Safety Training Tips

Matthew Davis of National Insurance Specialists outlines how to effectively impart safety information and practices to new employees at your equipment rental business

Safety 10411161

When? Train new employees in company safety policies within the first two to three weeks after hire. The sooner the better. However, attempting to integrate safety training with the numerous human resource policies and procedures which new employees must learn could cause information overload. Address safety in separate training sessions to ensure the new employee recognizes the importance of the company safety program, and of his or her responsibility to work safely.

How Much? The extent of safety training will depend on the degree and the number of hazards that have been identified in the operation. Training could last from 30 minutes to several days. To assure the amount of time scheduled is adequate, conduct a thorough hazard evaluation of all operations and processes.  

Training Technique. The training technique selected is directly related to the training objective. The objective should be action-oriented (i.e., perform, demonstrate, accomplish, etc.) The chosen training technique should take into consideration that learning is accomplished with all the senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. Each of these impact learning to varying degrees.

Sense                                  Percent of Learning

Smell                                          3.5%

Taste                                          1%                      

Touch                                         1.5%

Hearing                                       11%

Sight                                          83%

Based on these percentages, there is a tendency to concentrate on the sense of sight (written instruction, videos, etc.). In some situations, this might be the right way to go, however, in the majority of training sessions, the use of multiple senses is the most effective. Get the employees involved in the training session. Hands-on demonstrations of safe work practices after instruction, with individual supervision, is the most effective.

Follow-Up. Evaluate initial safety training to ensure that it has been effectively received and assimilated by the new employee. These evaluations should be conducted by the trainer according to an established schedule, and then on an ongoing basis by the immediate supervisor. Any behavior that is recognized as needing correction or modification must be corrected on the spot.