Top Tips For Improving Safety Training

Everyone knows safety training is important. Everyone also knows that there are other things they’d rather be doing. Safety training takes workers off of the job site and that can be costly, as well as a distraction, affecting information retention and reducing the effectiveness of your training sessions.

The remedy isn’t longer sessions or more thorough testing. The solution is more effective use of class time. By placing an emphasis on engagement and changing simple things about the way instructors present training information, you can help employees focus on the importance of safety training and the work in front of them while realizing that safety doesn’t end with training sessions.

Whether you use training management software, classroom learning or a combination of both, engagement plays a key role in information retention for your employees. Increased retention means the lessons paid for in the classroom can help your employees cut loses and reduce injuries on the job site increasing your organization’s return on investment.

The first step in training engagement begins before class starts. In order to engage employees and give them confidence, instructors need to view training as a dialogue built around a safety-oriented corporate culture. Have management set an example for employees and show them that goals, like having zero incidents are worth striving for. This way management can set and test limits on performance while showing employees that there’s no excuse not to meet safety standards. It is always more effective for management to show this with their actions instead of just words.

Setting an example for employees is just the first step in creating a culture of safety around your organization. Invest the time and money into developing training tools and programs that will speed up the transmission of information and learning. Personal safety equipment is a valuable tool for employee protection and almost always presents a positive return on investment; the same can be said of safety training. In many cases, an employee learning management system can be the perfect tool to support your message delivery. By investing in a variety of training materials, like video and interactive exercises, employees will see the value you are placing in their training and will give lessons more attention according to that perceived value.

Slides, interactive exercises and animated videos may be more expensive to develop than text-based training methods, but they also increase learning retention and keep classroom sessions fresh by segmenting information and helping time pass more quickly. Using a number of different training methods will accommodate a variety of learning styles in your workforce and help ensure that everyone clearly understands the lessons being presented. Taking breaks is important, as well, to compartmentalize training session information. This improves retention and employees’ willingness to interact.

Another way to increase engagement and provide variety to classroom sessions is to bring in expert speakers. Many are affordable and provide industry insight not readily available to safety training staff. Benefit from an expert’s experience by playing out emergency situations and recounting personal stories. These exercises will help employees contextualize information and increase retention.

The most important part of safety training invariably ends up being how information is reinforced once classroom and e-learning sessions are over. Create regular safety meetings that showcase good work. Emphasize hazard identification and provide incentives that will keep workers interested and committed. Make use of evaluations when training is over and at frequent intervals to reinforce important topics. It’s all about embracing a safety culture that will reduce workplace incidents and keep your employees’ heads in the game—and protected.

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