Safety Begins with Training
For safety professionals, there is always one question in the back of their minds: “What else should I be doing to keep my workers safe?” We all want to maintain a safe work environment, but a safety pro is always thinking about how to eliminate the risks that others haven’t even thought of yet. The best way to increase worker safety and reduce risk is to put a comprehensive plan in place, and the foundation of that plan has to start with training.
The importance of safety training cannot be overstated. OSHA is explicitly clear about training and its value:
Training and education are elements of a strong injury and illness prevention program that can help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers get hurt. Injury and illness prevention programs are systems that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses while reducing costs to employers.
Most successful injury and illness prevention programs are based on a common set of key elements. These include management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement.
So understanding how important it is, what are some safety training best practices? Comin up with fresh ideas for safety training is always a challenge, so we’ll go through a few must tips we’ve learned over to years to ensure that workers are getting the education that they need.
When conducting safety training, it is important to use real life examples whenever possible. People respond to stories, it’s just human nature. They won’t remember 29 CFR 1910.66e, but if you tell them about how an employee failed to properly inspect their harness and when they fell had an accident that imagery will stick with them.
Don’t Use Jargon
Safety has a tendency to acronym people to death. PPE, PAPR, EMS, etc, it all can start to run together, especially for people new to the industry. Make sure to take the time to explain exactly what you’re talking about so that your training is easily comprehended.
Be Thorough, but Concise
It’s easy to want to cover every eventuality when safety training. After all, you never know what tidbit might stick that could save someone from injury. So it’s important to review your training materials before you present and make sure that everything in your presentation is necessary. Your workers only have so much information that they can remember and so long that they will pay attention, so stay within those boundaries.
Make it Fun
Even though safety is a serious topic, your training doesn’t have to be, at least not the entire time. Adding some levity into your safety training will help keep people engaged so that they’ll hear the important information being presented. Get people up and moving, have them interact with new PPE, and break away from the PowerPoint, at least for a bit. The more you can do to get people to have some fun while they learn the longer they’ll stay involved and attentive.
Martin has an OSHA licensed trainer who works full time helping companies operate better by providing safety training on a wide variety of topics. You can download a brochure showcasing his services here, or go to the Martin Safety page to learn more.
Martin Corporate Headquarters
125 North Court Street
Florence, AL 35630
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