What Is an MSHA-Approved Instructor in MSHA Part 48?

In a recent post, we looked at the role of a “competent person” for the MSHA Part 46 training regulations.

That was so much fun, we thought we’d expand the net and turn our attention to a similar (but slightly different) role in the MSHA Part 48 training regulations: the MSHA-approved instructor.

It would be handy if the people who provide the mandatory MSHA compliance training for Part 46 had the same name for their role that the people who do it for Part 48 do. But, they don’t. And it would be nice if the rules for becoming a Part 46 trainer were the same as the rules for becoming a Part 48 trainer, but that’s not how it works. Sometimes life just isn’t as easy or fun as we wish it were. In related news, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, and you didn’t get a pony for your birthday.

But, given that unfortunate news, let’s turn our attention to Part 48, see what’s what, and make life that one little bit easier. At least for those of us in the mining safety world.

We’ve also put a free Guide to MSHA Requirements for you to download at the bottom of this article.

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15 Easy Tips for Effective Paper Manufacturing Training

15-tips-for-effective-paper-manufacturing imageWe have a special interest in training for the paper manufacturing industry. Or, more specifically, for paper, pulp, tissue, corrugated board, and converting.

That’s where we started–working with a local paper mill to create a learning management system (LMS) and our first 3D-animated online training materials. And that’s still the core of our business now.

Given that, we thought we’d give you some tips that help improve your pulp, paper, tissue, and/or corrugated training program. Hope you find these helpful.

By the way, we’ve added a few more tips for you–we’re really now up to 18 in this article. We hope you find that this helps you improve the employee training at your paper manufacturing facility. And if you want to learn even more after reading this article, check out our two free guides related to employee training in paper manufacturing: Paper Manufacturing Training: The Basics and The Guide to Online Training for Paper Manufacturing

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8 Important Training KPIs You Should be Tracking

KPI-top-graphicKPI stands for key performance indicator(s). KPIs are numerical ways to track the progress of a business as it strives to reach different business goals. KPIs have to be something you can count and measure objectively so that you can track progress.

A business as a whole may have its own set of KPIs. In addition, each site or department may also have its own KPIs. And so it stands to reason that the training department might/could/should have its own KPIs too. We’re going to look at a few of those in this article.

There are many different kinds of KPIs to track for a training program. Some focus on things that are directly related to training–like how many workers are complete or how many are overdue. Others focus on how the training program is affecting business results–like a comparison of profits or production or quality before and after a training program began.

In this article, we’re going to focus on those KPIs that are directly related to your training program, and in particular KPIs you can track using a learning management system (LMS). In future articles, we’ll look at some of those KPIs related to business results. If you’re not familiar with what an LMS is, the short video below will make it more obvious.

Having a learning management system (LMS) can make it very easy to track these training KPIs because they automatically capture training data and make it easy to generate reports. The same KPIs might be very hard to track accurately if you have training records in multiple spreadsheets, paper-based documents, and/or various computer systems.

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Using Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies to Create Better Training

Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies for Training ImageWhat would you do if someone told you something entirely new and you wanted to make sense of it, remember it, and use it later?

For example, say I started telling you about a game you had never heard of. While you’re trying to figure it out, is it possible you might compare the new game to a game you already know? For example, when learning chess, did you ever compare and contrast it with checkers? Have you ever done anything like that when you’re trying to learn something?

Even better, would it also help if, while I told you about the new game, I explained how it’s similar to and different than a game you know? For example, if I know you understand soccer, and I’m trying to explain American football to you, would it help if I explained some similarities between the two sports (they’re played on a rectangular, grassy field; there’s a ball; you score by moving a ball down the field to a goal or zone at the other end) and also explained some differences (a soccer ball is round, a football is ovular; in soccer you kick the ball, in football you run with it or pass it; in soccer you score by kicking the ball into a net, in football you score by passing a line at the end of the field, etc.)? Don’t you think that process of comparing and contrasting something you already know and something brand new to you helps you learn and remember?

In this article, we’re going to see how using metaphors, similes, analogies, and comparisons/contrasts to create better training materials can help your workers understand, remember, and later use new information on the job more effectively.

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What Does the MSHA Part 46 Competent Person Do?

MSHA Part 46 Competent Person

If you read through 30 CFR Part 46, the MSHA regulations related to safety training for most surface miners and other employees at those mines, you’ll see references to the MSHA Part 46 competent person role. But just what does that mean? What is a competent person according to MSHA and Part 46?

In this article, we’re going to look at those questions more closely and dig up the answers. Ha-ha! Mining pun intended!

In addition, we’re going to give you some resources that can help you prepare yourself or someone else to be a competent person for Part 46.

So let’s get started.

Along the way, we’re going to address some similar issues for Part 48, and we’ve written a similar similar article related to Part 48 and MSHA-approved instructors, so check that one out as well.

And at the end of this article, you can download a Free Guide to MSHA Training Requirements–check it out! 

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8 Training Mistakes to Avoid

8 Training Mistakes to Avoid Image

Normally when we write about training here, we write about how to design, create, and deliver effective training.

You know-training that works.

