Safety Training Checklist: Communicating Health and Safety Protocols

By July 7, 2020 No Comments

Depending on how you leverage them, Learning & Development (L&D) programs often directly influence the growth rate of an organization. Its impact spans from the continued development of human resource and onboarding processes to helping team members with career development throughout the entirety of the employee lifecycle.

In the wake of emerging challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase of online learning and telecommuting has taken center stage globally. Virtually every type of organization, including government and private institutions, now find it prudent to utilize a Learning Management System (LMS) to fast track the dissemination of crucial health and safety protocols to trainees or employees. How you choose to communicate health and safety protocols within your LMS can often determine the effectiveness and scalability of your safety training programs, which have a direct impact on the habits and practices of your team. In this blog, we’ll help you ensure you’re including everything you need for engaging and successful safety training.

Safety and Compliance Protocols

It is important to keep any changes regarding safety compliance within your organization top of mind. Your employees are one of the most important elements in your compliance agenda. Not only is their health and safety paramount, but they are an important link for mitigating possible risks.

The common safety qualifications and compliance in industries such as healthcare, government, and retail or hospitality help maintain standards around safety, cleanliness, and security or privacy for employees and guests or clients.

The Occupational Health and Safety Association (OSHA) lays out guidelines to follow as you implement your health and safety training program which you should include in your Learning Management System.

Employee Training

The new challenges posed by the prevalence of COVID-19 have evolved workplace structures and have forced many organizations to reevaluate how they provide safety training to their employees. Social distancing and a drastic increase in remote work has brought a higher demand for distance learning and changes in how team members communicate. One way of helping your employees cope with such changes is by giving them immediate and effective training on the changing working norms, while providing resources that can support them during such a transition.

The LMS can streamline access to these resources. Similarly, more companies have turned to digital learning to support efforts such as employee onboarding, compliance, and certifications and re-certifications which are well-suited to being deployed and tracked in an online format. However, a learning platform can also allow you to keep employees informed about new developments such as changes to dress code policies or safety protocols. For example, managers might want to train team members on the necessity of wearing PPEs including masks, and how to wear them properly. Such education should extend to the maintenance of the attire such as their cleaning, sterilization, and disposal.

While conducting online training, be on the lookout for gaps in the LMS. Under normal circumstances you would perhaps conduct an in-person lecture and demonstration of relevant procedures to your employees, a method no longer applicable due to the unique presentation of COVID-19. These courses and programs can not only provide a more convenient and safer training experience, but can also be evaluated through the powerful data reporting and analytics tools in the LMS which can enable data-driven decisions on how your safety training programs might be improved. It further facilitates the evaluation of the effectiveness of the training you give your employees on required compliance.

The eLearning methods most commonly and effectively used to teach and demonstrate hazard mitigation protocols to employees are often audio-visual resources like videos or game-based simulations. Any arising gaps will call for retraining; for example, the need for a return to work formula after flattening the Covid-19 curve.

An efficient safety training plan depends on:

  1. Budget – an LMS can save significant costs as opposed to conducting onsite trainings. Factor in the costs of a physical location, instructors, and other physical resources which can be avoided in an online learning environment.
  2. Availability of time – an LMS allows you to leverage asynchronous trainings, mobile learning, microlearning, and other methods in order to deliver more digestible and memorable lessons and training courses when it’s convenient for the learner. This also makes training more easily accessible when calendars do not need to by synced for an in-person training session.
  3. Objectives of the training – Determine the teams that need training and customize the content for relevance to avoid over-training or overlap of content across departments. An LMS can provide personalized learning for different audiences within your company.

Formulating and Implementing Clear Policies

An effective training program clearly defines and lays out the organization’s expectations for employees. Such expectations focus on productivity and employees complying with policies intended to uphold personal and organizational health and safety. Even in the face of trying times, your policy program should include disciplinary measures when safety rules are not followed.

It’s important to note that all your learners (yourself included) could be experiencing some drastic changes not only within their roles but throughout all areas of life outside the office. Consider that your employees may be facing emotional strain in their attempt to cope with the implications of emergency changes that may be brought on by a natural disaster, a global pandemic, or another event that results in changes to health and safety protocols. As such, focus on why these new actions need to be taken, the consequences of not making the necessary changes, and focus any punitive measures on specific behaviors to make desired actions clear while encouraging compliance.

The Effective Learning Management System

An LMS that will enhance your safety training framework should have resources that disseminate information quickly and effectively to employees. This could be through forum notifications, emails pushed out directly through the LMS, or by integration with email systems or other information systems. When using such a system, your LMS should be able to import or export data across different systems and share information seamlessly in order to provide the proper resources for your learners.

The LMS should also track the progress of trainees on the program and make it easy to see who has completed required trainings and certifications. Consider that in the future you can customize your training program for onboarding of new employees as well. Your LMS can meet a variety of needs, so it’s important to choose a platform that will be able to accommodate your immediate goals, as well as your long-term objectives.

As you venture out to acquire an LMS for your organization or upgrade an existing one, you can choose between closed-source LMS solutions and open-source platforms. A versatile open-source platform like Moodle™, Moodle™ Workplace, or Totara Learn allows you to integrate with existing systems and incorporate additional plugins and third-party tools in order to further enhance and streamline the learning experience. On the other hand, closed-source learning platforms often limit customization, which can be a challenge if you need to restructure course content or training designs in line with emerging instructional needs and internal changes.

Creating an efficient LMS and managing it requires some understanding of technology and an understanding of your organizational safety training needs. Contact the eThink team for an LMS solution that will facilitate quick and effective dissemination of information to the appropriate team in your organization. Or, request an individual demonstration below.

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By July 7, 2020