6 Adult Learning Principles You Should Use During Safety Training

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Before you read any further, let’s do a quick check.

Are you in safety/EHS and do your responsibilities include safety/EHS training?

If so, that’s a good sign that you’ll find this article relevant.

Next, take a moment to think about the people you provide safety/EHS training to. Are they adults?

If so, things are looking very promising for you and this article.

Because in this article, we’re going to take a look at something called adult learning principles and see how keeping them in mind when you design, develop, and deliver safety/EHS training can make your training more effective. Which of course means your training will create a healthier, safer work environment.

We’ll even give you some tips and examples of how to apply adult learning principles, and try to clear up some confusion about the multiple different lists of adult learning principles you’ll find if you do a Google search for the term.

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Learning Management Systems (LMSs) for Online Safety Training

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Many companies are interested in adding an online component to their current safety/EHS training.

It makes sense. We already do so many things online, and we know that putting stuff online can make things easier, more efficient, less costly, more convenient, and more effective.

Why can’t the same be true with safety training? Well, it can be and it is, my friend.

Not only is it possible, by now we all probably have at least some familiarity with online safety training. Maybe you’ve seen and have been impressed by an online safety training course. Or maybe you’ve seen how online systems can keep track of and automate training assignments that workers must complete recurrently (such as every year for HazCom training). Or maybe you know how efficiently and effortlessly online training systems can create and store records of completed training and even auto-generate reports on that training and deliver them to your email inbox automatically.

So in this article, we’ll take a look at one tool you can use in an online safety training solution: the learning management system, or LMS. If you already know what an LMS is and how it relates to online safety training, you may learn some new stuff here. If you’re not aware of what an LMS is or how it’s related to online safety training, this may be really eye-opening and very welcome news.

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eLearning Courses for Online Safety Training

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Online safety training can come in many forms. For example, it may mean watching a one-time, “live” webinar or a recorded, on-demand version of that webinar. Or it may mean watching a video online.

But another thing it may mean is watching and completing one or more elearning courses.

eLearning courses are unique animals because they allow for a lot more interactivity, including but not limited to online practice quizzes and scored online tests, than you can get with an online video or a recorded webinar, for example.

Another aspect of an eLearning course is that they’re delivered through a learning management system, also known as an LMS. That combination of eLearning courses and an LMS gives a lot of additional power and flexibility.

We’ve already written about LMSs for safety training, so in this article, we’ll focus on eLearning for safety training.

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How Can an LMS Improve the ROI of My Health and Safety Training Program?

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In other articles, we’ve explained what an LMS is and demonstrated how you can use an LMS to improve your EHS training program and your new employee safety onboarding, and we’ve even given a free LMS Buyer’s Guide checklist to help you get the right LMS for your company the first time.

Hopefully you’ve read those articles and enjoyed them (although it’s not necessary to read those articles before you read this one). And maybe you even learned a thing or two.

But maybe your thoughts are stuck on a single point, one that is often relevant in our society: the almighty dollar and your return on investment (ROI).

Specifically, maybe you’re wondering if an LMS would be “worth it?” Is it just a shiny new toy that you can’t afford and that will never help you recover its purchase price? Or is it one of those things that you will purchase and have it save you so much money you come out looking like a genius and smelling like roses?

Well, we’ve got some thoughts about that in the article below. Read on and reap the profits (ha ha!).

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How an LMS Can Simplify New Employee Safety Onboarding

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If you’re in Safety or EHS, you know it’s important to deliver safety onboarding training to new hires. And that’s true if an experienced worker is moving to a new site, work area, or into a new role as well.

But you also probably know that delivering safety onboarding comes with a number of challenges. It’s hard to have time available every time a new worker is hired, and that doesn’t even account for having time every time someone moves from Site A to Site B, or from Production to Warehouse, or from Forklift Operator to Machine Tender.

Plus you’ve got to create all the appropriate safety training materials for new employees, and in addition for site-specific safety training, work area-specific safety training, job-role specific safety training, and special task-specific safety training too.

And of course you’ve got to actually KNOW that a new employee has been hired, or that someone has been transferred from Topeka to your site in Memphis, or from Converting to Production. We may all like to say that communications where we work are perfect, and that we’re all informed of events like these, but I’m pretty sure you’d quickly agree that’s not always the case.

So, in a nutshell, there are lots of reasons why it’s difficult to provide safety onboarding for new hires and job transfers.

That’s where an online system that includes a learning management system (LMS) can pay dividends. You can think of an LMS as an automated assistant that can coordinate all this stuff for you. Kind of a safety onboarding auto-pilot system.

So if you’re in the market for an LMS, and want to be able to use it for safety onboarding along with other safety/EHS training, we’ll give you an idea of some of the features you should want.

NOTE: This article will focus on providing safety training as part of an onboarding process. For a fuller discussion of onboarding as a whole, please see our companion article Onboarding New Employees: Why and How to Do It.
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On-Demand Webinar: Developing Effective Safety Training

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Want to know the hidden secret to developing effective safety training materials?

Actually, there’s no hidden secret. But there ARE some well-known, tried-and-true methods, and they’re documented in ANSI Z490.1, the national standard of Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.

