World Safety Day Tip For Effective Training: Classrooms Don't Prevent Occupational Accidents. Relationships Do

Share Article

April 28 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which focuses international attention on occupational safety and health and on work-related injuries and fatalities worldwide. Todd Hudson of the Maverick Institute says profound safety learning happens when employers and employee care. Safety mentoring is a far more effective teaching method than classroom training.

"The most effective safety trainers are experienced workers who have the knowledge, credibility and opportunity to persuade their coworkers to act safely."

Todd Hudson
The Maverick Institute

April 28 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. World Safety Day focuses international attention on occupational safety and health and on work-related injuries and fatalities worldwide.

This year’s World Safety Day 2011 focuses on a systematic approach for reducing workplace incidents and accidents based on the The Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle.

Todd Hudson of the Maverick Institute, a think tank for knowledge transfer innovation, says one of the most important parts of the PDCA Cycle is the “Do” phase in which employers train workers to recognize risks and act safely.

“Profound safety learning—the kind of knowledge that becomes on-the-job behavior—happens when both employers and employees care,” says Hudson. “We need to train people in ways that 1) demonstrate how much everyone cares about safety and 2) get the trainee’s personal commitment to learn safety and then work in a safe manner.”

Hudson says classroom training is by far the most popular safety training method, but studies routinely show that classroom retention is poor, sometimes as low as 15% only a month after the class. Studies also show that 80 percent of actual learning happens informally outside the classroom.

“Classroom training is a factory approach to teaching. It tries to get as much information to the largest number of people in the shortest time possible without regard to retention,” Hudson says. “Classroom does not say ‘we care about you’ in a way that’s meaningful enough to influence behavior.”

Hudson says the most effective safety trainers are experienced workers who have the knowledge, credibility and, most important, the opportunity to persuade their coworkers to commit to act safely.

“If Jose tells you he always works safely because of his wife and three children and then he shows you their pictures and tells you their names and ages, you’re much more likely to work safely around him than if you just took a class from the Corporate Safety Trainer,” Hudson says. “Retaining safety knowledge and then applying it in the real world requires making a personal commitment to yourself and your coworkers.”

The solution, Hudson says, is for companies to teach experienced employees how to be good safety mentors. “While experienced employees have knowledge and experience, they don’t know how to effectively teach what they know to working adults, especially their peers.”

The Maverick Institute helps organizations solve this issue with Peer Mentoring for Safety, a workshop that teaches experienced employees 15 tools and methods to become effective safety mentors.

For more information about Peer Mentoring for Safety, contact Todd Hudson 303.819.6662, email todd(at)maverickinstitute(dot)com or visit http://www.maverickinstitute.com.

ABOUT THE MAVERICK INSTITUTE
The Maverick Institute is a think tank for knowledge transfer innovation. The Maverick team works with organizations to “retool” inefficient classroom-focused training and replace or supplement it with new and much more effective knowledge transfer methods and technologies. Head Maverick Todd Hudson is the creator of The Lean CLO™, which uses Toyota Lean Production System methods to make training and development more effective and efficient. The Peer Mentoring methodology is the property of Solution Strategies, Inc. Maverick Institute is a certified and licensed Peer Mentoring partner. More information at http://www.maverickinstitute.com.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Tamara Greenleaf
Greenleaf Associates LLC
(303) 565-6161
Email >
Visit website