3 Keys to Effective Safety Training

It needs to include interaction, be engaging, and, most of all, effectively deliver the intended message.

By Michael Rich

Safety training is an important part of any business. It helps to protect your company from costly injuries and keep employees safe.

However, effective training consists of more than locking your employees in a closet and forcing them to watch a video. It needs to include interaction, be engaging, and, most of all, effectively deliver the intended message.

Follow these three tips to ensure an effective safety training program:

  1. Be hands on. One of the most important aspects of an effective safety training program is hands-on interaction and demonstration. It is proven this type training leads to a higher level of retention than just presentation through a lecture. To implement this type of training, demonstrate the concepts of what you are teaching your employees and let them try it out for themselves. While employees demonstrate their understanding make sure you carefully watch and give feedback.
  2. Applicability. When conducting safety training, it is important to relate real-life incidents to the training. For example, if conducting safety training on fryer safety, look on the Internet for horror stories of fryer accidents and incorporate them into the training. This method will help create a lasting image in employees’ minds and make them aware of the importance of the session. In addition to finding real-life examples of why the training is important, make sure you are training employees on safety topics that are specific to their work. Having large training sessions covering topics for all departments tends to be less effective than department-focused training.
  3. Break it up. Remember those long lectures in college, during which many of your classmates (and maybe even you) would doze off? Don’t put your employees through the same torture. It is important to not try to train your employees on every safety topic in one day. Also, when conducting the training, make sure to mix in question-and-answer sessions, breaks, and more to keep employees attentive.

Michael Rich is a safety writer and researcher for Safety Services Company, a supplier of safety training materials in North America. To learn more about the safety solutions it offers, visit www.safetyservicescompany.com.

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.