When it comes to employee safety, you can never be too educated. Training employees on safe procedures, protective equipment and possible hazards is not a one-time event, but a continual process.

Although some incidents cannot be avoided, many can easily be prevented with proper and continuous training. Here are five important traits of an effective employee safety training program:

1 - Integration with document control

Document control provides a central location where all documents can be stored, such as job descriptions, processes and safety protocol.

Linking document control with your employee training program lets you initiate a new training request every time a document is added or updated. Employee files are automatically updated when training is complete.

2 - Integration with reporting

Linking employee safety training with reporting tools promotes greater visibility into safety efforts. Using a reporting tool lets you look into all of the data, seeing trends and tracking KPIs. With that given data, you can run reports on competency, efficiency and proficiency of your workforce to see where training weaknesses or gaps are.

3 - Integration with changes and revisions

When a safety incident does occur, organizations launch corrective actions that lead to a change. Linking employee safety training to your system for changing and revising documents keeps employees in the know about any changes that may affect them.

4 - Job safety analysis

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) allows you to better understand the hazards of a particular job role or procedure so you can plan training that mitigates risk. JSA is comprised of a few main dynamic steps:

  • Choose the procedure to review
  • Break the procedure down into steps via observation
  • Identify hazards (environmental, task-related, ergonomic, etc.)
  • Implement solutions through training
  • Communicate the findings
  • Review and update training as needed

5 - Behavior-based safety

Behavior-based safety (BBS) is a guiding principle of an integrated training management system.

BBS is the application of behavioral psychology to promote safer behavior in the workplace. Observe behaviors and identify which contribute most to safety; compile them in a checklist to identify safe and unsafe practices; and develop an action plan.

Trends for 2018

To have a truly effective training program, you should pay attention to upcoming trends to stay ahead of the competition. Some major trends and innovations to look for in 2018 include the following.

  • Social learning: Team-based experiences reduce isolation and foster engagement with training materials.
  • Gamification: Organizations should consider leveraging gaming elements like badges, levels and experience points to increase engagement.
  • Content alignment: Adapt training content to align directly with career pathways that will benefit your organization the most. This allows for long-term engagement as the workforce builds careers they value with an employer who values them.
  • Continuous learning: Through combined working and learning programs, your employees can engage with experiential learning methods that allow them to build credentials and leaderships throughout their careers.