effective safety training l.
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EFFECTIVE SAFETY TRAINING. For Everyone. For your consideration. The majority of accidents / injuries are related to un-safe behavior, not un-safe conditions. therefore........... The majority of safety is getting adult people to change their un-safe behavior. That’s not easy to do.

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for your consideration
For your consideration...
  • The majority of accidents / injuries are related to un-safe behavior, not un-safe conditions.


  • The majority of safety is getting adult people to change their un-safe behavior.

That’s not easy to do.

We've all heard that different people learn differently. The biggest problem with this idea is that you probably have a mixed bag of workers to train, some older, some younger, some motivated, some not.

Let's take a moment to look at some tips for improving your training program.

your target audience
Your Target Audience
  • Generational issues sometimes influence the audiences ability to absorb information.
  • Younger people entering the job market are used to the “MTV” effect. (fast edit, music, etc.)
  • An older employee will usually follow a procedure because he has been instructed to, while a younger person may ask “Why should I do it that way?”
  • The same old training content no longer keeps their attention.
four points to consider
Four Points to Consider
  • Action - Get people up and moving, changing seats, or searching for something in the room. You can't sleep if you are walking around.
  • Simply having the audience stand up and stretch for a few seconds can wake a sleepy crowd up for a few minutes.
Interactivity - Get the group talking. "I'll give $10 to the first person who can tell me the topic of last month’s safety meeting”. You will get responses.

Ask questions.

Form workgroups.

Relevance - Mix into your training cause-and-effect stories from accidents in similar operations.

Even better would be examples from your own workplace.

Show them why they should care.

Humor - Always a good idea, gets people engaged. Use related cartoons on your overheads or PowerPoints. Start off with a joke. Finish with a joke.

For example,

One time hardly anyone showed up for a safety meeting. The invited speaker for the poorly-attended meeting asked, "Did you tell them I was coming?" "No," was the reply from the safety manager,

"It must have leaked out."


Or, for example, if you are talking about accident investigation training...........

Laugh at yourself as the instructor.

People don't want to learn from experts. They want to learn from real people who have great expertise.

Laugh at yourself along the way.

And, finally, the most important point is YOU. You need to establish credibility. The best way to do this is to be prepared. Go over what you want to say. Have all your material gathered together. Use an outline. That way you won't be reading a script, but yet you have the basic points to follow.
  • As an effective instructor, you need to establish credibility.
  • Credibility comes from knowledge of the subject, past experience, and self- confidence.
  • You are not credible if you have to actually read the presentation in front of the audience, or if you cannot answer their questions.
when enough is enough
When enough is enough......
  • Know when to give your audience a break. You can’t hold a crowd in place for hours on end and be effective.

(think of the biology involved)

  • You should give your class a short 10-15 minute break every hour or so.
using video tapes
Using Video Tapes

Videos have their place, however......

  • Videos are a passive form of instruction which require no active work on the part of the audience.
  • Should be limited in both running time and number of videos used.
  • Must be pertinent to the employee’s perspective of his / her job, i.e., current information related to the job.
example of a good video
Example of a Good Video
  • The following video clip shows the importance of wearing a seat belt when operating a truck.
  • It is important to point out that this video clip shows what happens when a truck that is sitting still rolls over.
  • In real life the truck would be traveling forward at speed, and the violence shown could be multiplied by a factor of 10.
Personal instruction, in combination with video, personal experience and other training aids is a more effective means of training than video alone.
other possibilities
Other Possibilities
  • Can you think of other training aids, props, etc to jazz up your presentations?
  • Fire extinguishers?
  • Weight lifting bars?
  • Ask employees involved in accidents to speak to the group about their experience?
tell me show me make me show you
Tell me, show me, make me show you..................
  • If you tell them, they will remember little of what you told them.
  • If you show them, they will remember slightly more.
  • If you then make them show you, through demonstration, they will remember most, if not all, of the material.
  • If you are performing safe lifting training, set a trash can next to the door and ask that each employee demonstrate the correct lifting technique as they leave the room.
  • If you are performing container handling procedures, have a wheeled container set up in the parking lot and have the employees demonstrate how to properly move it.
what s in it for me
What’s in it for me?.......
  • If you cannot demonstrate to the audience that the information you are trying to convey directly relates to them, you have failed to facilitate effective training. They will not remember what you told them.

If you are discussing personal protective equipment, specifically eye protection, ask one of the employees to tell you how losing their eyesight would affect the rest of their life, from today until the end.

Ask them to describe in detail how that would affect them and their family. Don’t let them just say “It would be bad”.

They will now have a better understanding of why it is important to wear the gear.

language literacy barriers
Language & literacy barriers
  • According to National Geographic Magazine, the US Hispanic population is now the majority minority.
  • To be effective, you must address any language issues in your training.
  • This can be done using a translator, either separating the class by language or combined into one large class.
Sometimes existing and new employees may have adult literacy issues.
  • Be sensitive to this.
  • Try to identify these employees and work with them discretely to find a way to be effective.
be creative
Be Creative
  • Try to think of ways to jazz up your presentation.
  • Use visual aids
  • Create a safety game show
  • Use guest speakers
  • Give away prizes
  • Tell jokes
  • Use graphic pictures when possible – next page please.........

If you are talking about vehicle clearance heights or raised boom alarms.........

A picture is worth a thousand words.

topics to consider
Lockout / tagout

Confined space

Bloodborne pathogens

Hot load procedures

Safe lifting

Heat stress


Personal protective gear

Fall protection

Welding & cutting

Hand signals

Cold stress

Alcohol & drug abuse

Electrical safety

Machine guarding

Fleet safety

Hearing & respiratory

Fire extinguisher use

Emergency response

Off the job safety

Fit for duty

Vehicle inspection

Cell phone / radio use

Topics to Consider
additional topics
Equipment specific procedures

Tire maintenance

Hand & power tools

Grinding & spray painting

Compressed air safety

Clearance hazards

Container placement

Downed power lines

Cranes, chains & slings

Driving topics

Equipment danger zones

Site traffic control

Flammable liquids


Dog bite prevention

Abrasive wheel safety

Blind spots

Mirror adjustment

Shop safety

Seatbelt use

Defensive driving

Additional topics...
where to find training materials
Where to find training materials
  • The Internet
  • Your peers
  • Past personal experience
  • Library
  • Commercial training material producers
  • www.OSHA.gov
  • Consultants