7 Industrial Training Tips: Get Better Job Performance from Better Training

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Industrial employers want excellent performance, including efficiency and even innovation, from their work forces. And robust, well-designed industrial training programs give employers a better chance of getting just that.

In this article, we’ll share some tips for improving your industrial training program. By following these tips, you’ll help employees acquire necessary knowledge, develop necessary job skills, perform more effectively on the job, be better prepared for their next job positions with your company, help turn your company into a learning organization, and maybe even create innovations that help your company stay ahead of the competition or avoid failure.

In addition to the industrial training tips offered in this article, you might also enjoy our articles on Building Industrial Employee Training Programs and Key Industrial Training Topics and Moments of Training Need.


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OSHA’s 1910.216 Standard for Pulp, Paper & Paperboard Employers & Industries

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OSHA’s standards include both horizontal standards and vertical standards. Horizontal standards are standards that apply to employers in multiple different industries. For example, the 1910 General Industry standards apply to employers in many different industries and 1910 is therefore a horizontal standard. On the other hand, OSHA’s 1926 standards apply to just employers in the construction industry and 1926 is therefore a vertical standard.

Additionally, there are quite a few other vertical standards listed in 1910 Subpart R, the so-called “special industry” regulations. These include standards that are specific to the following industries: pulp, paper, and paperboard mills; textiles; bakery equipment; laundry machines and operations; sawmills; logging operations; telecommunications; electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution; and grain-handling facilities.

In this article, partly because we create training materials and tools for pulp, paper, tissue, and corrugated board manufacturers, we’re going to provide an introduction to the 1910.261 standard for Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills employers from 1910 Subpart R.

You might also be interested in our articles on Paper Machine Safety Hazards and Paper Manufacturing Safety Tips.


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The ATD Human Performance Improvement (HPI) Model

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Convergence Training, our sister company RedVector, and our parent company Vector Solutions aren’t just training companies (despite the word training appearing in our name). Instead, we’re devoted to helping organizations with a variety of performance improving solutions to increase efficiency, decrease waste, and improve profits, opportunities, innovation, learning, and successes.

As a result, we’re not just interested in training (although we do always keep a strong focus on evidence-based training methods), but in addition we’re interested in human performance improvement–also called HPI (check out our recorded What Is Human Performance Improvement video discussion and our upcoming Why Apply HPI? webinar, for example).

That said, there’s some understandable confusion about Human Performance Improvement (HPI). For example, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) has an HPI model, the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) offers a Certified Performance Technician workshop and certification (note the minor name change there–you’ll see human performance technology from time-to-time as well), and the US Department of Energy offers a two-volume Human Performance Improvement Handbook (this is often associated with nuclear safety and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, or INPO).

To tell you the truth, I got a little confused just typing all that up.

And then to add to the confusion, HPI has quite a bit in common with some “new views” on occupational safety, such as Safety Differently, Safety II, and Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) as well as with workplace performance analysis, managerial, organizational development, and organizational learning theories and strategies.

But the GOOD NEWS here is those different versions of HPI from different organizations, those new views on occupational safety, and those other management, organizational development, and organizational learning theories share more in common than they differ. If you Venn-diagrammed all this out, there would be a lot of overlap.

In THIS article, we’re going to give you a brief overview of the ATD HPI model, while of course we encourage you to go over to ATD’s website and learn more from their HPI materials. Watch for future articles where we explain a little more about some of the other HPI models.


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Free Recorded Webinar: Implementing Lean Manufacturing

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If you’re interested in implementing lean manufacturing for continuous improvement at your workplace, you might want to check out our recently completed (and now (1) free and (2) recorded) on-demand Implementing Lean Manufacturing webinar immediately below.

View our Implementing Lean Manufacturing Webinar at our Webinars webpage.

We hope you enjoy the webinar and invite you to check out our libraries of online 5S & Lean training courses as well as our larger Continuous Improvement online training course library.

We’ve also included a series of links below the webinar video where you can read additional articles about lean, download free infographics and guides about lean and continuous improvement, and more.

And if you scroll to the very bottom of this page, there’s a download button where you can download one of the free Lean Manufacturing Infographics — 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing. 

Read on for lots of Lean-related articles and downloads.


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What Are Current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP)?

Good manufacturing practices are practices that manufacturers that produce food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices must follow. Good manufacturing practices, or GMP, are sometimes also known as current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP. The point of putting the “c” to represent current is to remind manufacturers that they must stay up to date in their efforts, using the latest systems and technologies to ensure good manufacturing practices.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the GMP/cGMP, including the regulatory agencies that enforce them in the United States, and we’ll link you to some additional resources where you can learn more.

If you’d like help with cGMP training or Quality training at your manufacturing facility, contact us.


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OSHA’s “Fatal Four” In Construction: Leading Causes of Fatalities in Construction

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In this article, we’ll be talking about workplace fatalities. Workplace fatalities in the construction industry, to be more specific. And to be even more specific, about the four hazards that OSHA calls “The Fatal Four” in construction because of how many construction workplace fatalities involve these hazards.

Before we do, it’s worth getting some perspective. According to OSHA, just a little over 21% of worker fatalities in private industry in a recent year (2018) occurred in the construction industry. So we’re talking about an industry with a significant amount of fatalities.

