Under Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) Regulations, all employers have an obligation to ensure they are providing a safe workplace for their employees. This means that employers must provide safety training to teach workers how to recognize potential hazards and how to safely use, handle, store, and dispose of hazardous substances. For many employers, providing safety training for their employees can be a challenge.
For US companies, the common options are hiring out, or rather scheduling in a professional Safety Training Organization to conduct on-site (or "in-house") safety training for employees or to purchase OSHA compliant Safety Training Materials and having on-staff personnel (usually HR, or a Safety Manager) perform the employee training.
OSHA Safety Training for Construction, General Industry, Office, Warehouse Environments and any/every other business - Comply with OSHA Requirements
In the past, most safety training was provided in-house; however, over the past decade there has been a significant shift towards the utilization of online safety training. When considering online as an alternative... make sure it is adequate, compliant, and that you have thorough record-keeping. Remember, too, that just as with live instruction, to be OSHA compliant, employees must have a competent person available to answer any additional related questions on the topic, and to explain the correct answers to any test questions they may miss. Some topics, too, such as CPR can be learned online in principle, but must be "blended" with actual hands-on practice with a qualified Instructor in order to obtain actual certification.
What To Look For In An Online Safety Training Program
The company you select to provide your online safety training should be there to help guide you through every step of the education and certification process. When looking to hire an online safety training program provider, here are some of the most important factors to consider:
You want to make sure the provider you choose has all the accredited courses that are needed to meet OHS legislated requirement, as well as course that your company may require in the future to address potential growth. Having a comprehensive library of online courses means that all the resources you need are in one place, with no ‘shopping around’ required.
Online training is extremely cost effective. You won’t be spending money hiring instructors, or booking a training space. Make sure the online training provider you choose offers some flexibility (group discounts, corporate accounts, etc.)
The last thing you need is for an employee to not be able to complete a course because of technical issues. Make sure your online training provider should offers technical support as part of your package.
Competencies are the skills required to complete a specific role or task. Many companies have begun using competency-based assessments to determine what training employees need to be successful in their work. Look for an online training program that defines the competencies a specific program or course will address, as this will help supervisors and employees to find the best training solutions.
No matter how interesting the training content may be, if learners are not engage it is likely that their attention will be lost. Look for online training courses that make use of learning activities that require the user to interact with the material. This will help increase their focus and retention of the material.
Uses Real World Images
Some learners will lose interest quickly in a course if they feel it doesn’t apply to them practically. The use of cartoon-type graphics can sometimes leave an adult learner feeling uninterested or patronized. An effective online training program should use real world pictures and simulations, including video, animations and decision trees.
Voiceovers Are Used
There are several different types of learning styles. To make sure that you are appealing to all of these styles, look for courses that use a combination of visuals, reading and audio voiceovers. This has proven to be the most effective way to deliver online content, as it meets the needs of a broad range of students.
The Occupational Health and Safety landscape is not static. Process and policy are constantly being updated, and it’s important that your training provider stays up to date. Look for a provider that is responsive to changes in regulations for a broad spectrum of industries.
Variety In Testing
In the same way that non-interactive content decreases engagement, so does always using the same testing method. Look for a training provider that uses a variety of testing methods, including multiple choice, true and false, and fill-in-the-blank. It’s also important that no two tests are ever the same. To ensure that tests are different, look for a provider that offers tests generated at random from a centralized question pool. This is particularly important for learners who may have to re-test in the same program.
Using online safety training to satisfy the occupational health and safety requirements for your company is an easy way to make sure your employees are informed and engaged. It might take some research, but there are some excellent training programs out there with all the features necessary to build the best program for you and your company. Look for training programs that go beyond the basics and offer excellent value, with a large selection of highly interactive courses that maximize learning for different learning styles.
Adapted for the First Aid Blog, from a Safety article contributed by Morgan Douziech is the owner of SET Safety, an online training provider based in Edmonton, AB. SET Safety specializes in online safety training with 300+ online courses, including First Aid, Emergency First Aid, Ground Disturbance, Confined Space, Defensive Driving Demerit Reduction, Crane training, Dangerous Goods, Workplace Hazardous Materials and more!