The MSHA Instructor Training Session: An Interview with Jeff Duncan, Director of Educational Policy and Development (MSHA)

MSHA-instructor-trainingNot so long ago, we were giving some thought to the MSHA Part 48 Approved Instructor.

And that led us to give some thought to the three-day, Instructor Training sessions that MSHA leads so that people can become Part 48 Approved Instructors and, in turn, deliver Part 48 training to mine site employees (and contractors, etc.).

We were fortunate enough to get Jeff Duncan, the Director of Educational Policy and Development at MSHA, to give up some of his own time to tell us more about that program. We’re thankful to Jeff for being so generous with his time to do that.

So below we’ve got the highlights of that discussion with Mr. Jeff Duncan of MSHA. We hope you find it interesting and that it sheds more light on the role for of the MSHA Approved Instructor for Part 48.
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Level 4 Training Evaluations

level-4Knowing if your training program is having a positive effect on relevant KPIs, and are helping move your company toward its business goals, is a good thing.

Trainers do this by performing what’s known as a level 4 evaluation (in the traditional four-level Kirkpatrick training evaluation model).

In this article, we’re going to look more closely at evaluating a training program to see if it’s created the desired effect on the relevant KPI(s).

We’ll do that by looking more closely at the fourth of the four levels in Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model: the one that focuses on whether or not training has affected business goals.

Here we go. 

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How Online Tools Can Save MSHA Part 46 Recordkeeping Headaches

how-online-tools-can-saveMSHAThere are many different aspects of MSHA Part 46 compliance training. Recordkeeping is one of those.

It’s easy enough to see WHY there are recordkeeping and documentation requirements. Regulators have to know what’s been done and what hasn’t been done. Even if you don’t LIKE doing this, the logic is fair enough. You get it.

That doesn’t mean that creating, storing, and later retrieving all those records is especially fun. And if you’re a safety manager, I’d be willing to bet it’s not your favorite part of your job.

In fact, I recently gave a presentation at MSHA’s annual TRAM conference, and I asked this very question to the 40-or so people who attended the presentation. I learned that basically nobody really enjoyed doing this; that nearly everyone felt they spent more time doing this than they wanted to; and that most everyone was a little unsure if their records were perfect or if they could quickly retrieve specific training records (the one person who said she COULD quickly retrieve specific different types of training records admitted that her confidence came at the cost of a LOT of time working with Excel spreadsheets).

But online, computerized systems can help ease this recordkeeping and documentation challenge. They’ll help you spend less time creating, storing, and retrieving training records and other documentation. This means you can spend more of your time on safety training, safety audits, safety observations, in safety meetings….well, you get the idea. You can spend more of your time doing stuff that is more productive.

In this article, you’ll learn more about some ways that online systems can save you time, headache, frustration, and even money on all this recordkeeping. Read on for the full story.

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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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8 Times When e-Learning Is Better Than Instructor-Led for EHS Training

8-times-eLearning-is-better-than-instructor-led-for-EHS-Training

A lot of people think that instructor-led training is ALWAYS better than e-learning.

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

But, the truth is, there are often scenarios where e-learning 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 e-learning is the most appropriate training method to use.

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Safety Roles: Competent Persons and Approved Instructors

competent-person-approval-9-30-2015If 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

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.

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Effective Safety Training: A Guide to Creating, Designing, Delivering, & Evaluating EHS Training That Works

effective-ehs-training-guideIf you’re in EHS, you’re probably also in EHS training. If so, you’re going to LOVE the free downloadable guide at the bottom of this article.

The guide is going to walk you through all the steps of having a top-notch EHS training program that follows best practices. We think it will make your job easier and your workplace a safer, healthier place.

It’s a complete guide that will help you follow best practices for integrating your EHS and EHS training efforts; managing your EHS training program; design, develop, deliver, and evaluate your EHS training; and continually improve your EHS training.

Our guide is large based on best practices put forth in ANSI Z490.1, the American national standard of “Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.” Although our guide covers nearly everything in the standard, we do recommend you still go and get a copy of the guide (which was just updated in 2016).

Let us know if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments–there’s a comments section at the bottom of this article. And enjoy the guide!

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12 Ways to Administer Instructor-Led Training with an LMS

12-ways-to-administer-instructor-led-trainingWhen many people think of learning management systems, they think of “online training” or e-learning courses.

But what many people don’t think about is instructor-led training, classroom-style training, face-to-face training, 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 doing so makes life easier for training administrators and for average employees as well.

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

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eLearning Basics: LMSs, Authoring Tools, and SCORM

better-training-through-visuals

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. Nice!

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