Blog /

4 Improvements to Existing Safety Training That Won’t Cost a Cent

Three Heavy Industry Engineers Stand in Pipe Manufacturing Factory, Use Digital Tablet Computer, Have Discussion. Large Pipe Assembled. Design and Construction of Oil, Gas and Fuels Transport Pipeline

Getting a budget that’s adequate enough to address safety concerns is a common problem for many safety professionals. But the need for safety doesn’t stop simply because money’s a bit tight. According to the NSC Injury Facts, the workplace death rate in 2021 increased by 11.9% from 2020 and about 1 in 5 people sought medical attention for an injury—demonstrating that the need for better safety measures is warranted. 

Safety training does not have a finish line. While compliance requirements like training can be met, human factors like complacency can creep in and create safety challenges. Besides, being certified or trained in a certain area does not create an invisible forcefield that keeps them safe. As soon as people stop thinking about the risks involved in tasks or new risks emerge, the risk of a safety incident increases. 

Given all this, there’s a clear need to keep safety issues at the front of people’s minds. Here are some tips that will allow you to focus on safety without having to approach the holder of the corporate purse strings.

Trim the fat

Blended learning is becoming more and more common—to the point that you may not even realize that’s what you’re doing. But it’s important to be strategic in how you deliver your safety training. Reserve classroom training for activities best suited for the classroom. Leverage technology, micro-learning, just-in-time information, virtual classrooms, checklists, toolbox talks, and the like to reinforce ongoing learning. 

By tapping into the various learning platforms you can extend your training topic beyond the classroom. In the process, you’ll be making the material sustainable and creating an easy way to reinforce learning. Spend time developing your message to hit the key points in a very impactful way. Start with your objectives—what do you need participants to know and how can you make those points in the fewest number of words, slides, images, duration, etc? 

You should spend as much time trying to pare down your content as building it up. Keep in mind that this will often serve as more than one training session. Also, note that unnecessary slides detract from the necessary ones. 

Re-purpose original training

In most cases, unless there’s a renewal date for training certifications, we can all be guilty of letting those training documents sit on the shelf and collect dust. But it’s important to sustain existing training by having refresher training or implementing ways to keep the key learning objects top of mind.

The easiest thing to do is to re-invigorate what you already have. There’s a good chance that those who received the original training may not want to sit through the exact same training again. But that information does not need to be delivered the same way to be effective. There are many ways to present the key learning objectives from the training in a different way. One is to develop posters to display throughout your facility. Think of safety posters as an echo—they should repeat training concepts to trigger previous learning. Check out our poster guide for more tips on how to use posters effectively. Or use the key learning objectives to create 5–10 minute toolbox talks. Re-purposing the training means getting the message back to the people who received the training originally. In addition to the posters and toolbox talks, a small post in your company newsletter, a handout left in employee break areas, or a quick mention on CCTV are all ways to keep the safety message alive within your facility and sustain your initial investment in training. 

Curate and leverage existing resources

Find what other people have used that is proven to work in a similar area and use it instead of trying to create your own material from scratch. Resource leveraging means getting the most out of available resources by taking complete advantage of how it has worked for others. If the resources you find have been used a lot (multiple versions, multiple years) you can assume it has been refined over time and is effective. 

Similar pre-existing resources can continue the learning previously implemented in your facility. Many safety associations have free resources available for you to use. The Training and Reference Materials Library is one example of where you can find resources that could help. And if you have a specific topic in mind, a simple Google search can help you find a multitude of resources you may not have known were available. You can also reach out to your contacts and ask them what is working for them. Or you can turn to third-party experts to see what they recommend in their field, such as this curated list of safety resources for supervisors.

Call in a favor

Talk to colleagues, attend conferences and webinars, and don’t shy away from training vendors and consultants. They’ve been helping clients figure out logistical challenges and how to get budget and training time for years. Let them know your struggles and see if they can help you through your challenges. Colleagues who have found success are often excited to share what worked for them. It gives them an opportunity to talk about their success, something that may not be a topic they get to discuss regularly.

Bringing in an outside guest to speak in a facility is a great way to get the attention of a workforce that may already be checked out. Real-life stories help people to relate how a problem could impact their lives. It also provides an outside perspective—we tend to become complacent to the same voice delivering information within a facility, and a fresh new voice may pack more punch. 

These four improvements can take your original training plan and turn it into a fully sustainable plan without straining your budget. And they can help keep workers thinking about safety, which will reduce injuries and reduce the risk of incidents.

Toolbox Talk Guide

Better Toolbox Talks and Safety Meetings

With this free toolbox talk guide, you’ll learn how to engage employees with safety meetings that work.

Get the free guide now

Tagged , , , , , ,