In this article, we’ll let you know what the Fatal Course hazards are, link you to relevant resources and OSHA standards, and provide some safety training tips for each as well.

And since the larger focus of this article is about workplace fatalities and preventing them, you might also find our Preventing Workplace Fatalities and Using Risk-Based Approaches to Reduce Serious Injuries and Fatalities (SIFs) articles of interest.


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Free Guide to Blended Learning Strategies

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Traditionally, blended learning has meant using both instructor-led (or similar face-to-face) training along with online learning (typically in the form of elearning). And there’s evidence to show that blended learning leads to improved learning outcomes.

For example, consider the following summaries of meta-studies on the effectiveness of blended learning:

“Evidence from hundreds of media comparison studies…suggest[s] that blended learning environments are more effective than pure classroom or pure digital…”

— Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, Evidence-Based Training Methods 

“Overall, these meta-analyses found that eLearning tends to outperform classroom instruction and, blended learning (using both online and classroom instruction) creates the largest benefits…”

–Dr. Will Thalheimer, Does eLearning Work? What the Scientific Research Says! 

“The difference between student outcomes for online and face-to-face classes…was larger in those studies contrasting conditions that blended elements of online and face-to-face instruction with conditions taught purely face-to-face.”
— US Department of Education, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning 

More recently, people have begun using the term blended learning not only for mixing instructor-led training with online training, but for the general idea of mixing training of different delivery formats. So, for example, your blended learning solution could all be delivered through technological means–an email, plus a video, plus a webinar, followed up by microlearning courses delivered to mobile devices.

So blended learning solutions are effective. Which means you’ll probably want to begin using them at work. But that raises the question–what’s the BEST way to create a blended learning solution?

The truth is, there is no single best way to blend learning. You’ll find the best results by stepping back, considering the performance and learning problem you’re trying to solve, considering what you want to help employees learn and perform on the job, selecting the learning activities that are most likely to help workers learn to perform on the job in the desired manner, and then selecting training delivery methods that you can use to deliver those learning activities.

In the attached guide below, we’ve given you a few frameworks to consider when designing your blended learning solutions. We’ve included ideas drawn from learning researchers and professionals such as Guy Wallace, Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, M. David Merrill, Dr. Patti Shank, Bob Mosher & Conrad Gottfredson, Arun Pradhan, and more (hat tip and thanks to all of them).


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Free Guide: Writing Learning Objectives for Workplace Learning & Performance Improvement

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Learning objectives are a key part of effective training materials. Create and use them correctly, and you’re well on your way to helping your employees learn the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need.

Neglect to use them, or misuse them, and you’re setting yourself at a serious disadvantage right out of the gate.

At the bottom of this page, you can download a pretty-near-definitive guide that covers a lot of the basics about learning objectives. If you’re new to training or looking for a refresher, the guide may be helpful.


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Tips for Writing Instructional and Training Material

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It’s not easy to write well. Or, as Ernest Hemingway put it, “Easy writing makes hard reading.”

As a writer, you want to do the difficult work so your reader doesn’t have to. And while it’s true that all types of writing are difficult, it’s also true that each type of writing presents its own special challenges. That’s definitely the case when it comes to writing instructional or training materials. So, we’ve created a list of tips and resources to help you write better, more effective training materials.

We hope you find these helpful; feel free to contribute your own ideas in the comments section below.

Please note this article REALLY is about WRITING, so it covers just a small amount of designing, developing, and delivering training materials. If you want a bigger, bird’s-eye view of designing, developing, and delivering, you may find these articles helpful:


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Thoughts on Safety Metrics & Safety Measurement (With Carsten Busch)

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Safety metrics and measurement is a big issue and it’s not as simple as it may seem at first.

We caught up with our friend Carsten Busch to discuss safety measurement and safety metrics in some detail. Hope you enjoy this discussion. You may remember Carsten from our previous discussion on Safety Myths or from his own MindtheRisk website or social media postings. Additionally, you may find our earlier discussion with Pam Walaski, Safety Metrics Reconsidered, worth a listen on this issue.

Be sure to check out Carsten’s books:


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NFPA Updates National Electrical Code (NEC)/NFPA 70 (2020 Update)

This year (2020) the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) updated the National Electrical Code, also known as NEC and NFPA 70. The NFPA reviews and updates the NEC on a regular basis (the last update was in 2017) in order to keep up with changing technology and safety issues. This new update includes a number of changes, including the most recent requirements for electrical wiring, overcurrent protection, equipment installation, and more.

We’ve released a series of new and/or updated online courses to align with the 2020 NEC changes and will be releasing a second round of online training courses for NEC shortly after that.

In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of some of the changes to the National Electrical Code. Be sure to contact us if you need help with training on this important topic.


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6 Thing to Know about the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)

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The Project Management Institute, or PMI, publishes a book called A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is often known as the PMBOK, PMBOK Guide, or simply The Guide.

In this article, we’ll share some key tips you should know about the PMBOK if you’re a project manager or thinking of becoming a project manager, if you’re thinking of buying the PMBOK, and/or if you’re thinking of sitting for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or other certifications.


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