Occupational Safety is a full-time career for many people in this day and age thanks to humble beginnings in the formation of labor unions and worker’s rights in previous eras. However, when comparing to how far labor safety has come today and what it was like in generations past, there are still some new challenges that need to be addressed and indeed, continue to persist, even in today’s more developed present.
The four key elements of any contemporary workplace safety training program are: environment, policy, training, and awareness. These correspond to identifying factors and conditions that create hazard and risk for employees, implementing policies governing work and safety practices, training employees in complying with safety regulations, and commitment to promoting and following safety practices.
However, the constant challenge to any training program is information retention. Of this the trainer’s have little control over how their targeted audience will, not only receive their instruction, but also interpret and implement what they were supposed to learn. A 2008 study revealed that only 15% of employees were implementing the training they received, while the remaining 85% either failed or did not try.
There are many factors that might explain why this phenomenon of learning failure is so prevalent. First there is the notorious limitation of human short-term memory which can only process a limited number of new experiences and information before being overloaded and unintentionally discarding other details. And, as workplace safety becomes an ever greater concern in the modern workplace, the challenge of meeting the demands of accommodating different learning styles, languages, and cultural variances becomes even greater as well.
To this end, it is imperative that safety consultants and trainers need to take into account new innovations in cognitive development and knowledge reinforcement through compartmentalization of information delivery, integrated active learning reinforcement intervals, and practiced repetition of training methods to enhance learning retention and cognition.
These ideas refer to the simplification of understanding and delivery of basic information processes, allowing for active recall and integrated learning with adequate breaks in-between, and adequate practice for employees, in order to properly integrate, understand, and comply with the training programs objectives. It’s not easy and it won’t be without difficulties, but with due diligence and proper implementation, it will have the intended noticeable impact over time.
If you want to know more information about workplace safety training, contact safety consultants based in Vaughan, Ontario.