July 3, 2014

The Importance of ongoing safety training

Ongoing safety training is essential to prevent injuries and maintain a strong safety culture. Some of the benefits of conducting regular training are to:

  • Enhance the employees’ ability to recognize risks
  • Reinforce the proper way of performing a task to prevent short cuts and combat complacency
  • Remind employees that working safely is supported by management and a key ingredient to protecting themselves and their co-workers

Be sure to use relevant topics, such as:

  • How to recognize hazards – using pictures from your worksite is very effective
  • How to prevent common injuries (e.g., slips/falls) or severe injuries (lifting)
  • How to protect themselves from hazardous processes, equipment or chemicals

You can also discuss near misses or close calls, and what corrective action has been or will be taken to prevent a recurrence that could result in an injury.

Keep it simple: “The human brain can only hold about 7 pieces of information for about 30 seconds. Memories are so volatile that you have to repeat to remember.”* With this in mind, focus on 3-4 key points and repeat those multiple times during training to enhance retention.

Utilize multiple learning styles – visual, auditory and kinesthetic – to engage all of your employees and make it more effective.

Get your employees actively involved in the training through discussion, demonstration, practice, repetition, feedback. If possible utilize your employees to teach each other what they just learned. This “teach back” approach averages a 90% retention rate!

Consistent, relevant safety training will help keep your employees safe, and protect your organization’s bottom line.

* Dr. John J. Medina, the author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School