4 OSHA Training Requirements for COVID-19

We’ll start this article with two quick reminders: (1) in the middle of the current COVID-19 pandemic, things are changing quickly and (2) we wrote this article on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. So be sure to check OSHA’s website dedicated to COVID-19 frequently for updates.

On April 13, 2020, OSHA released a guidance called Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We recommend you read the whole thing and make yourself familiar with the OSHA COVID-19 Safety and Health Topic page in general.

In this article, we’ll list out the four requirements for safety training related to COVID-19 mentioned in the guidance. As always, since this is a novel virus, we’re still learning about it, and things are changing quickly, keep checking in with OSHA and other credible, reliable sources to stay up-to-date on these issues.

In addition to this article, you might also want to check out our much longer, more comprehensive article looking at a range of issues related to OSHA compliance, safety training, and COVID-19 or the recent discussion on similar issues we had on the ASSP podcast channel.


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Lean Manufacturing and Visual Management

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One of the hallmarks of lean manufacturing is visual management. In our continuing series of articles on lean manufacturing, which supplement our online training courses on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing, we’ll introduce you to the basic concepts of visual management in this article.

We hope you find this article helpful in terms of understanding visual management better but also in terms of implementing your own lean and continuous improvement efforts at your workplace. Let us know if you need some help with training solutions at your work and until then, read on below and have a great day.


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Convincing Reasons to Reduce Your Reactive Maintenance

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Reactive maintenance is a major drain on efficiency, running time, and costs. You probably know this, but what are you doing to avoid it?

And, how much reactive maintenance are you actually performing as opposed to companies that are in the top-quartile for performing the least reactive maintenance?

By moving to more preventive, predictive, and conditions-based maintenance, you can

For example, in 2010 the US Department of Energy claimed that returns of conditions-based maintenance included 10x return on investment; 25-35% reduction in maintenance costs; 70-75% reduction in breakdowns; 35-45% reduction in downtime; and a 20-25% increase in production. Sounds pretty good, no? Or how about this Jones Lang LaSalle report showing that not only does an investment in preventive maintenance pay for itself, but that in fact it results in an average 545% return on investment (wow!).

How much reactive maintenance should you be performing? Our friends at the University of Tennessee’s Reliability & Maintainability Center (RMC) suggest 10%, plus or mine 5% either way. That amount of reactive maintenance would put your organization in what they refer to as the “top quartile” when it comes to reactive maintenance activity. Likewise, they recommend your organization’s preventive maintenance rate be about 70% if you want to hit that same top quartile.

In this article, we’ll give you a convincing list of just SOME of the reasons why your organization should reduce the amount of reactive maintenance you perform (and yes, we think our maintenance training solutions may help you reach this goal of reduced reactive maintenance).


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An Introduction to Learning Assessments & Multiple-Choice Questions with Dr. Patti Shank

In this recorded discussion, we talk with learning researcher and instructional designer Dr. Patti Shank about learning assessments in general and, in particular, multiple-choice questions.

In the discussion, Dr. Shank talks about the relationship between learning objectives and learning assessments; how learning activities are influenced by leaning objectives and lead to learning assessments; the purpose of creating learning assessments; authentic learning assessments; tips for writing multiple-choice questions, including the stem, answer options, and feedback for correct answers; passing scores; and more.

This is one of two related discussions with Dr. Shank. Be certain to check the discussion about Learning Objectives as well.

As always, thanks to Dr. Shank for sharing her time and knowledge and for all the great learning research she compiles and shares.

Here are some related links to check out:

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Helping Workers Develop Problem-Solving Skills

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Work is easier when everything goes perfectly and there are no problems.

But as you probably know, “perfect” is a rare state. Problems pop up from time to time and workers need to solve them.

As a result, it’s important that workers be effective problem solvers. Having a workforce with well-developed problem-solving skills is a significant competitive advantage for a company.

All workers benefit from strong problem-solving skills. For example, we have a customer who led a training system upgrade for a major, multi-site manufacturing company in the United States (they make common household products and the odds are very good you’ve used their products). He would often tell me that he wanted to “help his machine operators become machine engineers.”  (Hello to you, Steve, if you happen to be reading this.)

What our customer Steve meant by that was, at least in part, that he wanted workers to have problem-solving skills so they could address problems on their own at work to decrease downtime, increase efficiency, and maximize production.

But those problem-solving skills don’t come “built-in” to every person. And even those with a natural knack for it can always get better, or learn to apply those skills more effectively in a given work circumstance. And as a result, it’s a good idea to provide resources to help workers develop and use problem-solving skills at work. That’s what this article will focus on.

