Use e-Learning for Standard, Consistent Training Messages

elearning-blog-postWe’re fans of “blended learning” solutions that make use of different types of training activities. This might include written documents, instructor-led training, on-the-job training (OJT), and more.

The idea is to pick the type of training activity that best suits each training need. For example, maybe you really need the real-time, spontaneous feedback that instructor-led training can provide for one training need. Or, maybe the hands-on practice in the real work environment with an experienced co-worker fits the bill for another training need.

When you’re choosing the right activity type, one thing to think about is “Does this allow me to deliver the same, consistent training message every time?” Something we hear again and again from new customers is that they struggle to deliver the same standard, consistent training message on a given topic to each worker, every time they hear the message.

You can see why this is important. For example, you may have a set of policies that you want to make all new employees aware of during their onboarding. Or, maybe you want each employee in the Production department to perform a particular procedure in the exact same way. Or, maybe you want to make sure the message in your yearly refresher training matches the message employees learned the first time they were trained.

Need some e-learning courses for your workplace? Check out our e-learning course libraries and our learning management systems (LMSs). Or, contact us for more information or to set up a demo.

And hey, why not download this free Guide to Effective Manufacturing Training or this Guide to Effective EHS Training while you’re here?

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JHA or JSA? Does it Matter?

We’ve got a new article over at EHS Today magazine. It discusses the job hazard analysis (JHA) and the job safety analysis (JSA). In particular, it asks if they’re the same thing or are different. Here’s the link if you want to read up on JHAs and JSAs.

Hope you find it interesting!  Feel free to comment there or here if you’ve got an opinion on this  barn-burner.

If you’re especially interested, check out our previous What is a JHA? article here at the Convergence Training blog and keep your eyes open for our upcoming JHA Guide Checklist.

Finally, many thanks to EHS Today editor Sandy Smith. Sandy runs a great magazine over there at EHS Today and we encourage you to check it out.

And why now download our free How to Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis Guide while you’re here? 

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Job Hazard Analysis Guide

Learn how to perform a job hazard analysis on the job with our free step-by-step guide.

Download Free Guide

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Improve Troubleshooting Skills with Process Training

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We work with lots of companies who are continually trying to improve the efficiency of their workers, machines, and work processes. This is critical to them because they need to create more product and spend less doing it. Overseas competition has made this need even more pressing, especially since labor costs are often significantly less for companies operating in other nations.

As a result, our customers want to help their workers become more knowledgeable, skilled, capable, and efficient. One customer in particular summed up what many different customers have told me when he said “I want to help my machine operators become machine engineers.” (If you’re out there, Steve, hello–hope you’re doing well.)

When he said he wants his employees to become “machine engineers,” one of the things he means is that he wants his employees to be able to recognize and troubleshoot production problems to keep machinery operating at peak efficiency. But how can a company help their employees improve their troubleshooting skills? One way is through process training. That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

A related article looks at the development of troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, and how to how employees acquire those skills, in even more depth and detail. Don’t forget to check that one out too.

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Cold Stress: Safety Resources for Working in Cold Weather

cold-stressBaby, it’s cold outside. (I like that version, don’t you?)

Herein the US, cold weather is one its way once again, and it’s a good idea to consider how well prepared you and your workforce are for the lower temperatures.

Dealing with the cold may seem like common knowledge that we’ve all got under our belts, but the fact is that every year people suffer from hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and other cold-related problems.

So, we’ve pulled together some helpful resources about cold stress, frostbite, working in the cold, and generally keeping safe in the cold. They’re drawn from various sources, including OSHA, the Department of Labor, AAA, National Public Radio, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and more. Hopefully you’ll find one or more of these helpful.

Stay safe and stay warm!

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Risk Management and Safety

risk-management and safety imageIf you’re in safety or EHS, you may have heard of risk management.

Maybe you know exactly what that means. If so, great. We even encourage you to leave your insights, knowledge, and experience at the bottom of this article in the comments section.

But maybe you don’t, and maybe you’ve wondered about risk. If so, this post is for you. We’ll explain what risk management is and how risk management and safety are related.

Let’s start by defining some terms. ISO Guide 73:2009 includes the following definitions:

  • Risk–the effect of uncertainty on objectives
  • Risk management–coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with respect to risk

Now let’s look at each of those a little more closely in the sections below.

In addition, you’ll probably be excited to know there’s a free guide to using risk-based approaches for occupational safety and health management at the bottom of this article.

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Book Review: Robert Mager’s “Preparing Instructional Objectives”

book-reveiwWe just finished reading Robert Mager’s Preparing Instructional Objectives, the classic book on learning objectives that’s also part of the six-book collection, The Mager Six Pack. (Yes, we bought the whole six pack, and you’ll be seeing book reviews about all of them over time).

Here’s our review of the book. You may also be interested in our more in-depth article about Mager’s Performance-Based Learning Objectives, which is the subject of the book.

Mager’s interesting because he’s one of the classic names in the history of instructional design, and this book is interesting because his performance-based learning objectives were very influential in instructional design. Plus, although there have been some changes in thought about learning objectives over time, most notably perhaps about how one presents them to learners, Mager’s emphasis on performance is very much in line with learning theory today (especially the emphasis on training to develop job skills).

