Workplace Safety: Keys to Effective Training

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Safety Professional on Staircase

Attitudes toward safety and health training vary greatly from company to company. Some organizations value training and others do not invest in it beyond regulatory compliance. Where does your organization fall? 

Providing effective health, safety and environmental (HSE) training for employees ensures that they know how to work safely. Federal and state regulations require employees to receive certain safety training and to be informed about health and safety risks as well as potential workplace hazards. The three key steps to effective HSE training include: 

  • Training Needs Assessment – This important first step helps to determine what is to be accomplished in the training, who the audience is, topics to be covered, and any regulatory requirements for the organization. It is recommended that safety and security teams maintain accurate incident investigation and analysis reports to best determine training needs. Changes in the workplace or environment and equipment may require modified training and workplace inspections may indicate the need to update or modify training. Employee questionnaires can also determine training needs.

  • Development and Delivery – Setting learning objectives and taking into consideration the most effective method of learning and instruction is crucial. Training is conducted in a myriad of ways, including demonstration training, group discussions, web-based and individual training. OSHA prefers a blended learning approach.

  • Evaluating Training Effectiveness – Consider the training provided and its overall effectiveness. Are you seeing positive outcomes? If not, what changes can be made? Training can be assessed via written evaluations, supervisor observations and incident data.

Providing safe and healthy conditions for all employees is important. It is the obligation of all employees, no matter what their position or job duties, to always observe safety regulations and to perform in a safe manner. It is the duty of companies to ensure that all employees receive effective and continual safety and health training.


jeff quinn  About the Author 
  Jeffrey M. Quinn, ARM, is Director of Risk Management at Allied Universal.