In this 30-minute, recorded, on-demand webinar, we introduce you to ANSI Z490.1, and focus on four aspects of developing effective EHS training that Z490.1 calls out:

  • Writing learning objectives that pass the ABCD and SMART tests
  • Using a blended learning solution for safety training and selecting training delivery methods based on the need for “adequate feedback”
  • Tips for developing effective safety training, including using credible information sources and following some best practices of instructional design
  • Evaluating safety training using Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation method

If you want to get started listening, go right ahead, just click the “READ MORE” button and listen and watch/listen away.

Also, know that we’ve got a series of related helpful links for you below the webinar video, and we’ve also included our helpful Guide to Effective EHS Training as a free download below that, too (that’s the guide that we talk about during the webinar).

Enjoy!
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Free Surface Mine Physical Environment Interactive Glossary

We’ve been revamping our mining safety training e-learning library, in case you didn’t know.

What does that mean? Well, we’ve added a BUNCH of new courses, for one thing. We’ve spruced up older titles, adding new information when relevant and improving our graphics (our 3D animation capabilities become more and more impressive every year). And we’ve broken some of the courses up into shorter, more “bite-sized” learning activities to make them easier to watch and more effective learning experiences.

One of the courses we’ve updated is our General Physical Characteristics of Surface Mines (great for Part 46 New Miner and Annual Refresher, by the way). To show that off a bit and give you a free training resource, we’ve taken some of the terms, definitions, and images from that course and made the free interactive glossary below.

There are two ways you can enjoy this free resource. The first is to just play it here from our blog. You can do that any time you wish. The second is to download your own free copy and then import it into your SCORM-compliant LMS. We’ve included more information about that second option below.
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10 Reasons to Consider Online Safety Training: Case Studies + Examples

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Many work places use quite a bit of online training for EHS training, while others still haven’t made the online plunge.

If you’re not using it now, and perhaps are on the fence, you should know that there are plenty of reasons to use online EHS training for a safer workplace. Online training has proven itself, showing it can make training itself more effective in many instances; that it can reduce the cost of training (especially for large workforces or workforces that are spread over a great distance); that it can greatly reduce the time, effort, and cost necessary to administer training; and that it can provide a welcome element of variety to training for employees.

Read on for more reasons to consider adding an online aspect to your current EHS training program.

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New EHS Training Courses Available: DOT HAZMAT Safety; Respirator Basics; Blocking and Cribbing for Heavy Equipment; Metal-on-Metal Safety;

Here are the new courses we added to our EHS Training Library last month.

You can also just check all of the titles in our EHS training library and our Mining Safety training library.

We’ll keep announcing new courses each month as they roll out, so stay tuned for more.

You can view samples of each course below, but contact us for a demo for full-course previews.

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Tracking Training-Related EHS Leading Indicators

tracking-training-related-EHS-leading-indicatorsIn a recent article on EHS leading indicators, we touched on the topic of training-related EHS leading indicators. Meaning, stuff directly related to EHS training that can be used as a leading indicator for measuring general EHS performance at a company.

Since we’re a training company and offer a lot of EHS training solutions, we thought we’d double-back to that issue and show you how you can track some of those EHS leading indicators that are related to EHS training.

By tracking these, along with other EHS leading indicators, you can really begin to gather meaningful and actionable data about the performance of your EHS management system as a whole.
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How to Create Your Own Safety Training e-Learning Course-Recorded Webinar

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Ever wish you could create your own safety training eLearning course that fits your particular training needs and is based on your own site-specific information?

You can, and this recorded webinar (below) shows you how. The webinar runs almost exactly an hour, and you can listen any time.

Once you know how to do this, you can make your own eLearning course anytime you want. Maybe even combine it with some off-the-shelf safety training eLearning courses for a nice blend of generic and custom, site-specific safety training eLearning at your workplace.

If you’d prefer the same information in a different format, we’ve got the same information in a written blog post including lots of helpful screen grabs. Or hey, you can check ’em both out! Why not?

Note: This webinar shows how to use an authoring tool created by Articulate. Many companies make similar authoring tools, and the tool used below isn’t the most recent created by Articulate. That point isn’t too important, though–the main idea is to show you the general idea of how to make your own online safety training course and show how relatively easy it can be.

Also, there’s a free Guide to Effective EHS Training below the webinar that you’re free to download if you’d like.
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10 Key Benefits of Online Safety Training

10 Benefits of Online Safety Training ImageWe believe the best way to provide safety training to your workers is to use a blended learning solution, mixing and matching the different types of training (instructor-led, field-based OJT, video, e-learning, written materials, social learning, webinars, etc.).

And that’s no surprise, since we write about it a lot, but also since it’s recommended by ASSE/ANSI z490.1, the US national standard for EHS training; by the noted learning researchers Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark (in her book Evidence-Based Training Methods) and by Dr. Will Thalheimer (in his Does eLearning Work? white paper); and by the US Department of Education, in their Evaluating Online Learning study.

But it’s also true that within a blended learning solution, when you select the type of training to use for each training need, you shouldn’t select randomly. Instead, you’ll want to look at the benefits and downsides of each training type, and try to find a match between training type and training need.

With that in mind, here’s a quick list of some advantages of online safety training. We’ve got 10 items on the list, and have given one or more examples or case study for each.

Hope you find some food for thought here.
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