We’re almost at the end of our series on rolling out health and safety training in your workplace. Today we focus on the actual implementation.
Remember, if you plan ahead and train your employees effectively, you can minimise hazards. Also, it may seem obvious, but one of the most critical things you’ll have to do in this phase is inform the employees attending the training. Give them plenty of time to work the training into their schedules and to complete any necessary pre-training preparation.
In addition to informing your employees, you may also need to:
- inform the workers’ supervisor
- reserve rooms for training
- buy any necessary supplies
- work through any scheduling or traveling logistics
- have food and drinks available.
In terms of the actual training, implementing the training can take a variety of forms. It could be any of the following (or a combination of all or some of them):
- Classroom instruction
- Practice opportunities (such as role-playing exercises, focus groups, case studies, or small group assignments)
- On-the-job skills-based training
- Delivery of paper-based hand-outs for individual reading and study
- Completion of e-learning modules on a computer
7 steps to ensure all staff is up to speed
Step #1: Involve your team
Ensure your team is involved in the creation of the training programme, as this will empower them to take ownership of the scheme when it’s implemented. Seek input from staff on how you could improve safety in the workplace. You may gain some good insight from employees and pick up on problems that you or managers don’t see.
Step #2: Use variety
Training should be informative but also engaging, or it will be ineffective. Mix it up with several different types of learning, such as roleplaying, quizzes and interactive activities.
If your training includes:
- an on-the-job skills-based component, make sure you know exactly what the employees must do to demonstrate competence. Define this in advance, when you’re creating your learning objectives, and don’t leave it unstated or vague.
- a classroom instruction component, there are a number of things you can do to make this more productive. Although the key things involve letting the employees be active participants, instead of passive and bored listeners, more mundane things, such as:
- room temperature
- table and chair set-up
- visual aids
- the instructor’s presentation style
also play a role.
Step #3: Make it hands on
Take the lesson out of the classroom and have staff demonstrate how they use equipment. The instructor can then provide constructive feedback and professional guidance to correct any staff members who are not using it properly. This can help overcome any bad habits that could potentially lead to accidents.
You could also tour the workplace and ask staff to point out any hazards and how they could be fixed. This will make them more aware of their surroundings and provide an opportunity to explain how to deal with accidents.
Step #4: Hire professionals
Only a skilled and trained person in workplace health and safety should provide training. While your business might be small, getting the right person to do the job could mean you save money in the future, in terms of compensation claims and litigation.
Step #5: Remind staff
Your business’s health and safety policy should be visible for everyone to see in a place that employees often frequent, such as the kitchen and washrooms.
Step #6: Seek improvement
Seeking staff feedback from training sessions will help you work out where training was effective and where it wasn’t. This will allow you to improve it in the future.
Once the policy has been implemented, ensure it is regularly reviewed. This includes measuring it against any targets you have set and examining any accidents that have occurred.
Step #7: End training positively
A good way to assess how effective training has been is to quiz staff. Quizzes can be a fun way to test employees on their understanding and introduce some friendly competition – particularly if you offer small rewards, such as candy or chocolate.