Behavior-Based Safety Programs and Training

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Behavior-based safety training programs are important in any company, but they are especially vital in the manufacturing and industrial sectors where heavy machinery can easily hurt you or one of your coworkers.

Promoting a strong workplace safety culture is a team effort because each employee plays a role in ensuring the safety of themselves and their coworkers. Safety training is not only important for keeping workers safe, but it can also lead to higher profits and more satisfied workers.

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Online Hazardous Waste Training: What Is Hazardous Waste?

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So what is hazardous waste, you may ask?

Hazardous waste is regulated by the US EPA and The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA. The RCRA is a set of environmental regulations that regulates hazardous waste and more. In this article, we provide an overview of the RCRA, explain what a “hazardous waste” is (according to the EPA and RCA, naturally), and offer an online hazardous waste training suggestion for you–our RCRA Introduction online training course, which is part of our larger online Environmental training library. The online course is a great and inexpensive option for those of you who don’t want to read the full article or who want to show the course to a number of workers.

This material in this article and the online course will help your company ensure you’re treating hazardous wastes properly, not running afoul of environmental regulations, and doing your share to protect the environment around us. It will also offer suggestions and samples of hazardous waste training courses.

This article is a continuation of our look at online environmental training courses. You may also want to check our earlier article on The EPA, Environmental Regulations, and Online Training and our article on What Is RCRA? 

Before you begin reading, feel free to watch the short video overview of a few highlights from our Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) online training library.

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What is Industrial Hygiene & How Does it Contribute to Safety at Work?

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Industrial hygiene and safety: ever wonder what industrial hygiene is? Ever wonder how industrial hygienists contribute to safety at work?

Some of you may already be familiar with the field of industrial hygiene. On the other hand, others of you may not, and may wonder what it is, why it exists, and what an industrial hygienist does.

In this article, we’ll provide an introduction to industrial hygiene and present a glimpse into the value this important field within occupational safety and health. Along the way, we’ll define what industrial hygiene is and who performs industrial hygiene. We’ll explain the worksite analysis that’s at the root of industrial hygiene in the workplace. We’ll list different types or categories of occupational hazards that industrial hygienists must identify and control. And we’ll provide some guidance about the hierarchy of control and how it’s used to prioritize different types of hazard control methods.

We’ll even include a list of industrial hygiene professional organizations as well as offer you plenty of free safety downloads, including ones on performing a job hazard analysis, performing an incident investigation, using the hierarchy of controls, and developing and delivering effective safety training.

Even better, we’ll give some samples of an online industrial hygiene training course you can use to train yourself or people at your worksite.

And once you’ve ready this article, if you still want to learn more about industrial hygiene, check out our Introduction to Industrial Hygiene, in which we discuss IH with a real-life industrial hygienist.

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Safety Management Best Practices: OSHA’s Recommendations for Safety & Health Programs

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Back in October, 2016, OSHA created a final version of their new guideline for safety and health management programs, titled Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs. Around the same time, they published a helpful website full of additional materials related to best practices for safety and health programs.

In the article below, we’ll review the high points of OSHA’s new safety management guideline. And we’ll also include some links to other resources on safety management for you down near the bottom of this article.

We’d love to hear your opinions of and experiences with the new guideline in particular or with safety and health management in general. There’s a comments section at the bottom of this article–don’t be shy about using it.

Please note: this article is about OSHA’s safety management guideline for non-construction industry employers. See the following link for their Construction Safety Management Guidelines.

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How to Motivate Workers: Developing a More Engaged & Innovative Workforce

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Before we begin our article, let’s begin with a teaser to get you interested.

There’s a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.

Daniel Pink, TED Talk, The Puzzle of Motivation

And with that attention-grabbing teaser, let’s return to our article, which ultimately addresses that teaser, explains it, and and offers tips on how to solve the problem…(but know that you can also find the video of that TED Talk near the bottom of this article).

We’re moving into a new era of manufacturing. Or really, we’ve already entered the new era, and things are continuing to change at increasing rates even now.

