Top 10 Warning Signs of Safety Training Fatigue
- In each training session, at least one employee falls asleep.
- You’ve taken to bringing an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to training sessions in case an employee suddenly begins ‘dying’ of boredom.
- When you ask a question about the training topic, no employee has the energy to raise their hand to answer.
- You spend more time at your desk creating new PowerPoint slides, than in the actual high-hazard working environments you manage.
- You spend more time in the classroom watching people watch old safety DVDs, than facilitating hands-on training.
- Even you think your safety training sessions are boring.
- You’re printing training materials that will end up in the trash.
- You’re so overwhelmed with compliance training, you don’t have the time for professional development.
- Tracking your safety training program with Excel is starting to feel kind of nice.
- You’re asking for budget to order new safety DVDs or posters.
In truth, we take the twin responsibilities of safety and training quite seriously. And the ‘warning signs’ listed here are simply making a point—there’s always room for improvement in your training program.
A simple litmus test: if the safety training you’re delivering is boring (and you know it), imagine how the employee audience feels about it...?
Too often, the safety training experience delivered to workers serves to reinforce negative attitudes about occupational health and safety, along with organizational training: where’s the fun, what’s the story, how is the material both relevant and engaging, and, finally, what’s the medium?
There’s a disconnect between lofty organizational safety values and lowly safety training experiences.
Repetition may be a valuable device with hands-on training experiences, but how much is repetition helping you in the classroom? Same goes for those old training materials & modes of instruction; if the organization isn’t invested enough in worker safety to deliver a modern training experience that at least reflects the values espoused by management, then what message is your workforce receiving? With the same live lectures, watch-this-and-we’ll-talk-about-it safety DVDs, and stale PowerPoint presentations…are you creating positive safety attitudes or perpetuating a status quo that isn’t serving your professional goals?
Environmental Health & Safety professionals have to lead the fight against safety training fatigue because training engagement is important; it’s the key to memorability and knowledge retention, the goal of any training experience.
This is one of the reasons safety pros are turning to safety training online providers and rethinking the compliance training experience. It is difficult to consistently deliver a creative learning experience to the workforce when tasked with provision of training to satisfy an abundance of regulatory requirements and OSHA standards—it’s simply too much. That’s particularly true for small safety teams.
Knowing all this, what are your top ideas for changing up the status quo training experience? What creative approach will you try today? How will your next training session be different from the last?
And if you can think of any ‘warning signs’ to add the list, we’d love to hear them, so please leave a comment.