In addition to this article, also feel free to check out our article on Continuous Improvement at Work, as problem-solving is also a big part of continuous improvement and that article provides a long list of tips to help with problem-solving and continuous improvement.

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Free Recorded Webinar: Online Facilities Maintenance Training Program Case Study with Customer CBRE

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We recently co-presented a webinar with our facilities maintenance customer CBRE about a partnership in which we worked together to create online facilities maintenance training courses and help them put together a robust maintenance tech training program.

Here’s the recording of that webinar. Feel free to check it out and ask us any questions you may have.

Also, before you leave this page, scroll down to the bottom and download our free Guide to Online Facilities Maintenance Training.

Thanks to our partners at CBRE–we’re looking forward to entering phase 2 of this project with you soon.

Watch our recorded Facilities Maintenance Online Training Program Case Study webinar online at our Webinars page. 

Here’s the free guide, too–don’t forget to download it today.

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Free Guide to Facilities Maintenance Online Training

Download this free guide to learn everything you need to know about putting together a best-in-class facilities maintenance training program, including online training.

Download Free Guide

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What Is a Learning Objective?

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[This is the the first in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives if you want to check that out.]

If you’re new to the learning and training world, you may not yet know what a learning objective is.

To put it simply, a learning objective describes what the learners should be able to do after they complete your training materials. In many cases, you’ll probably have a series of learning objectives instead of just one.

The point of a learning objective is that you’re holding training for a larger, more general reason–to help your organization achieve some goal. And employees need to learn to perform tasks on the job to help the organization achieve that goal. And your training should help employees learn to perform those tasks, and therefore help the organization achieve that goal.

You should create your learning objectives before creating your training content. Use the information you gathered during the Training Needs Assessment and the Analysis (or first) phase of the ADDIE instructional design process to create your objectives.

We’ll explain more below and will provide links to even more information about learning objectives, including how to write them, tests to see if they’re written well, different types of learning objectives for different types of learning, and key thinkers in the development of the idea of learning objectives.

There’s even a great free guide to writing learning objectives at the bottom you can download. 


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10 Reasons to Create Learning Objectives for Job Training and Performance Improvement

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We’re going to start this article assuming you know what a learning objective is. If you don’t, check out our What Is a Learning Objective? article or this free downloadable guide to writing learning objectives first.

And now that we’ve got that covered, in this article we will present some reasons why you should use learning objectives when you create training materials.


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How to Write SMART Learning Objectives

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[This is the the third in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives if you want to check that out, PLUS check out our Introduction to Learning Objectives recorded discussion with learning researcher Dr. Patti Shank.]

As a kid, I loved the campy TV detective show “Get Smart.”

Now that I’m an adult and work as an instructional designer, I still like to get smart. Except now I get SMART when creating learning objective for workforce training and performance improvement.

We’ll discuss the importance of learning objectives and explain teh SMART test for learning objectives below.


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Robert Mager’s Performance-Based Learning Objectives

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You 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, behavioral learning objectives, or criteria-based 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.

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. Oh, and here’s a free online version of Mager’s book for you!

Otherwise, here’s the crux of what Mager has to say, below. When you’re done with this article, you might also be interested in our recorded discussion with learning researcher & instructional designer Dr. Patti Shank on Writing Performance-Based Learning Objectives (she calls them “performance objectives” because she focuses so much on job performance).

And hey, since you may be here because you’re interested in Robert Mager’s work, and also because people interested in learning objectives may also be interested in performance analysis, don’t forget to check out our article about Robert Mager’s Performance Analysis book and flow-chart, which is one of the seminal works in the field of human performance improvement, or HPI.


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ABCD: The Four Parts of a Learning Objective

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[This is the fourth in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives PLUS you can check out our Introduction to Learning Objectives recorded discussion with learning researcher Dr. Patti Shank.]

A simple way to make sure you’re building a useful learning objective is to use the ABCD method. Each letter in ABCD stands for a different part of your learning objective. These different parts answer four questions about your objective: who, what, how, and how well.

We’ll spell it all out for you below. Then you can use this information to create better learning activities as part of your workforce training program (or similar learning program).


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The Voice of the Customer in Lean Manufacturing

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A critical element of lean manufacturing is listening to, understanding, acting on, and aligning your actions with the voice of the customer.

This makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. Remind yourself what lean manufacturing is all about–it’s about removing waste so you can create the most value as measured by what the customer is willing to pay for, right?

But you can’t create the most value for your customer if you’re not aware of the true voice of the customer, right?

Read on to learn more.


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