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Five Strategies for Effective Workplace Safety Training

Tech Tips - Jul 21

Five Strategies for Effective Workplace Safety Training

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

Safety training is necessary in many types of facilities and industries. And although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that guarantees successful learning and retention, there are strategies you can use to help trainees understand and apply the concepts you teach.

Whether you’re teaching workers how to operate equipment safely or covering general workplace safety information, it’s important to provide accurate, clear training that engages your audience. Most learners appreciate variety. By having them participate in several different ways over the course of the training, you’re reinforcing principles and encouraging an “aha” moment.

There are three types of learning exchanges that can be beneficial in a training setting, according to OSHA. The best training courses incorporate all three of these learning exchanges to maximize the potential for learning. 

1. Participant-to-participant: when two workplace peers learn from each other, like during a group activity

2. Participant-to-facilitator: when participants share experiences that help the facilitator learn something new, like during class discussions

3. Facilitator-to-participant: when a facilitator guides the class using more traditional methods, like lectures


Strategies for Effective Safety Training

Now that we understand the different ways people may participate in safety training, let’s talk about how to promote better learning and retention during training sessions. Try some—or all—of these strategies when it’s time to provide your staff with a refresher on workplace safety. 

1. Include Activity-Based Learning

Activity-based learning engages trainees in an experience. It prompts them to actively participate in the learning process rather than passively consume information. OSHA notes that, ideally, activity-based learning should fill at least two-thirds of your training time.

2. Set Clear Objectives

Many learners appreciate having a road map that tells them what they’ll be learning, when they’ll be learning it and why it’s important. That doesn’t mean you have to go into detail about what will be covered. It can be as simple as providing a short agenda for the session.

3. Offer Hands-On Training

Hands-on training is required in some situations, but even if it isn’t, it can be a great way to promote better retention. This is similar to activity-based learning, but while activity-based learning may be concept-driven, hands-on training focuses on the practical application of those concepts.

4. Stick to Relevant Material

No one wants to attend a training session that’s a waste of their time. Keep your information succinct and relevant. The more you can help trainees understand the “why” behind safety concepts, the more likely they are to buy in and champion safety in the workplace. 

5. Encourage Collaboration

Unless you’re training all-new employees, chances are there will be some knowledgeable workers in your class. Make sure you treat them with respect and ask them to share their perspectives and experiences. Real-world stories and feedback from veteran employees can help the rest of the class learn.

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