Responding is Kristen Loch, web technology supervisor, Summit Training Source Inc., Grand Rapids, MI.
The goal of an effective safety training program is to create a safer working environment to reduce the number of injuries and deaths, property damage, legal liability, illnesses, workers’ compensation claims, and missed time from work. Online training is a valuable and cost-effective method that can be very beneficial for continuous education and overall productivity enhancement that provides employers with well-rounded individuals and motivated employees dedicated to building the business.
An effective online training solution offers many advantages that help streamline your safety training efforts. For an online training program to be successful, several elements must be included:
- Consistency – Online training ensures your entire workforce receives consistent, documented safety and compliance training across multiple work shifts, departments and locations. Consistent delivery leads to more accurate training measurements because every user receives the same instruction, regardless of when or where they train. This is a crucial step in streamlining safety training to all of your employees and can be accomplished by having centralized administrative and customization functions within your online training.
- Cost savings – Online training programs eliminate the need for, and inconvenience of, having workers meet in one place at a certain time. The result is flexible training schedules that can accommodate production times and work shifts for a low impact on workers’ schedules.
- Convenience – Workers can access their training from any computer with the Internet, available 24/7, across multiple work shifts, departments and locations. This creates a self-paced learning environment that allows employees to begin applying knowledge and experience during the course of learning, resulting in higher concentration and retention of material.
- Quality content and interactivity – Workers must receive quality content and instructions on best safety practices from a credible source, as incorrect information could possibly mean life or death on a job. To better keep a student’s attention, online training content should be delivered in a mixed-media presentation, using state-of-the-art graphics; animation; audio and narration; and interactions such as Q&As, matching, multiple choice questions, and videos clips. This also helps students stay actively engaged, attaining knowledge and skills in a responsive and collaborative environment. For adult learners, the course objectives should be stated up front, with subsequent learning materials and user controls presented in a straightforward and easy-to-use manner.
- Recordkeeping – To help ensure learning is taking place, review and recordkeeping are critical in an online training program to streamline the process for training administrators. With the help of a learning management system, administrators can manage scheduling and track the training of their workers, providing them with several capabilities to add students or courses, run detailed reports, customize system activity, and more. A learning management system ensures the administrator that delivery and evaluation of students is consistent, keeping them updated and in control of the training.
Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.