To ensure your workers go home safely after every shift, you need more than the right safety products and personal protective equipment. You need workers who are properly trained and fully engaged. Danger exists in the workplace, and no one, not even experienced professionals, are immune to accidents.
It's important to be aware of these factors as we focus on the importance of safety training. Even the most experienced workers can be susceptible to an accident. People who do routine work every day or those who have been doing the same type of job for years gradually fall into routines. Typically, they develop a dulled sense of the risks of their work and sometimes these workers develop a more relaxed attitude about the need for safety training. When this happens, it's the perfect formula for workplace accidents and injuries.
That is why safety training is so important. Your employees need to be reminded of the dangers that exist, and must be trained on how to properly protect themselves.
Safety training aims to ensure your employees are not injured on the job. Its goal is to build awareness of dangers that exist, outline the necessary steps you must take to protect employees, and ensure you remain compliant with industry standards. Effective safety training can help develop a positive health and safety culture in your company.
1) Ensure Employees Understand the Training
Since there may be a lot of new information shared at a safety training session, consider spreading out your training days so employees aren't struggling to memorize the information. Only so much information is retained in a safety training session. Break up training over a few days to keep your workers' minds fresh and engaged for an optimal learning experience. Additionally, you should reinforce training if employees fail to understand and apply their new knowledge. This requires you to monitor their progress after safety training to measure how well your workers are using the best safety practices that apply to their specific job.
2) Provide the Proper Training Materials
Materials should be presented in the order of the steps taken to complete the job. Safety training should be very methodical. All safety knowledge transferred to workers should be presented in order, as it is easier for them to put it into practice.
3) Apply Safety Changes When Necessary
Apply safety changes upon incidents, accidents, illnesses and injuries. Safety training isn't just about attending classes. The biggest learning experiences happen in the moment. When there's a workplace accident, apply safety changes as soon as it's appropriate.
4) Update Workers When Policies or Procedures Change
If a policy or procedure is changed, affected workers should be updated by their manager. It's best to hold routine meetings that address updated policies and procedures so your employees aren't left in the dark. A consistent message keeps them aware of how important workplace safety is.
5) Schedule Regular Refreshers
Employees exposed to increased risk must be updated with new safety training. Especially for those workers whose jobs are at an increased risk for accidents, they need to be refreshed and retrained on a regular basis. In addition, OSHA and other regulatory bodies recommend refresher training.
6) Keep Communication Open and Provide Feedback
Executives and safety officers must keep communication open to allow workers to be comfortable with learning and giving their feedback. Employee feedback is important to understand their hands-on experience with certain safety procedures. Employees should let management know what their preferred learning style is and if they need additional training.
7) Make Sure Employees Are Engaged
Class room training is important as it provides background on safety topics, but it needs to be combined with hands-on training and demonstration. Safety training requires "doing"� to have the greatest impact and ensure engagement. Also, keep employees attentive in training sessions by offering Q&A discussions. Q&A's are a great way to keep employees involved and active in their safety training. It also encourages them to think about the practical use of their tips in their everyday work.
8) Follow Up and Monitor Employee Progress
Training does not stop once a trainer leaves or a class ends. You should continue to teach employees and monitor their progress. Give feedback on how your employees adapt to the safety training so they know what they are doing properly. Supervisors should watch employees do their jobs and question them to identify what they do or don't know about best safety practices for their job.
9) Use Real-Life Incidents as Examples
Relating real-life incidents when training employees creates a lasting impression. It takes less than a second to lose the rest of your life. And these real-life stories happen every day. Upon hearing them, it's hard to ignore how important it is to apply what they've learned in safety training every day.
10) Customize Training to Specific Job or Application
Always make sure to train employees specific to their area of work. Every job, every machine, every piece of equipment is different and requires a certain set of safety knowledge and skills to use them properly.
It's important to follow these workplace safety training tips throughout the year to help your employees stay focused and safe.
Effective training results in effective safety measures on the job. Safety training helps your business prevent workplace accidents and increases productivity. Safety training ensures that proper protective measures are being taken, preventing accidents and the associated financial costs.