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    November 25, 2020

    Occupational Safety Training: Key to Worker Health and Safety

    When you’re developing a training program related to health and safety for workers, it can be hard to know where to begin. It’s vital that employees and employers understand how important safety training is, so you may be feeling a lot of pressure to get it right.

    Approaching the task in smaller steps can help you craft and roll out a program that’s memorable and effective in keeping people safe at work.

    Make Your Intentions About Health and Safety for Workers Known

    If you just invite people into a training program on workplace health and safety, they’ll probably listen politely, maybe ask a few questions, and they will likely forget about it by the time they clock in the next day.

    When you kick off your occupational safety program by announcing that it’s coming, you convey to others that it’s a big deal and something they should pay attention to. Make sure your communications about the program are clear, consistent, and engaging. Some of the safety messaging should come from the company leadership and be reinforced at every level of management. That signals to employees that this isn’t just any training: this is training that’s being embraced by the organization as necessary.

    Part of this early program planning involves making sure that those in leadership positions – whether they’re managers, supervisors, or team leaders – understand their role in safety training. Their role is to be supportive and use what opportunities they can to encourage engaged participation. They need to set a good example in taking safety training seriously; if they won’t, their direct reports probably won’t either.

    Launch Your Training Program

    Your training program may be rolled out to all employees at once or in pieces, department by department. Hosting a large initial kick-off can boost enthusiasm and ensure that every employee is on the same page because they’re all hearing the same information at the same time.

    Employees’ roles in safety training may vary by department or responsibilities. Training should address these differences and encourage people to see them as creating a net by which nothing can slip through and everyone will be safer.

    Emphasize Continued Education and Refresher Training

    Once you have a training program in place dedicated to health and safety for workers, it’s vital to keep it up. This involves regular training – typically at least once per year–to refresh workers’ knowledge and update people with new information.

    The training should include practice in hazard identification and hazard control, as well as safety reporting procedures when hazards are noted. This way, new and experienced employees will be getting the same information and you’ll be able to maintain a baseline level of occupational safety training that can be modified if needed.

    Once you established a framework for building your occupational safety program, it’s much easier to talk about health and safety for workers in a way that gets other people on board. They can see the big picture and understand the safety goals of the project.

    While some plans may need revision to respond to changes or challenges along the way, having a baseline program, to begin with, will get your organization on the path to a healthier and safer workplace.

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