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If you’re new to an EHS role, you’ll find that making training a priority early-on will substantially increase your overall safety program success.
changes in processes and workplace conditions.
You may also need to retrain if you find evidence that the
training was not as effective as anticipated. It’s not enough to provide training, or even document training, although of course you should. But you should pay special attention to ensuring and verifying that training is effective, which means employees can demonstrate their understanding and put the training into practice. When that is no longer the case, you must retrain them, even if the original training didn’t occur long ago.
A centralized cloud EHS software solution is an effective tool for helping to ensure you’re not just meeting critical training requirements but also maximizing employee performance against your training program. The best solutions combine interactive EHS training content, powerful training management tools and advanced tracking and reporting features that keep learners more engaged and connected with your training program.
These programs remove the guess work around training needed by helping you identify upcoming or past-due training requirements and send automated in-app user notifications directly to the specific employees who need training. With a more accurate visualization of your training program performance, you can more quickly generate training records and reports to demonstrate your workforce is up-to-date on all training needs. It’s also easier to test the efficacy and retention of your training on an employee-by-employee basis and do “spot training” to shore up deficiencies as they occur.
Another area where a comprehensive learning management system (LMS) with dynamic training courses is useful is meeting temporary worker training requirements. For instance, many employers assume the staffing agency handles HazCom training for temporary workers, but OSHA’s guidance in its Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) makes it clear that the Agency expects the staffing agency and the host employer to share responsibility for effectively informing and training temp workers regarding their exposure to hazardous chemicals.2 Each employer has a regulatory obligation to train their workers on chemical hazards they may experience in the course of their work, even if other employers are the source of those hazards.
OSHA recommends that the staffing agency and host employer discuss responsibility for each aspect of HazCom training and inform the other when it is completed. Keep in mind that this must be done before the worker begins work on a project
and before a new chemical hazard is introduced that the worker has not previously been trained in. Additionally, the training must be in a language and vocabulary the worker understands. Depending on the industry, worksite and job duties involved, other OSHA standards that also require site-specific training may be applicable.
Comprehensive LMS software helps eliminate the confusion around temporary worker safety training needs by automatically identifying and assigning required courses, and recording training completion to reference, if needed, later on. And because all training occurs online, temporary workers are able to complete all necessary courses in their own time—on their own devices— before they enter the workspace.
Keeping Training Top of Mind
Now that we’ve covered some basics of safety training and how software helps to overcome common training challenges, it’s important to think about how to build a sustainable training program.
If you’re new to an EHS role, you’ll find that making training a priority early-on will substantially increase your overall safety program success. Substandard training isn’t just a waste of time and energy; it’s a massive risk to your people and business. If you haven’t done the work to ensure that employees are well-informed and trained to do their jobs safely, you could be exposing them to deadly risks and putting your business at risk of debilitating fines, and possibly irreparable damage to your reputation.
Effective training is more than just a safety imperative; it’s how top-performing organizations maximize worker morale, productivity and retention. And with the growing focus of environmental, social and governance (ESG), building an effective training program isn’t just about safety and compliance, it’s key to running a successful business with an engaged workforce.
Advances in safety training software give employers greater control of what employees are being trained in, and how courses are administered—all for a lower cost and greater ROI than many traditional, classroom-style training programs. As importantly, it helps meet the realities and expectations of the modern workforce.
Adopting a purpose-built training software solution to coordinate and track your training activities, deliver interactive e-Learning content in the language your employees understand and easily document training compliance ensures training remains a priority across your organization. Your workers get an immersive and engaging learning experience while you gain versatile administrative controls and reporting features that simplify even your most complex training tasks and help you stay focused on larger EHS risks and best practices.
Mary Schulz is the Product Manager at Training & Learning at VelocityEHS, the global leader in cloud environment, health, safety (EHS) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) software.
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