Come See Us at The MSHA TRAM Conference, October 13-15, 2015 in Beaver, West Virginia

mshaHey–we’ll be at the MSHA TRAM conference Tuesday, October 13 through Thursday, October 15.

We’ll even be giving a presentation to show you how online tools, including a learning management system (LMS) and e-learning courses can help you with your MSHA safety training requirements. You can catch that on Wednesday, October 14 at 2:30 pm. We’ll be co-presenting with our friends at Catamount Consulting.

Otherwise, swing by our desk and say “hi” or us any questions you may have. We’ll be at the desk most times when we’re not presenting.

Look forward to seeing you there.

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9 Times When eLearning Is Better Than Instructor-Led for Safety Training

When Online Training Is Better Than Instructor-Led Training Image

A lot of people think that instructor-led training is ALWAYS better than e-learning, also known as online training.

And, based on our experience, it seems that this opinion is held especially strongly among safety professionals.

But, the truth is, there are often scenarios where elearning is as effective (and at times possibly more so) than instructor-led training. In this post we’re gonna take this topic head on, and give some examples when elearning is the most appropriate training method to use.

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Safety Roles: Competent Persons and Approved Instructors

MSHA and OSHA Safety Roles ImageIf you’re new to safety, the different roles and titles can get a little confusing.

Actually, that’s true even if you’ve been kickin’ around in safety for a while.

Things get even more confusing if you’re trying to keep up with roles that are specially defined by regulators in certain circumstances. For example, OSHA and MSHA mean different things when they refer to “competent persons.”

And things can get still more confusing when one regulator uses two different terms for something that’s pretty similar. For example, MSHA refers to Part 46 trainers as “competent persons” but to Part 48 trainers as “MSHA-approved instructors.”

Confused yet?

If so, we’ll get you back on solid ground shortly, we promise. Read on to clarify what we just talked about.

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OSHA’s Top Ten Violations, 2015

osha-top-10-violations-2015Every year at the National Safety Council’s Safety Congress and Expo, OSHA releases its list of the ten most cited violations from the previous fiscal year.

That list for fiscal year 2015 was released in October of 2015.

Then, in December, OSHA updates that list with additional statistics, providing a more comprehensive, detailed look at the violations.

OSHA’s now released those additional statistics as well. And we’ve got all the information for you below.

Check out the list below. We’ve also included links to additional webpages related to each of the commonly violated standards–the additional pages include free training materials, fun word games, interactive glossaries, additional helpful information about the regulation and how to avoid violating it, free safety checklists, and more.

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Training and Balanced Performance Measurement Frameworks: What They Are And How They Work

Performance Measurement Frameworks Image

Job trainers have a lot of things to check off their to-do list.

One is to evaluate the learning of employees who have completed training. This means things like assessments and tests, seeing if people can pass tests, have necessary knowledge, and (most importantly) have acquired necessarily skills/can perform necessary tasks.

The second is to determine if the training is having a positive effect on the relevant performance metrics for the company and, if possible, to determine an ROI for the training (this is how you’re going to really prove your worth and really prove your training is effective). In terms of Kirkpatrick’s training evaluations, we’re talking about the elusive but equally important Level 4 here.

But a lot of trainers go to school and learn a lot about instructional design theory while learning next to nothing about performance metrics (this includes me-guilty). As a result, it’s not always clear how to start showing if training has had a positive effect on those performance metrics.

To help solve this problem, we thought we’d give you an introduction to some of the theory behind the development of meaningful workplace performance metrics, and in particular to what are known as “balanced performance metrics.”

This will be one of a series of articles we’ll write on how training is related to performance metrics and KPIs not just for the training department but for the company as a whole, so keep your eyes on future articles for more on this topic.

What you’ll learn here is based off a handy little guide called Designing Metrics: Crafting Balanced Measures for Managing Performance by Dr. Bob Frost. We found this book to be really helpful, pleasantly brief, and to-the-point. We recommend you buy a copy if this article sparks your interest, and we note that Dr. Frost has written a few other books that look interesting as well. In particular, Measuring Performance: Using the New Metrics to Deploy Strategy and Improve Performance looks like it might be good and a logical next step to this book.

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MSHA Part 46 Training for Non-Mining Employees

MSHA-part46-non-min-employeesIf you’re an operator or a production-operator at a surface mine in the U.S., you know you’ve got to provide safety training for your miners. (If this is news to you, we’ll give you some relevant news and definitions about that in just a second.)

In addition, the production-operator and a contracting company share responsibility for making sure that contract employees working at a mine site get safety training as well. We’ve covered that all in our recent MSHA Part 46 Training Requirements for Contractors article.

But in addition to that, you’ve also got to provide safety training to your employees who are not miners. And that’s what we’re going to explain in this article.

We’ve also included a Free Guide to MSHA Training Requirements for you at the bottom of this article.

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12 Ways to Administer Instructor-Led Training with an LMS

Administering Instructor-Led Training with an LMS

When many people think of learning management systems (LMSs), they think of “online training” or eLearning courses.

