Mechanization and automation have brought some ease for employees in the manufacturing sector from strenuous works. Nevertheless, working amidst heavy machinery and equipment and various chemical processes poses hazards. So, it’s the employer’s responsibility to create a safer and healthier workplace for employees. Working hand-in-hand with employees makes your safety training a success in manufacturing facilities. In this blog, let’s walk through the key aspects of creating online safety training in manufacturing facilities.
Training on Identifying, Avoiding, and Reducing Workplace Hazards
Identifying, avoiding, and reducing/controlling hazards is an important aspect of occupational safety and everyone – management, supervisors, employees – has a role to play. Performing a series of hazard analyses is the key to identifying hazards in the workplace. Listing down and recording previous incidents, near-misses, injuries, illnesses, fatalities, and other damages will also help in identifying potential hazards.
Next, create a plan to control each hazard identified. Prioritize them and address the hazards that cause more damage and have serious consequences first. You can control hazards by elimination, substitution, engineering controls, safe work practices, administrative controls, and using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You can train employees on safe work practices and how to use PPE in the workplace. Based on the hazards identification, you can develop effective online safety training for manufacturing in four following steps:
1. Design Online Safety Courses
Define the ‘learning objectives’ for online safety courses based on the training need analysis, task analysis, and learner analysis. Learning objectives for online safety courses are what you want employees to do after going through the course. Once you set these objectives right, you can create content and assessments that match the defined learning goals. After taking the safety course, you can observe how employees apply them in the field or in their jobs.
2. Develop Online Safety Courses
After the Design stage, to develop an online course on manufacturing safety, source the training content from reliable sources. You can get authentic content on safety from regulatory agencies such as OSHA; for chemical safety Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is a good source. You can rely on subject matter experts, engineers, senior staff, and consultants. Prepare content aligned with the learning objectives defined in the previous step.
Develop the safety training content based on Adult Learning Principles (ADL). Adult learners prefer training that’s self-directed, goal-oriented, and relevant to their tasks. Keeping training short is also important; limiting safety training to essential points makes it slim. Chunking training content into smaller parts improves employees’ knowledge retention. You can consider translating training content into native languages for employees in non-English speaking countries.
3. Deliver Online Safety Courses
Online training is a better delivery format when it’s relevant, engaging, and interactive. However, you need to use visuals and videos effectively for this. Publishing the online courses to the HTML5 format and using responsive design make it possible to deliver online safety courses on mobile devices of various screen sizes. Extending them to mobile apps gives access to the training modules at the moment of need and for performance support.
Uploading online safety courses on your intranet portal to access is one approach. But, in this approach, you don’t know who’s taking the safety training and who’s not. Delivering your online courses for manufacturing safety via a Learning Management System has proven to be effective for tracking individual learning progress, generating reports, and issuing certificates.
4. Assess the Safety Learning
Along with online training on safety, testing the acquired knowledge of employees is essential. You can do this by incorporating formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are used within the course to check the knowledge of employees in the chapters taught. They are diagnostic in nature and help learners check their understanding. Summative assessments come at the end, in the form of a final mastery quiz. This tests employees’ knowledge and understanding of the overall safety course.
Hope these aspects help you rollout effective online safety training for your manufacturing facilities. Retain the records of safety training assessments to send reports to the concerned regulatory authorities and reduce paperwork. As you look at the changes that occur in the workplace over a period of time, you can revise and improve the online safety training. Safety training never ends, there is always a chance for improvement.