Safety at the workplace is in the interest of both the organization and the employees. An effective safety training program will ensure that there are fewer injuries, no damage to property or equipment, fewer legal liabilities, reduced instances of illnesses among the employees, fewer compensation claims and so on. Hence, organizations should put in place a training program that each and every employee should undergo as soon as he/she joins an organization.
However, training programs should not be designed merely to fulfill some mandatory requirements for local government authorities or applicable laws of the state. They need to be planned according to the needs of the organization, keeping in mind the occupational health and safety of its employees.
Here are a few tips for conducting interesting and effective training programs to ensure safety of employees at the workplace.
- 1. The first step towards designing an effective safety training program is to identify the training needs in an organization. Is it to educate employees on handling equipment, about inappropriate execution of a task and so on. Safety training is necessary for all businesses – it could be even for somthing as simple as fire safety exercise to the more industry-specific requirements such as cautions to be exercised while handling specific materials.
- 2. Check government regulations and requirements with respect to workplace safety and health that are mandatory for organizations. These mandatory training programs can be integrated with the requirements that are specific to individual organizations to make them more relevant and beneficial.
- 3. Appoint safety officers or a safety committee which will be responsible for carrying out the training programs. They will need to administer training to all new employees and also watch out for future training needs or to conduct refresher courses to existing employees to ensure that employees are well versed with safety practices and procedures.
- 4. State clearly the objectives of the training program and explain how it is going to help employees stay safe. This has to be made clear right at the beginning of the training program to ensure maximum participation.
- 5. Make sure that all learning materials are written in a simple language that is easily understood. It should be clear and concise with simple dos and don’ts listed at the end. They need to be translated into local languages when required.
- 6. Ensure that training materials are made available for easy reference to all employees even after the mandatory training program is completed. Material can be in the form of DVDs, PowerPoint presentations, safety videos and a handy manuals.
- 7. Use interesting learning activities. Hands-on training with simulation of job scenario would be more relevant and interesting. Design training programs creatively using some scenarios and examples. It also makes the otherwise dry and theoretical content interesting and will encourage involvement of the participants.
- 8. Safety training can also be provided online or can be made available on demand to employees whenever they face some problems at workplace. For example, if equipment requires trouble shooting, an employee should be able to access information online and resolve the issue. Such a provision will ensure that there is timely intervention for resolving a problem.
- 9. If your organization is handling industrial equipment, it would be beneficial to include training programs to teach employees about the correct method of using and handling it. Including manufacturers safety requirements will ensure that equipment is well maintained with less wear and tear.
- 10. Evaluate the effectiveness of the program through quizzes and tests so that the manger understands to what extent employees have understood the safety needs. A survey about the impact of the program on the job once the training program ended needs to be done to take stock of employees’ performance and practices at workplace with specific reference to safety.
- 11. Safety is a requirement that is continuous and it needs to be evaluated periodically. You need to make sure that the content is relevant and up to date according to the current requirements of the organization.
If you are a manager trying to devise safety training programs, we hope the tips above were useful to help you get started.