July 12, 2016
Safety Training Strategies: What Works?
Making a world-class safety training program available to employees requires a number of strategies, as well as a huge amount of support from all sectors of a company. At Faith Technologies, our leadership team places the highest value on safety within our organization, which I believe is the key to the success of our efforts. Let’s walk through three strategies we’ve implemented in our successful safety training program:
Developing a consistent message in each training module is an integral part of our efforts. Utilizing small committees of experts from our safety team, we can tailor our training to the needs of our internal customers. This allows us to reach far beyond OSHA’s minimum requirements to truly affect the safety of our internal customers on every project across the country. A consistent message is particularly vital when we blend teams from all parts of the country for major projects. A common “language” of safety provides a more seamless integration of teams on a given site.
Each member of our safety team has a unique skill set and expertise in different areas of safety. We make every effort to build our team from the best and brightest safety professionals available. By utilizing this individual expertise, each facilitator can bring the consistent message of our curriculum to life in a manner that fits their personality and teaching style. The basic message remains the same, but the presentation varies to capture the attention of the audience.
By utilizing our specialists in each area and having other personnel observe and assist, it develops their skills in each area both in the classroom and on the job site. True understanding comes from the ability to convey knowledge to others in an effective manner. We utilize a basic 5-step plan to help our safety professionals prepare to facilitate each class. Individual preparation efforts to gain the basic knowledge base for each module is a key element in the success of this plan.
A majority of our safety training occurs during “training weeks,” or as an element of our internal apprenticeship programs. We schedule six training weeks across the country to allow our employees an opportunity to attend all required safety training during one week of each year, rather than attend classes in the evenings or on week-ends. Employees can enroll for needed classes from a half-day to six days in a week. This allows them to focus their efforts specifically on the safety training information at hand, rather than trying to stay alert after an 8-10 hour day or a 45-50 hour week on a Saturday.
The results of our evaluation process indicate that this approach is much more effective than after-hours training. By building safety into our apprenticeship program, it drives home the message that safety is an integral part of our overall operations. When we have an opportunity to work specifically with an apprenticeship group to spend 4-8 hours with a focus on safety, they better understand the value placed on safety in our organization. Satellite classes are scheduled as needed per site requirements throughout the year, as well.Many who see or hear about Faith Technologies’ program focus on the cost of providing the level of training provided to our teams. Our leadership team has made a commitment to develop our employees in every area of their professional careers.
By providing best-in-class educational opportunities in safety, leadership, and professional development, those at every level of our team have an opportunity to grow and develop. What is your organization doing to keep safety top-of-mind?