5 Tips for Improving Workplace Safety Training

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Workplace safety doesn’t occur in a vacuum. There are plenty of ways to increase safety at work.

Improving the training that staff receive goes a long way to getting a better safety record.

Here are 5 tips for improving workplace safety training to avoid accidents and other unnecessary incidents from occurring.

1. Emphasize the Most Relevant Points to People in a First Job

For companies that heavily recruit from straight out of college or see other people being employed as their first job, their green coming in the door. While they may have plenty of academic knowledge, little of it is practical for the real business world today.

For this group of people, safety training while covering all areas must necessarily place greater emphasis either on what the company sees as the highest priority issues or those that most often get overlooked.

Surveys of accidents that confirmed the cause and where a lack of safety training partly contributed to it provide useful guidance here.

2. Safety Training with Repeat Audiences in Mind

While for some people it will be their first job, most others going through safety training will have been through a few of them in their working lifetime. As a result, they’ll often come to it quite jaded and think they know everything that will be covered.

Trainers must be aware of this, actively work to engage with these people, and emphasize new regulations and requirements.

By drawing the attention of those employees to new procedures and requirements that weren’t present 1-2 years ago, it will dissuade them from belief that they’ve already covered them.

3. Special Care with Energy Sources

Energy sources need to be locked off to prevent tampering. Also, preventing accidentally knocking a control lever that may open a valve or make another unintended adjustment should be avoided.

Protecting against malicious or accidental tampering such as OSHA’s lockout tag out procedures is an effective way to ensure OSHA standards are being met.

It also provides peace of mind for the people responsible for that aspect of safety procedures too. Provide training that runs through what’s required and how to use the lockout tags correctly to ensure the process is correctly followed.

4. Demonstrate or Run Through Procedures

Avoid getting into the mindset of running through safety procedures only on paper or as a screenshot. Whilst OSHA regulations and documentation are extensive, they need to be broken down into bite-sized chunks that are more readily understood.

Distance learning and video conferences including Zoom calls are now commonplace, demonstrate on video if it’s impossible to do so in person. Where an exact procedure must be followed and it can be replicated at home for remote workers, supplying them with what they need to learn and practice it.

Have employees demonstrate the procedure on a video call to pass a test for it. Don’t slack off on this aspect because it’s more difficult than before.

5. Provide Updated Training Refreshers

The requirements for companies change as regulations are updated. Also, safety awareness training is sometimes revised to include new points that previously received far less attention but now need greater emphasis. For these and other reasons, it’s often useful to have yearly or bi-yearly training refreshers for staff.

While minor changes can be emailed out, it’s all too easy to overlook that. So, anything major, it should also be included in a special safety training refresher course.

Additionally, when an employee has caused an accident or a violation of safety rules, then it’s often necessary to go back over how to stay safe and keep others safe too.

By treating safety training as an ongoing need that gets updated as time goes on, companies allow for both improvement and adaptation to new events that occur requiring changes.

In turn, this helps to keep the number of safety-related incidents to a minimum.

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