Who wouldn’t want to work in a safe work environment?
A workplace culture that highlights safety is an important aspect of making sure the environment is secure for you, your employees and other visitors to your business.
In 2017, more than 200,000 work-related injury claims were made to the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Many organizations believe they are ticking all the safety boxes by providing safety training and reducing the number of hazards in the workplace.
Yet, it takes more than this to make your organization’s safety culture a success.
Safety training shouldn’t only be learning safety signs. This doesn’t translate into a top-notch safety culture which is what you want for your organization.
What new unique strategies are you using and how committed to building a culture of safety are you?
Here’s how to get started.
Involve Managers and Supervisors
Employees love seeing managers and supervisors take the lead in complying with safety measures. Not only do they lead by example but they also motivate employees to play their part.
For a safety program to succeed, it has to have the backing of managers and supervisors.
Managers have to approve budgets on training. Supervisors have to adjust working schedules to allow for adequate training.
To demonstrate their commitment, managers and supervisors must:
- Make a point of attending safety training sessions. This improves their knowledge and inspires other employees.
- Understand safety training. They should direct the safety instructors to make it more relevant for their different departments.
- In carrying out performance evaluations, managers should include performance reviews of training. This will encourage employees to take part in safety training.
- Expand manager and supervisor safety roles. This will build a strong foundation in training.
- Supervisors should provide reports on safety training performance to safety trainers. This enables them to schedule further training when needed.
Tips to Help You Develop an Effective Safety Training Program
1. Seek to Create Partnerships With Employees
Ever thought about what impact it may have if your employees were to become trainers?
This simple move may be what your training needs to make it more effective.
Instead of having your employees sit through training, recruit some as trainers.
It may take a few coaching lessons, but once started, your training will experience a freshness you never thought existed.
What’s more, your workers will speak from a point of experience.
In most cases, trainers will use the same material for different organizations. With employee trainers on board, there is bound to be a change in the delivery of content.
Ask them to tweak the training material to ensure that it is relevant to their experiences at work. This will make it better for employees to know what to do in specific circumstances.
Do not forget to make after training evaluations of your employees.
It takes time to access the effectiveness of training. Such evaluations provide you with tips for further improvement.
2. Get Creative With Training
Training ought to be interesting and fun in order to attract proactivity and engagement.
Presenting information in a new and creative way will make your employees enthusiastic.
Think of tools that you can use to revolutionize your training. Your training tool kit may already have handbooks and posters.
Bring in DVD’s that employees can watch as part of the training. To encourage active participation:
- Include games and rewards
- Bring physical safety signs
- Use PowerPoint presentations
- Use e-learning tools like videos
- Add some humor to your teaching
3. Engage Employees in Discussions on Safety
Wondering how to engage employees in lively discussion? It’s pretty simple.
From the onset of training, make employees understand that you are their facilitator. Add some humor into training to make the environment more conducive for learning.
There’s nothing wrong with asking employees how they’d want you to run the training.
If they agree to have you break them into groups, ensure that you visit each group during training. Also, encourage them to share their ideas as you go on.
To inject fresh perspectives, let your employees take part in discussions.
4. Customize Your Safety Training
Safety laws and regulations can be quite difficult to comprehend.
Customize your training to enhance understanding.
You may understand all the jargon, but others may not. Present information in the most straightforward way possible to ease understanding.
It is important to make training more relevant to the organization. Start by making a checklist for specific departments. The list should be easy to understand and you can place it in small portable cards.
5. Practice New Skills Learned
You can only test effectiveness by allowing your employees to practise skills they have learned.
Here’s how to involve them:
- Conduct demonstrations during the sessions. These allow your employees to understand certain procedures.
- Coach employees as they practice new skills. This allows them to learn from your cues as you are able to correct them when they make mistakes.
- Organize for an occasional drill to test performance on the job. This is important for people who must have safety training skills while on the job.
Learning is a continuous process.
Practising new skills allows employees to become better. Even if they make one or two mistakes, they will quickly learn new procedures.
What’s more, they will feel more confident knowing that they have a coach who has their back.
Scheduling exercises early enough allows employees preparedness for any eventualities.
Emphasize the importance of wearing appropriate workwear for their protection. These industrial garments are easy to find and are available in different sizes.
6. Embrace Technology In Learning
We are living in the digital era. You have no choice but to embrace technology in learning.
Computer-based training has an advantage over other training methods. It allows training to be fun and interactive. It has also made teaching large groups easy.
To add e-learning to your training program:
- Introduce safety topics through computer-based training before you start class sessions.
- Schedule webcasts on relevant topics to act as supplementary training.
- Use video conferencing as a way of exchanging knowledge from different locations.
- Use digitized cameras to film in house training sessions and take pictures. These serve as a future resource.
7. Train Everyone at the Workplace
There is no telling when an accident will happen and who it will befall.
As such, safety training is for everyone at the workplace and is essential in developing a good safety culture.
Training everyone is a good way to remind employees that everyone is responsible for safety in the workplace.
Get leadership involved in safety training as much as everyone else.
8. Offer Regular Safety Training
Training on safety will not instantly create a safety culture.
It takes time to build a safety culture that will last through the years.
Observe employees and ensure that they are following safety rules. Get all trained personnel to act as safety advocates and point out any hazards that may cause accidents.
Reward employees who excel in observing safety standards at the workplace. This motivates them to keep at it and encourages others to follow suit.
Emergency drills are a great way to test preparedness. Educate employees on what is expected of them in case of an accident.
The Way Forward for a Safer Workplace
This article has offered brilliant ideas on how to improve safety effectiveness. There is so much more you can do, but first, start with the basics.
Check to ensure that employees choose the right workwear. Encourage adherence to safety guidelines, and work towards building a strong safety culture.