Meaning, training that’s designed and delivered in a way that helps your employees learn. That helps them understand, remember, and later apply that training on the job. Training that builds real job skills and changes on-the-job behaviors. Training that makes your workers better at their jobs and more successful. Training that helps your business reach its business goals (which is why you’re providing training, right)?

But today we thought we’d have a little fun and turn our normal blog post on its head by listing some ways to create bad training. And so we’re offering you some tips of training mistakes to avoid.

We all have some ideas about this, no doubt. And so we ask you to please use the comments section below to give some “tips for bad training” or “bad training you’ve observed.”

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Lean Manufacturing and Training: A Look at “Training Within Industry”

Our customers are very interested in being more efficient. That’s why they come to us looking for help with their training programs. But of course training isn’t the only solution they look at to increase efficiency. As a result, many are interested in lean manufacturing principles, and so we’ve recently been running a series of articles on some basic lean concepts. For example, we’ve had articles introducing 5s/lean 6s, kaizen, and kaizen events, and we’ve even listed some ways you can use these lean tools to create a safer workplace.

In this article, we’re going to look at another aspect of lean manufacturing–Training Within Industry (TWI). Training Within Industry is the lean approach to training, has been used by Toyota and other manufacturers throughout the world for decades, and still has valuable lessons that can be put to use in training today.

Read on to learn more.

After you’ve read this article, you might want to read the following articles for a deeper dive on different TWI issues:

And you may also enjoy the following lean manufacturing articles:

And to top it off, we’ve included a FREE “5 PRINCIPLES OF LEAN MANUFACTURING” INFOGRAPHIC you can download at the bottom of this article.

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12 Tools for a Safer Workplace

12 tips for a safer workplace imageWe all want a safer workplace, but we’re not always sure how to get there.

Fortunately, there are lots of good ideas and lots of places to find them. You can do worse than checking out OSHA, NIOSH, and MSHA, for example. There are professional safety organizations, such as the National Safety Council (NSC) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). And there are plenty of good EHS journals, including EHS Today, Occupational Health & Safety, and Industrial Safety and Hygiene News.

In this article, we’re going to consolidate a few topics we’ve written about in earlier posts, presenting twelve solid tools you can use to make your workplace safer. (Note: This article began with 12 tools/tips, but we’ve been adding to it and we think we’re up to 14 now–enjoy the extra bonus tips and let us know your own, too).
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4 Good Books about Training We’ve Read Lately

We thought we’d pull together a list of a few good books about training or instructional design that we’ve read lately.

If you’ve read any of these, it would be great to hear your thoughts on them. If not, you might want to check one or two out.

Of course, you’re invite to use the comments section below to give us some additional book suggestions as well–we’re always looking for good ones.

And if you’re wondering what’s next on our reading list, it’s this book about “lean” training: Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean.

(Note: It’s been a while since we originally wrote this post–so you can read our article about TWI and Lean Manufacturing now, too).

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Improving Workplace Safety with Lean Manufacturing Principles

Lean Manufacturing and Safety ImageA lot of people are familiar with the lean manufacturing method known as 5S. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a method for straightening and organizing a workplace. Like all lean manufacturing concepts, it’s intended to create efficiency.

But of course, a more organized, clutter-free work area also improves safety. This is well known and I’m saying nothing new. Whether you use 5S or not, I’m sure that housekeeping is a big part of your safety training and your safety program in general. But if you’re not using 5S currently, you may find some of the techniques will be a helpful addition to your current housekeeping efforts.

In addition to 5S, you can use other lean concepts to improve safety at the workplace as well. These include kaizen and kaizen events. And again, even if you’re not using the “lean” name for each, you may be doing something similar at work already. Or, if you’re not, maybe now’s a time for you to add a wrinkle or two to your current approach.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at 5S and two other ideas to investigate improving workplace safety with lean manufacturing tips, plus include a link to a general “What Is Lean Manufacturing?” article. Be sure to check out the linked resources embedded in the article, because they lead to substantive, helpful resources.

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MSHA Part 46 Training Requirements for Contractors

msha-part-46-trainining-contractors-imageWhen a contractor is working at a surface mine, it brings up a lot of questions regarding the MSHA Part 46 training requirements for contractors. For example, who’s responsible for what in terms of providing the MSHA Part 46 safety training? And, of course, there are questions about the type of training the contractor needs to receive, who pays, etc.

If you don’t know all the ins and outs of this issue now, you will by the time you finish this article. So let’s get started with this overview of MSHA Part 46 training for contract employees.

To help you answer more MSHA-related questions, we’ve put a free Guide to MSHA Training Requirements at the bottom of this article, too.

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15 Tips for Effective Safety Training

Effective Safety Training Image

We’re all in favor of safety training. But even better, we’re in favor of EFFECTIVE safety training.

But what IS effective safety training? What does that mean?

Effective safety training is training employees understand and remember. It’s training they later apply on the job. And ultimately, it’s safety training that will decrease the number of unsafe actions, increase the number of safe actions. It changes behavior on the job. It leads to decreased incident rates for near-misses, injuries, and illnesses. And it even makes a positive contribution to the company’s overall-bottom line.

And that’s what all safety managers want out of safety training, right?

For a few tips of how to make this happen, read on. We’ve even included a Free 60-Page Guide to Effective Safety Training at the bottom of this article.

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