IMPLEMENTING A SAFETY TRAINING PLAN
By Gary Hanson, President of American Safety & Health Management Consultants, Inc.
One of the most important elements of a Safety Program is effective training. Yet it is often overlooked or there isn’t adequate time, resources or attention given to it. Many times, the training is hit or miss and a system isn’t in place to ensure that training requirements are maintained. Lack of time and the need to maintain production schedule also limit the effectiveness of safety training. Sometimes the individuals that are responsible for training are not comfortable conducting training or don’t have the necessary resources available to assist them. Sometimes training is hard to evaluate to determine it’s real value to the success of the company.
Like every other program, a company that implements safety training will need the support of senior management and an ongoing plan to ensure that it is incorporated into the daily activities of the company. Both are critical to the overall success of a Safety Training Program. A good plan will keep your company on track and focus time and resources in a much more effective method.
One of the major services we provide for our client companies, is developing a Training Plan and keeping the plan on track.
There are 12 key elements to the plan that we put together:
1. Evaluation of current training needs.
2. Development of training guidelines.
3. List of subjects or topics that need to be included.
4. Support material and training aides.
5. Preparation and review of topics.
6. Monthly schedule of training developed.
7. Understanding of the obstacles that will need to be overcome.
8. Key points that need to be covered for each topic identified and highlighted.
9. Supporting points identified.
10. A good story or example to relate the topic to develop employee interest.
11. Documentation, documentation and more documentation.
12. Method to evaluate effectiveness of the Training Program and update where necessary.
Step 1 – Evaluation of current needs
* OSHA advises that companies should ensure that training programs cover the 3 following areas:
* General company Safety Policies and Procedures
* Job specific or site specific training
* OSHA required training
* An audit of your current safety training topics can quickly pinpoint areas of strength and weakness.
Step 2 – Development of Training Guidelines
* There is a method to effective training. These should be developed and reviewed in detail with all supervisors and/or trainers.
Step 3 – Once the initial Safety Training Audit is conducted
* A list of appropriate topics should be developed for inclusion in the Safety Training Plan.
* These should be broken down into initial training and ongoing training.
Step 4 – Support material and training aids.
* Need to be available and should include computer and projector for PowerPoint presentations, handouts, videos and hands on training related to the topic.
Step 5 – Preparation and Review of the Training Plan & Topics
* This is a very important step. All trainers should be able to cover the subject material easily and naturally. I advise my clients to lead the meeting not to read the material.
Step 6 – Monthly Training Schedule
* It is important to have a date and time scheduled each month to provide continuity and consistency to the training. A monthly schedule will keep you on track.
Step 7 – Understanding the Obstacles that will need to be overcome
* This is a key element, these can include, production schedules, vacations, holidays, availability of training classroom, environmental conditions, hot, cold and noise. A quiet comfortable environment is very important and adequate time is needed to be successful.
Step 8 – Key Points outlined and stressed
* Topics will have key points that need to be covered. Identify these and stress them during the training.
Step 9 – Supporting points need to be identified
* These points support the key points.
* Example – Fire Extinguisher Training
* Key point – What are the 4 different types of Fires?
* Supporting Points
* Explain each of the characteristics of each of the 4 different types of fires
Step 10 – Have an example or good story to support the topics
* Stories are a great way to relate the topics to real life situations that employees can relate to. It also brings the employees into the training.
Step 11 – Documentation
* Always document the training provided.
* This will include an outline of the training provided and a Training Sign-Off Form for all attendees to sign.
* A Safety Training Matrix should be developed so that all training can be documented on one simple reporting form.
Step 12 – Evaluate the effectiveness of the training
* There are several ways to do this including tests, surveys of employees attending the class and individual reviews or employee performance observations.
* The results can be used to help update your Training Programs and ensure that it is meeting the company’s safety training needs.
Training is not easy, it takes time, preparation, proper environment and effective presentations. It is something you need to work at, but by putting together and following a Safety Training Plan it will make it easier and more productive.
If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Safety Program, please give me a call at 1-800-356-1274.