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Robert Mager’s Performance-Based Learning Objectives

mager-performance-based-learning-objectives-imageYou don’t have to read up on learning objectives for too long before you run into the name of Robert Mager and hear about his performance-based learning objectives. These are also sometimes called three-part learning objectives or behavioral learning objectives.

This isn’t necessarily the only way to write learning objectives. Smart people have continued to think about training and the development of learning objectives since Mager’s time, after all.

But even though there are other schools of thought about learning objectives, what Mager had to say is still solid advice in many cases. And, as they taught us when we were kids, it’s a good idea to get the basics down before you begin experimenting (while riding bikes, they taught us to ride normally before going with no hands; while playing baseball, they taught us to throw a fastball before trying a curve; while writing, they taught us to print before teaching us cursive).

Mager outlines his theory about the best way to create learning objectives in his classic book Preparing Instructional Objectives. You can read our review of Preparing Instructional Objectives if you’re interested, and we highly recommend reading the book, which is informative, quick, and fun.

Otherwise, here’s the crux of what Mager has to say, below.

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OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Forms

osha-recordkeeping-and-reporting-forms imageDid you know that OSHA has specific requirements for establishments to keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses and to report those on OSHA’s new online incident reporting website?

If not, now’s a good time to lift the veil and find out more about all this.

So in this post, we’ll take a look at:

  • What’s recordable and what’s not
  • OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting forms for injuries and illnesses (forms 301, 300, and 300A)
  • OSHA’s new online reporting requirements

Hopefully this will make everything a little easier to understand for you. Change can be hard, right? But with a little information, we can all get through it.

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ANSI Z490.1 Sections 1, 2, and 3: A Brief Overview for Effective EHS Training

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(Note: ANSI and ASSE recently released a new, revised edition of ANSI Z490.1. This article has been updated to cover the new, revised, 2016 version.)

In a recent post, we introduced ANSI Z490.1 and gave a quick overview of it and its seven sections.

ANSI Z490.1 is important because it’s the national standard that lists criteria for accepted practices in safety, health, and environmental training. So if EHS training is part of your job responsibilities, it is definitely worth your time to get to know ANSI Z490.1.

So with no further delay, let’s turn our attention to Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the ANSI/ASSE Z490.1 standard on accepted criteria for EHS training.

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What Is a JHA (Job Hazard Analysis)?

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Not that long ago, I read an extended discussion in a LinkedIn group titled “What is a JHA?” The discussion included safety experts from all over the world and lots of interesting thoughts.

What it DIDN’T include was a common understanding of what a JHA is. So, leaning on some materials from our friends at OSHA as our primary source, we thought we’d introduce the concept here and provide an explanation that is acceptable and based on OSHA’s definitions and requirements. If you’ve got differing opinions about JHAs and JSAs and similar concepts, feel free to leave ’em at the bottom in the Comments section.

Also, know that you can download a FREE GUIDE TO CONDUCTING JHAs at the link you just passed or by clicking a button at the bottom of this article.

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OSHA Glossary of Terms: 10 Interactive OSHA Glossaries

glossary-graphicIn the past, we’ve published 10 different blog posts, with each post including a fully interactive, web-based OSHA glossary of terms including the terms and definitions included in an OSHA standard.

Those were so popular, we figured we’d put all 10 together into one post for you. Just scroll down and let your eyes travel over all ten. Nice, huh?

What OSHA glossary of terms (and standards) are included? From top to bottom, we’ve got the following for your viewing pleasure:

  • Fall Prevention and Protection, 1926.501
  • Hazard Communication 2012 /GHS, 1910-1200
  • Scaffolds, 1926.451
  • Respiratory Protection, 1910.134
  • Ladders, 1926.1053
  • Machine Guarding Glossary, 1910.212
  • Powered Industrial Trucks, 1910.178
  • Electrical—Wiring Methods, 1910.305
  • Lockout/Tagout (Control of Hazardous Energy), 1910.147
  • Electrical-General Requirements, 1910.303

Why did we pick these 10 standards? Because they’re consistently on OSHA’s list of the ten most cited violations.

Need any help with your safety training program at work? Convergence Training makes a line of learning management systems (LMSs), e-learning safety courses, and more. Check ’em out or contact us for a demo.

And hey, why not download our FREE 42-page Guide to Effective EHS Training?

 

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How to Chunk Training Materials

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If you want to know how to create more effective training materials, you need to know how to chunk training materials. And YES, chunking is the accepted term in the field, even if it does sound a bit strange.

Chunking is the process of breaking down instructional materials into smaller, “bite-sized” pieces and then arranging them in a sequence that makes it easier for your learners to learn the material.

In this post, we’ll:

  • Explain the four steps necessary for a person to remember something
  • Explain why limits of the working memory cause us to use chunking
  • Explain what chunking is
  • Give tips for chunk length for novice and expert learners
  • Give tips for organizing the chunks in your training materials
  • Provide some sources and useful resources for chunking

But, before we do all that, we’re going to take a step back and explain why you should care about this.

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