On the flip-side, what many people don’t think about is instructor-led training, classroom-style training, face-to-face training, field-based training, OJT, weekly safety meetings, and similar things that happen when people are working together to learn.

But you CAN use an LMS to administer instructor-led training and similar face-to-face training in different working environments, and doing so makes life easier for training administrators and for employees as well.

In this article, we’ll look at some examples of how you can  use an LMS to administer instructor-led training at your workplace and show how doing so makes work easier and more efficient and also makes your blended learning training solution more effective.

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Online Training Basics: Learning Management Systems, Authoring Tools, and SCORM

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New to eLearning? If so, there are some things it helps to learn sooner instead of later.

But don’t worry, they’re not hard to pick up.

So let us get you up to speed on a few 100-level, eLearning basics in this article:

  • Learning management systems (LMSs)
  • Authoring tools
  • SCORM

Get a handle on these three and you’ve pushed yourself ahead from complete novice/deer in the headlights to someone who’s not lost in conversations with eLearning developers, trainers, and instructional designers, and other folks who talk about online training. Nice!

Once you’ve got these three basic terms down, feel free to move on to our Online Safety Training Glossary to learn even more (most of the terms apply to all online training, not just safety training).

PLUS, you can read (or watch a recorded webinar) to learn how to use an authoring tool to create an eLearning course in SCORM format and then import it into a learning management system (LMS)!

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Save Money and Time With Online MSHA Part 46 Compliance Training Tools

online-mining-safety-training_graphicAre you involved in mine safety training, perhaps for Part 46 and/or Part 48 of MSHA’s safety training requirement?

If so, what does your mining safety training program look like today? How do you deliver your training? Is it effective? Do you have enough time to do it all?

And how do you keep on top of things like making sure all new employees complete their training in the first 90 days, or that all miners get their annual refresher training on time?

And while we’re at it, how do you create and store all your records of training, run reports on that training, and create the training plan and other documentation required by MSHA?

If  you’re like a lot of people, you struggle to do all this, or to do all this well. Or maybe you’re doing it all and doing it all well, but you recognize that you could still improve.

If that’s you, this article may be of interest to you. In it, we’re going to show you how some online training tools can help make your mining safety training program more effective while also reducing the amount of time you have to spend on clerical, organization, and recordkeeping tasks.

We’ve got a Free Guide to MSHA Training Requirements for you at the bottom of this article. 

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What Is a Safety and Health Management Program?

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This is an older article and is based on materials OSHA created BEFORE they finalized their recent Safety and Health Management guidelines. This article still has a lot of useful information, and we encourage you to read it, but before you begin, know that you may also be interested in some of the following articles:

And with that said, we’ll let you get back to this older article…

OSHA recommends that every workplace set up a Safety and Health Management program. The fact that OSHA says it’s a good idea is a pretty persuasive reason to do it, we think.

But in addition, creating a safety and health management program also decreases incident rates, including injuries and illnesses. And that’s good.

And health and safety management programs also have a financial benefit, saving companies money. So win/win/win, right?

In this article, we’ll explain more fully some of the reasons for having a safety and health management program that we just introduced above. Then we’ll explain the features of a safety and health management system. And we’ll include information and helpful links to other resources that can help you create, implement, and maintain your safety and health management program.

By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have enough information to get moving in a positive direction, or maybe add some additional tweaks to your existing health and safety management program.

Note: Much of the information in this article is drawn from OSHA’s Safety and Health Management Systems e-tool, which is a great resource and which itself includes a lot of links to other great safety and health resources. Check it out!
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What is Online Health and Safety Training, Really, and What Can it Do?

What Is Online Safety Training ImageAre you thinking about getting your health and safety training program online but maybe you’re not entirely sure what exactly online safety training includes?

If so, you’ve come to the right place, because in this article, we’re going to explain what an online health and safety training program is and what it can do.

You may find it’s bigger than you’re thinking right now. So with those beginnings, let’s get on topic, huh?

But before we get going, please know we’ve got a free recorded on-demand webinar called Evaluating Online Safety Training Solutions that you may be interested in, too.

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What Is an eLearning Authoring Tool?

eLearning authoring tool image

Some people in learning and development are old hands with eLearning authoring tools (also just called authoring tools). In some cases, perhaps, to the point that the authoring tool becomes a bit old hat.

No, I doubt that. I just wanted to make an old hand/old hat joke.

Because what eLearning authoring tools let you do is pretty amazing, pretty powerful, and pretty darned fun.

On the other hand, though, almost every week I meet people in training almost who don’t use eLearning authoring tools and don’t even know what they are. Sure, once you explain what an eLearning authoring tool is, they can tell you that they figured there must be some software application that did something like that. But they’re always pretty interested to know more, too.

So, especially for those who are new to eLearning authoring tools, we’ve put together this quick explanation. If we only whet your appetite and leave you with more questions, please use the comments section below.

On the other hand, if you’re a authoring tool power user, we invite you to add your insights down below too. Let us know what your favorite ones are, and why, in particular.

We’ll follow up this blog post by taking more “deep dive” views at various eLearning authoring tools and by creating an eLearning authoring tool comparison article at some point in the (hopefully near-term) future.

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