If you’ve heard people talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, you’ve already heard about it. The same is true if you’ve heard people talking about advanced manufacturing.

And that’s great, because this era holds a lot of exciting promise. But there’s a problem, too. Many employers are struggling to find enough workers with the necessary advanced skills. If you’ve heard of or read articles about the skills gap, you know what we’re talking about.

As a training company servicing the manufacturing industry, we’re dedicated to providing workforce training materials to help workers develop the skills necessary to help their companies thrive in this new, modern economy. Training can and does provide a measurable leg up in the perpetual manufacturing skill arms race.

But while training is helpful, important, and necessary, it can’t be the entire solution. There’s more to it than just that. For one thing, you’ve got to have workers who are motivated and capable of learning new skills–the skills they need today, and the new skills they will need tomorrow.

All that learning and skill acquisition takes motivation. Motivation to learn, motivation to acquire new skills, and motivation to be creative and innovative. But where does all that motivation come from?

Some of the motivation factor is up to the employee, of course. But employers also play a big role in creating and sustaining an environment that encourages motivation, creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

In recent years, cognitive scientists, psychologists, behavioral economists, and other experts have learned a lot about what motivates people in their lives and at work. Some of those findings are pretty counter-intuitive.

What’s really stunning is that while some companies are doing the right things on this point, many or even most companies are not. Not only are their management practices, rules, and culture not actively contributing to these desirable workforce characteristics, they’re actively working against and stifling motivation. This is one of the areas of workforce organization where there’s a large gap between what studies and research shows us and what companies really do.

And that’s a shame, since the research is out there and in many cases can be easily applied if companies just look into it and make a few simple changes. Some companies will succeed precisely because they have taken steps to motivate workers to learn and innovate. And other companies will fail not only because they failed to take those steps, but because their culture, rules, and management techniques actually stifled that motivation to learn and create new business value.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips from Daniel Pink’s book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, which focuses on how companies can create a workplace environment that nurtures these important traits in their workers.  Pink’s book is based on and compiles research from a lot of scholars in this field, including Dan Ariely (whose book The Upside of Irrationality: the Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home we’ve written about in the past).

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Better Paper Manufacturing Training Through Visual Learning

There are many ways to make better paper manufacturing training materials, and as a result make it easier for paper manufacturing workers to gain the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs well. And that in turn makes the paper manufacturing companies those people work for more productive, efficient, and profitable.

One way is to include well-designed graphics, videos, and other visuals as part of your training materials. That’s true no matter what kind of training you’re talking about: if you’re leading instructor-led training, putting together a PowerPoint presentation, creating written training materials, developing your own eLearning courses for online learning, or getting paper manufacturing online courses from a training provider.

But it’s not entirely simple. You can’t just create any visuals. Some visuals will make your training more effective, and others will make it less effective. There’s a mix of art and science to using the right visuals, and it’s based on what experts know about how people learn.

In the article below, we’ve included some general guidelines that you can follow to create effective visuals for your own training materials. Or, to evaluate training materials made by others. Follow these tips and you’ll dramatically improve the quality of any visuals in your training and, as a result, the effectiveness of your training materials for paper manufacturing employees.

We’ve also written a second article on visuals for paper manufacturing training that extends the lessons in this one.

Before you begin, feel free to watch the short video below to get an idea of what compelling workforce training visuals can do.

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Top 5 Workplace Stress Management Tips (Without Changing Your Workload)

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The World Health Organization recently called stress “the health epidemic of the twenty-first century.” That’s pretty big news!

Everyone experiences some amount type of work-related stress. Occasional job stress poses little harm and can even be effective in increasing productivity. However, prolonged stress can be detrimental to both your professional and personal life.

Common symptoms of prolonged workplace stress include low morale, boredom, anxiety, and anger. Stress can even manifest as physical health problems ranging from headaches and stomach aches to heart problems.

So we all experience stress. But what makes a difference is how we choose to manage stress. Managing stress is crucial to improving your job performance, staying safe while working, and taking care of your physical and mental health.

