5 Safety Training Strategies That Really Work

health-and-safety-at-workSafety training isn’t the most interesting way to spend your time if you’re an employee. Most employees want to spend their time being productive. At the same time, safety training may be needed in the workplace, either because it’s practical or it’s a legal requirement. Make sure your employees retain what they learn with these five methods that actually stick.


Regular, Focused, Safety Meetings

Focus on being focused. One of the biggest mistakes that employers make is trying to cram a lot of information into a single training session. This usually doesn’t work, for a variety of reasons. One of the most important of these is that most individuals simply cannot focus on more than one or two things at a time. And, the more information you give them, the less they retain.

So, choose a safety topic to discuss in a meeting, and strive to go in-depth with that one topic, rather than cover multiple safety topics. Make sure that, with each “layer” of complexity, you’re tying new concepts back to practical application and implementation.

Workers’ comp lawyers know all-too-well, what happens when employees don’t retain a practical understanding of safety training. So, nip that problem in the bud, and you’ll reduce your comp cases and preserve employee morale.


The Gamification of Safety

Turn safety training into a game. When employees perceive the activity as fun, more of them are likely to participate and remember what they’ve learned. We’re all inclined to seek out things that are fun, rather than suffer through things that are boring or painful.

At the same time, you don’t want safety training to turn into a joke or goof-off session. Balance the game with the seriousness of safety. One way to do this is to carry safety out into the workplace environment where workers must be serious or focused when working. Give employees a challenging, but achievable, objective to complete, and a reward for completing that objective. You could even divide employees into teams, and create team-oriented rewards and recognition.


Award-Based Safety Training

An award-based approach to training does not necessarily have to be set up as a game, however. You could simply award individuals based on their adherence to safety procedures and protocols. It doesn’t even have to be monetary rewards. Many individuals respond to any form of recognition.


Surprise Audits

You shouldn’t have to make your employees afraid of you, and yet surprise audits are a very effective way of ensuring safety compliance. Try to set up surprise safety audits in a non-threatening manner. Your employees should be made aware that an unsatisfactory safety assessment doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re terminated or punished in some way.

Institute a remediation program for those who do not pass the audit, and help them become safer on the job. Frame it as helping the employee to become safer, and they will be more receptive to the idea of a surprise audit when it occurs.


Ask Employees To Take Notes

Ask employees to take notes during meetings. Some studies show that hand-writing notes is more effective for the purposes of retaining information.


Aaron Friedman, Esq., has won dozens of high-value arbitrations and trials in the Philadelphia area. His many years of experience make him the source for workers’ compensation information. You can read his interesting articles on many websites today. See Philly Disability Lawyer for more information on workers laws.

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