Safety Training is the foundation of any effective safety program. Employees must know how to perform tasks, operate equipment, and deal with their surroundings safely, in order to minimize their risk at all times. While this is accepted protocol, something has been changing dramatically over the past several years. Increasingly, there has been a shift from traditional training that is delivered in person, to computer- based courses that employees can do on their own.
The advantages of online training are obvious: cost savings, time management, and the convenience of a flexible schedule. However, these advantages should be weighed against the benefits that a skilled safety trainer brings, when the training is delivered at the client’s place of business.
Consider a few of the differences.
It is impossible to know if the trainee is engaged in the computer training, or just going through the motions. There is no eye contact with a computer.
A group benefits from interaction and learns from the other attendees, from questions being raised and from answers and explanations being given.
The skilled trainer changes his presentation frequently, so that it doesn’t get stale. The computer trainings change less frequently, leaving employees to repeat identical sessions.
On-Site training has the ability to engage employees. Whether it is demonstrating safe lifting techniques, handling a fire extinguisher, or driving a forklift, the process of hands-on learning is unmatched for effectiveness. An employee who has pulled the plug and demonstrated the proper sweeping technique to deal with a fire is far more prepared than the employee who has watched it being done on an inanimate computer screen.
Safety training that is delivered on-site, where the employees perform their jobs and deal with the unique challenges that every workplace presents, has the distinct advantage of connecting on a personal level, just by the fact that the trainer is physically there. No online training can replicate the individual workplace. When the trainer adds his expertise and his ability to connect with the employees – sometimes by switching back and forth between English and Spanish- the effectiveness of the training is further enhanced.
If safety was just about convenience and cost, then online training would be an easy choice. But it isn’t. Safety is the foundation of a good company, and the best way to ensure that employees understand how to perform their jobs in the safest manner is by engaging them in hands-on training delivered by a skilled trainer on-site, where they work.