improves retention.
- Make the training highly applicable in an immediate sense. Show learners why they’re going to be learning particular concepts, how it will be applied immediately, and how it will have an overall impact on their job.
Safety training is one of the most important types of training for employers and their employees, and luckily, with the growth and development of eLearning there are more opportunities to improve the quality and effectiveness of this training. The result of well-trained employees is enormous, and can not only make a workplace safer, but also more profitable.
In addition to safety training, learn about the overall Strategic Value of Workplace Training.
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