Avoiding Safety Training Pitfalls

November 17, 2016



Avoiding Safety Training Pitfalls | Jeff Wagner |



You're a safety manager at a mid-sized manufacturing facility who diligently works to ensure the safety of every employee.  But this morning tradgedy has struck.  An employee has lost two fingers while servicing a machine on the production floor.  You know that since the injury involves an amputation you have to report it to OSHA, and you expect a visit.  That afternoon your expectations are proven correct.


The OSHA officer reviews your injury report log and then asks to see the Lockout / Tagout (LOTO) training program.  She specifically requests proof that the injured employee has been trained in the authorized employee program and on the specific procedure for the machine in which he lost his fingers.  She also asks for proof of the annual LOTO audit for the injured employee.


Resources are tight and you are on your own when it comes to training scheduling, delivery and documentation.  The OSHA officer is obviously frustrated by the time it takes you to pull the information together...not a good start.


Once you locate the information you note that the injured employee has received training for the past five years, and has even been trained on the specific procedure in the past.  Yet, this past year he missed the training and the two make-up sessions you scheduled!  "How could I miss this" you think to yourself as you get a queasy feeling in your stomach...



Unfortunately this happens all to often.  Even people with the best intentions have things slip through the cracks.  In this case, there will be consequences. 


During my nearly thirty years in safety I've faced the challenges of ensuring that the required training is provided - for everyone.  The task is so large that at times it may be tempting to take shortcuts, but you cannot because doing so may lead to injuries. 

There are many potential pitfalls a company can face when it comes to implementing an effective training program.  These include:

  • Employees missing training due to work leave, vacation, etc. and either no accountability to complete it, or an inadequate tracking system to ensure it's completed.

  • Training resources and time is reduced and training delayed in favor of placing employees on the floor as soon as they walk in the door.

  • Lack of effective training and validation of training retention and understanding.

Of course there are many more, but these are very common.  Each of these pitfalls can be avoided through the development of an online learning program.  Such a program should include effective testing or validated hands-on demonstrations documented within the system. 


Todays Learning Management Systems (LMS) do much more than provide a hosting solution to your training content.  Learning paths, automated enrollment, completion notifications, overdue notifications, quiz results, automated report generation and many more features make up a good LMS. 


There are many benefits to such a system.  Training consistency, validation of understanding, automated scheduling and follow-up, and of course the biggest advantage - time savings! 


As a manager responsible for training you can expect that a good LMS will go a long way in allowing you to spend time in a much more proactive manner - leading to a larger impact and greater success! 


If you would like to learn more about our training development services and/or our LMS solution, please visit our website.

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