HR Management & Compliance

Are Your Safety Trainers Effective?

Charlotte Grove and Denise Augustine described the basic delivery methods for effective EHS training. Their presentation was modeled on the new American National Standard Institute/American Society of Safety Engineers Z490.1 Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.

The first criterion for ensuring effective delivery is to make sure the trainer is qualified. The trainer must know the subject matter, be able to teach, show enthusiasm, be dedicated to the training objectives, ensure the training program content and delivery are credible, and exhibit integrity.

Another criterion is to ensure that the training environment supports a comfortable environment. It should:

  • Be safe and free from obvious hazardous conditions
  • Be comfortable for participants (e.g., access to water, restroom facilities, comfortable temperature)
  • Have adequate lighting
  • Have sufficient and adequate seating and/or work areas
  • Have a planned evacuation route and adequate emergency exits

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If training is conducted in the field (e.g., outside or in an industrial setting), the first consideration is the safety of participants. It may be required that the trainer conduct a hazard assessment of the training area before beginning field instruction. Also, obtain permission from the employer to conduct field training, and gain any site-specific authorization if required.

When using PowerPoint®, they suggested the following general format for presenting material on slides:

  • Use 40 point (pt) to 48pt font in slide title text.
  • Use 18pt to 24pt font for general text.
  • Use about 6 words per line.
  • No more than 6 lines per slide.
  • Use highly contrasting colors between text and slide background, such as white letters with dark background.
  • Don’t use red and green combinations because color-blind people will not be able to see them.
  • Don’t let the media be more powerful than the message; that is, don’t overuse fancy animations or images that distract from the core objectives of the material being presented.

Team Training Tips

Included in the presentation were some tips for conducting team training where two or more presenters join forces:

  • Don’t whisper to each other during the training session.
  • Don’t contradict each other.
  • Don’t highlight another trainer’s weaknesses.
  • Do recognize your partners and their expertise (i.e., use their names when reiterating training points made by partners).

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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll learn more about putting all our training tools to the best use, plus we’ll explore a dynamic, ready-to-use safety training resource of prewritten PowerPoint sessions on dozens of key safety topics.

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