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Get Workers to Apply Their Safety Training

One of the cornerstones of an effective OHS program is providing appropriate safety training to workers. But how can you ensure that workers actually apply their training when they’re working?

We recently asked which of the following you thought was most important for getting workers to apply their safety training on the job. Here’s what you said:

  • Workers have the time, resources and responsibility to apply their training (35%)
  • Supervisor support (33%)
  • Post-training reinforcement of what was taught (17%)
  • The training simulates the actual work environment (15%).

ESI International conducted a survey to assess a company’s success or difficulty in fostering an environment that allowed workers to transfer their training to the workplace and determine if they had a system or processes to ensure workers could apply learning on the job in an immediate way to improve their performance and generate positive business impact.

The survey looked at three key phases in the application and transfer of training:

  1. Pre-training, which is when companies ideally should design a systematic process to structure training to maximize its application.
  2. Motivation, such as whether there’s a reward or incentive system in place to motivate workers to use their training.
  3. Post-learning. Once training is over, the hard work begins. Organizations should have post-learning strategies and tactics to reinforce change and spark dedication to apply training.

According to the results of the ESI survey, the top three strategies indicated as the most important for the transfer of learning and application of training were:

  • Trainees have the time, resources and responsibility to apply learning (30%);
  • Manager support (23.8%): and
  • The instruction approach simulates the actual work environment (21.8%).

Other highlights from the ESI survey:

  • 60% said that they don’t have a systematic approach to preparing a worker to transfer or apply training on the job.
  • 60.7% said they design the training program around their organization’s business needs.
  • Almost half (49.3%) said they establish specific goals between the trainee and their direct supervisor.
  • Only 20% indicated that there’s any financial reward or incentive for workers to apply their training.

Go to the OHS Insider’s Training Compliance Centre for more information and tools on safety training, such as the training requirements for workers and supervisors under the OHS laws, training checklists and recorded webinars. And go to Safety Smart for tools to help you reinforce training, such as safety talks and quizzes.