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Effectively Equipping the Safety Trainer

Safety Training

Qualified safety trainers are vital to an effective safety training program. Providing safety trainers with the best training materials is essential to make sure every employee is properly prepared to stay safe in their workplace.

It’s important to examine your existing safety training program to make sure it meets the current needs of your company. The best option for many companies is our Streaming All-Access Pass. This gives you access to all the videos produced by National Safety Compliance (over 100 English and Spanish videos) for 1 year.  This is a subscription that will automatically renew to ensure you do not lose access to the training programs. You can also share your screen and conduct a virtual training session through apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.

An important question to consider is, does my training program cover all the potential risks in my workplace? In order to know for sure, conduct a job hazard analysis of your surroundings. Consider physical, ergonomic, chemical, biological, environmental, and other hazards that your workers could encounter and make sure you have a part of your training program dedicated to each of them.

Potential Workplace Hazards:

  • Physical: Slips, trips, and falls; loud noises, machinery, vibrations, and working from heights.
  • Ergonomic: These tend to be less severe, but still problematic, hazards that build over time — like poor posture, improperly structured workstations and desks, and frequent lifting.
  • Chemical:  Acids, paint, glues, pesticides, and any substances that could result in damage if mishandled.
  • Biological:This includes naturally occurring hazards like mold, bodily fluids, airborne pathogens, and sewage.
  • Environmental: Natural disasters like fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

Next evaluate, whether you have a written emergency plan that your trainers understand and can communicate clearly to trainees? An emergency plan is a foundational aspect of workplace safety that can mean the difference between life and death. Our comprehensive emergency plan kit  teaches how to prepare for an emergency by developing an Emergency Action Plan to guide employers and employees during a crisis..

Another important detail to consider is the format of the training offered, is it helpful to all employees? Consider the range of learning styles across your team. While some learners may prefer written materials that they can absorb on their own time, others may learn better by watching a video and discussing with a group. Offer a range of opportunities to read, listen, watch, and do.

And finally, ask yourself, are there clear objectives, assessments, and milestones in my training program? Your trainers will have a much easier time gauging the effectiveness of their training if the program is organized and includes assessments to demonstrate that learners are retaining knowledge. 

Once you have an established safety program in place the next crucial step is choosing the right person to be your trainer. This is an important decision. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), those who conduct training should have the following characteristics.

Characteristics of a Trainer

  • A thorough knowledge of the topics to be taught. 
  • A desire to teach. 
  • A positive, helpful, cooperative attitude. 
  • Strong leadership abilities. 
  • A professional attitude and approach. 
  • Exemplary behavior that sets a positive example.
  • Thirst for knowledge.

Which of your employees seems to soak up knowledge like a sponge? Is there anyone who has an excellent memory when it comes to rules and regulations? If so, this could be your next safety trainer. Your trainers set the tone, and the standard, for those they’re training. A positive, helpful, and cooperative attitude can make all the difference between employees engaging and thriving and employees mentally checking out of a safety training class.

While it’s great for your employees to have fun, safety training is a serious matter. Therefore, your best trainers should embody professionalism. For example, showing up on time and knowing the material. Professionalism is about staying organized, keeping on-track, and consistently following lesson plans.

A desire to lead and teach might be the most important characteristic of all. While you can teach nearly anyone to execute a specific task, no amount of skill-based training can create passion. Either a trainer has it, or they don’t. Watch for the helpers in your business, those employees who regularly lend a hand to their coworkers and go beyond their role to assist others. These are most likely your future trainers.

Choosing the Right Person as a Trainer

Trainers are the face of your safety training program. Choose wisely to make the most of your training and your overall safety program. One option is to purchase a safety orientation training course that your trainers can use immediately to get up to speed on best practices.

Finally, potential trainers will need to have some specific skills and knowledge to be effective safety trainers. Including experience in your workplace. While you will want your trainers to have spent a good amount of time in your industry, skill is more than just seniority. Conduct hands-on tests, interviews, and written exams to compare your potential trainers’ skill levels.  Are your potential trainers specialists in the areas they’ll be expected to train others? It’s important that your trainers are subject-matter experts, or are willing to become experts, so they can answer complex questions and give real-world examples during training sessions.

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