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What is eLearning? How Can I Use It?

eLearning allows you to access training material online rather than in a traditional classroom setting. This makes eLearning more convenient because you can complete the courses when you desire, on your schedule.

While eLearning courses can have videos embedded in them, eLearning  is much more interactive than simply watching a video. eLearning presents material in a multimedia format, so you are more likely to remember it. Some of the tactics used to present material include practice questions, feedback to answers, and scored tests.

eLearning allows your employees to learn more about topics relating to their careers. Completing eLearning courses ensures that your employees are well informed so they can be more efficient, productive, and safer at work.

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4 Industrial Safety Tips

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Industrial workplaces present a variety of hazards to workers. In addition to a robust safety and health management system, a few basic safety tips can go a long way to keeping industrial workers healthy and safe.

We’ve included a few general tips for manufacturing safety below. While industrial and manufacturing jobs can drastically differ from one another, there are some universal industrial safety tips, guidelines, and solutions that are helpful for nearly all industrial workplaces.

To help you maintain a safer workplace, we’ve included not only the four tips below, but also a free Guide to Performing a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) you can download at the bottom of this article.

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Online Occupational Health and Safety Training Courses

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Convergence Training’s online occupational health and safety training courses teach new employees important knowledge and skills while providing experienced employees a way to refresh their understanding of knowledge and skills they’re familiar with (see our article on the importance of “spaced practice” for more about the value of this).

There are some clear advantages of online training. One is that the employee can learn at his or her own pace. Another is that the employee can access the online training anywhere at work anywhere by using a mobile device. Plus the visuals have great explanatory power that aids comprehension and retention, as we explain in our 10 Amazing Ways Animations Make Safety Training Better article.

Convergence Training provides a large number of online safety courses on many different topics. This article describes just a few of the courses involving driver safety, first aid, equipment safety, and general safety. To see the full list of online safety training courses we provide and review sample videos and course descriptions, check Convergence Training’s online occupational health and safety training courses.

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5 Manufacturing Safety Topics for a Safer Workplace

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No matter your occupation, workplace safety is vital. However, it is especially important in the manufacturing industry since you are dealing with heavy machinery. Therefore, taking safety precautions seriously and conducting safety training is extremely important for manufacturing jobs.

According to OSHA, companies that focus on worker’s safety have nearly 50 percent fewer lost workdays. To keep employees interested when conducting safety training and in safety meetings, make sure to show your concern about your employees being potentially injured. Also, praise employees who work safely and encourage reporting accidents and injuries.

We’ve got some tips for helping to keep people safe on the job below. In addition, you may find our article on manufacturing safety training tips helpful.

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How We Make Online Manufacturing Training Using 3D Animations and Videos

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We create highly life-like, online manufacturing training courses that include 3D-animated training videos to teach manufacturing employees to perform their jobs.

In some ways, these animated training videos are very similar to the kind of video you’d record with a video camera: the video you watch is a very life-like, realistic representation of the work environment and machines employees work with every day.

But we can do some things with these animated manufacturing training videos that you can’t do with “normal” videos from a video camera. For example, you can zoom in really close–to microscopic levels. You can zoom out very far, beyond what a camera can do. You can quickly change the viewing perspective from one part of the work area to the other. You can add highlights and arrows to point out important things. You can create “special views” that show the inside of a machine that would ordinarily not be visible. You can create images of things that would be too dangerous to film with a normal camera, perhaps because of dangerous machine motion.

All these special capabilities of using animation allow us to make online manufacturing training courses that do things other courses, even video-based courses, can’t do.

In short, our online manufacturing training courses can visualize all sorts of amazing things, as you can see below in this sample from some of our online manufacturing, maintenance, and industrial skills courses.

To demonstrate this more fully, and show you some more detailed examples and our general work process, we’ve explained each of the steps of a recent project in more detail below.

The demonstration below is pretty similar to how we create a lot of projects. In it, we were making a 3D model of a tissue manufacturing machine (for those not in the know, this is a paper manufacturing machine specially designed to create tissue used for paper towel and toilet paper).  (more…)

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