Building an effective safety and health training program often involves a variety of training methods and techniques.

People learn in different ways; some are more visual while some may need a more hands-on approach. Sometimes what your workers need to learn might dictate the best training method to use. You want your employees to be the best safety dudes on the planet – to retain and apply what they learn – so you need to provide them with training that will do just that.

What training methods should you use?

When determining what methods to use, you should first assess your needs by answering questions such as:

  • What are your training goals? New skills, new techniques, improved workplace behavior, and safer work environment are just a few to consider.
  • Who needs to have a specific training? Is it orientation for new employees? Training for seasoned employees, seasonal/temporary workers or senior management?
  • What is your training budget? How much can you spend overall or is there a budget for individual sessions?
  • How much time has been allowed for training in your organization? Is there a deadline that needs to be met to complete training? Or, is it something that is happening on a regular, ongoing basis?
  • What training resources and materials do you have that can be incorporated into the training?
  • Is the training compliance-related? Do you need to be able to keep records on who has taken a training course and when?

Training Methods Overview

  • Classroom/Instructor-led is just as it says. It is training done in a classroom and led by an instructor.
  • Interactive techniques involve things like quizzes, case studies, and small group discussions.
  • Hands-on training might be techniques such as demonstrations, coaching or even apprenticeships.
  • Computer-based training formats may include self-paced training in a text-only format, off-the-shelf training programs on CD or some form of multimedia presentation.
  • Online/E-Learning has become very popular and includes web-based training, webinars and tele/video/audioconferencing.

Building an Effective Training Program

You want to build a safety program that will engage your employees, help them retain and apply. More than likely, this will involve more than one training method.

To help you, I will be publishing a blog series on different training methods – what they are and how they might be used.