How to Address Unsafe Behavior Through Safety Training
4 Tips to Implement in Your Safety Training Program
After an accident, people tend to look for ways to assign blame rather than identifying the root cause. Accidents are often directly attributed to the person involved in the incident. In fact, unsafe work behavior causes four times as many accidents as unsafe work conditions.
Common unsafe workplace behaviors that can lead to accidents include:
- Taking shortcuts – It’s only natural to look for ways to do jobs faster and more efficiently. Often, these time savers come at the expense of an employee’s safety or that of other workers. Shortcuts that reduce job safety are not shortcuts at all, but an increased risk of injury.
- Overconfidence – Confidence is never a bad thing, but too much confidence in one’s work ability can lead to injury. Acts such as incorrectly following procedures, tool mishandling, working too quickly, etc. are all results of overconfidence. Remember experience does not always equal safety.
- Ignoring safety procedures – Purposely ignoring known safety procedures can endanger not only an employee but their co-workers as well. Being indifferent about safety is never an option.
- Distractions – Letting personal life keep employees from focusing on their work is a hazardous situation. Mental awareness is important for safe work procedures. Modern distractions such as cell phone use are also leading causes of injury.
One of the most effective ways to address unsafe behavior is through safety training. Inadequate training is comparable to beginning a task with incomplete instructions. To perform a job safely and correctly you need complete information. In addition to changing unsafe behaviors, training can have a wide range of other immediate and measurable benefits. Items such as increased productivity, employee retention, less absenteeism and reduced insurance and liability claims can all result from training.
Some simple points to consider when designing and implementing a safety training program include:
- Interactive – Keeping a training interactive will ensure more favorable responses from your audience. Your audience can't fall asleep if they’re moving around or being asked questions. You’ll also gain a higher retention from something that’s different from the conference room or trailer.
- Time – Adult learners often lose focus after as short as ten minutes of listening. Update your material with ways to surprise your listeners into engaging their minds every 5 to 7 minutes. Keeping your audience guessing "What are they going to do next?" is an effective way to hold their attention.
- Relevance – Mix cause and effect stories into your training session and use examples from your own workplace. Show your audience why they should care. If employees are willing, have them tell personal stories of incidents that occurred close to them.
- Credibility – Credibility is the most important aspect of a successful training program. Make sure you're prepared. People don’t want to learn from experts, they want to learn from people with expertise. Also, keep in mind that a good trainer is also a good listener.
No matter how small or large a company is, workers in all industries face workplace dangers that can threaten their health and safety. Due to these realities, it’s essential for companies to provide health and safety training for their workers.
If you have questions on safety training, don’t hesitate to contact the ‘A’ Team.
- 6 Ways to Spice Up Your Safety Training Routine
- Workplace Safety as a Catalyst for Change
- Video: Successful Safety Program: Safety Goals & Objectives
- Safety E-Book
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