Worker Fatalities Show Importance of Safety Training

Originally posted May 28, 2014 by Paul Lawton on http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com.

Today’s Advisor reports on several workplace fatalities that may have been prevented with more effective safety training.

Case studies provide real-life examples of why it is important for learners to complete safety training and apply that knowledge back on the job.

In the month of June 2013 alone, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued statements regarding citations to five companies where training might have helped save a worker’s life.

1. OSHA proposed fines of $157,000 against a plumbing company as a result of a January 16 incident in which a worker died from injuries sustained when a trench collapsed at a job site in Hastings, Nebraska. The company was cited for failing to train workers on trenching hazards and four other safety violations.

“This tragedy might have been prevented with the use of protective shoring that the company planned to bring to the job site that afternoon. All too often, compromising safety procedures has tragic consequences, and hazards like these cause numerous deaths and injuries every year,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “No job should cost a worker’s life because an employer failed to properly protect and train them.”

2. OSHA also cited waste treatment facility for 22 safety and health violations and proposed $325,710 in fines as a result of a December 28 fire and explosion at the Cincinnati waste treatment facility in which a worker was fatally burned. The violations include failure to provide new training to employees assigned to handle waste materials, to train workers on the selection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for protection from various materials that are part of their routine assignments, and to provide training and PPE to employees assigned to work on energized circuits.

3. Penalties totaling $116,200 were proposed against a lumber company in Timpson, Texas, stemming from a December incident in which a worker was killed after being struck by a broken band saw blade. The 17 alleged safety violations include failure to provide easily understood lockout/tagout training for energy control and to certify that energy control training was completed and current.

4. Among other things, OSHA cited a trucking company in Ross, North Dakota, for failing to train workers on chemical hazards and precautions after a worker was fatally injured on March 27 while cleaning the inside of a crude oil tanker that exploded.

5. OSHA also cited tool manufacturer for 17 safety violations, including lack of training, after a maintenance worker was electrocuted on March 6 in Fenton, Missouri.

Each company had 15 days to comply with the citations, request a conference, or contest the citations and penalties.

Learn from the failures of these companies to protect their employees, and make any needed changes in your own safety training programs to ensure such tragedies don’t happen in your workplace.

Why It Matters

  • Safety on the job is a top priority for employees and employers alike.
  • Safety training is a key component of every safety program.
  • Keep your employees safe—and avoid expensive citations—by continually evaluating your safety program and its training component.

Top 10 Employee Training Mistakes

Originally posted on http://ebn.benefitnews.com

Employee training can be a valuable benefit, yet much of the money and time companies spend on training programs is wasted, contends John Tschohl, president of Service Quality Institute, a customer service training company. Here are the main reasons group training fails:

1. Large groups

You can’t have a good group discussion if 100 people are in the room. Try to limit training sessions to 15 people so everyone has a chance to participate. If the group size is too large, most employees won’t participate.

2. Conversation domination

It’s natural in groups for three people to speak up while everyone else stays silent. Facilitators must call on everyone in the room to participate — if they don’t, they won’t buy into the training goals.

3. Silly games

People don’t like role-playing games. Games and exercises have to do with something that builds success as a team. Employees need to be actively involved in the exercise.

4. Complicated training materials

If the material is not easily understood, it will not be implemented. Test the material on several small groups. Make adjustments, then roll out the final version to the entire organization.

5. Facilitator-dominated sessions

Facilitators should be seen and seldom heard. They should steer the conversation, but they should not dominate the discussion. They should ask leading questions and make sure everyone talks at some point.

6. Lectures

Remember how you fell asleep when attending a boring lecture in college? Your employees are no different. Lectures are not an effective way to get employees to change their attitudes and beliefs or learn new skills.

7. Irrelevant information

If the material isn't relevant to their jobs, employees won’t accept it. They want ideas they can use immediately.

8. Bad physical environment

Learning can’t take place if employees aren't comfortable. Invest in a room that looks pleasant and professional, advises Tschohl. It sounds basic, but make sure the room is well heated or cooled and has comfortable seats. Offer refreshments. Make sure there aren't any outside distractions such as noise.

9. Too much repetition

Employees can’t watch the same training materials twice. Organizations need to bring in new trainers with new information and different teaching styles.

10. Not accounting for different learning styles

Millennials may learn differently than their older colleagues and may get bored more easily. If the training isn't entertaining, you may lose their interest and participation.