Safety training has come a long way since the inception of OSHA back in the seventies. What used to be just a classroom full of employees listening to a trainer has broken off into several different methods and strategies for administering EHS training.
We’re fortunate enough, now, to have a means of delivering safety training to any employee within an organization using a variety of both traditional and cutting-edge methods...sometimes both.
What remains the same in workplace safety is the sole fact that traditional classroom training is not only the most preferred method of training from most safety professionals, but it’s also the most engaging. In fact, it accounts for 42% of a company’s average training hours.
This begs the question that safety professionals and safety trainers alike have had on their minds for a long time...is there a way to optimize classroom safety training to drive companies’ bottom lines in EHS? Let’s explore.
As previously mentioned, about 42 percent of safety training hours were administered from an instructor leading the training session in 2017, which is up one percent from the previous year.
What's most significant about Instructor-led classroom training is that it’s used almost exclusively by 13 percent of the organizations that were surveyed, meaning that instructor-led training is their only method of EHS training. About 35 percent mentioned that they use it for less than one-third of their training.
What was least surprising about the safety training survey findings was that about 43 percent is small companies, and midsize and 43 percent of mid-sized companies rely on instructor-led delivery methods more so than large companies (only about 40 percent.)
While it’s only natural that large companies are adopting more efficient ways to train their employees, the truth of the matter is that instructor-led safety training isn’t going anywhere fast, particularly not for small-medium sized businesses.
Even where we see an influx of technology-based training such as online e-learning courses, virtual classrooms, etc., in most cases companies utilize a blend of different training methods, classroom-led being the most prominent in job-specific training.
In a survey conducted by Atlantic Training that gathered the feedback of over 600 safety professionals, they all had similar things to say about the challenges they face with safety training– which of course extend into the classroom.
When asked “what poses the greatest challenge to your safety training efforts?” these were the most common answers:
Fortunately, in regards to classroom training, these challenges are all remedied by a stand-out method of administering training: Streaming.
You’ve heard the buzz term streaming on your TV or on the internet before… but what does it mean in regards to safety training? Pretty much the same exact thing.
Just like you instantly watch videos on the internet, or you pick a movie “on-demand” on your television, so too can you do it for workplace safety training videos. Just like Netflix, a video streaming service that allows you to watch movies and TV shows instantly, you can log in to a platform that has a plethora of workplace safety training videos and downloadable materials right at your fingertips.
Streaming workplace safety videos have become a preferred method of supplementing instructor-led classroom training. All a trainer has to do is log in to the safety training video library and select the topic to play for the classroom. All they really need is an internet connection and a projector. Some workplace safety training providers will even allow you to download the training topic of your choice onto a USB in the event you’re headed somewhere without internet.
In a nutshell, streaming a safety training video just means accessing an online library of thousands of training topics and pressing “play” on the one you need to administer.
Streaming offers a spectrum of benefits for both learners and instructors.
For the instructor, they now have the luxury of accessing any safety training topic they need to cover in an instant, which replaces the need to lug around easily-damaged DVDs. Through a simple internet connection, a trainer can log in to their account, play the video they need, and download written materials. Often, the materials are there to support the instructor, ranging from tests to PowerPoints, to handouts, to an actual instructor guide for a smooth training session.
Additionally, most streaming services offer the luxury of being able to build your own safety training video library. This just means that you can build a library of your most administered training sessions, and if you really wanted to streamline the process, you can simply bookmark your video page and press play when you’re ready.
For learners, the biggest benefit of steaming is that the content is typically diverse, fresh or updated in real time. Because streaming with a safety training video library means you have access to, sometimes thousands, of safety training videos, learners can be exposed to content they haven’t seen before, up-to-date training videos, or specialized topics for their specific roles.
Perhaps the most notable benefit of streaming is that it can act as a tool for instructors, or can be it’s own stand-alone training method if there isn’t necessarily a designated instructor to lead the training. Plus, it’s cost-effective, making it suitable for most budgets.
The short answer is yes. Safety training video streaming will work for any company that uses classroom training, with or without an instructor.
In the survey conducted by Atlantic Training of over six hundred safety training professionals from all different company sizes, a staggering 41.2 percent of them said that they train on over 20 topics every year.Because the majority of organizations utilize classroom training AND they have an abundance of safety training topics they need to be covered in order to stay compliant, streaming is an obvious solution.
On the same token, streaming is an excellent tool to support blended learning methods as well. If a larger company uses instructor-led training for specific training, and online training for more general topics, streaming can be used as a catch-all to make sure every employee is efficiently trained. No matter the scope of a company’s training, streaming offers a host of benefits that can be sought by all.
When a company considers investing in a new method of training, they want to be sure that it’ll solve all of their current challenges while still delivering an optimal workplace safety training experience. There are a variety of factors that have to align in order to get the ROI that they’re looking for, not only financially, but in other areas.
Fortunately, the challenges listed above can be remedied by certain streaming platforms such as SafetySoft.
Streaming a safety training video via an online video platform is instant. There’s no loading a DVD or waiting for it to load, you simply pull up your video and press play. To streamline the process, even more, you can build your own library of videos to access with ease.
Some streaming platforms, such as SafetySoft, will also offer a library of safety training “shorts,” “refreshers,” or “microlearning” which are essentially mini-lessons (about 3-5 minutes) on certain specific safety training topics. That way, if a team only needs a refresher training on safety eyewear, they only have to watch a video with that information, versus a whole training video, or fast-forwarding to that specific module.
Safety training video streaming offers a spectrum of key benefits that drive a company’s bottom line. Plus, the all-in-one safety training model offered by streaming makes it a best fit for any EHS program or safety training strategy.
One of the biggest benefits offered by safety training video-on-demand is the fact that it’s relatively cost-effective with the right provider. While you’ll find that a plethora of companies offer online safety training video libraries have low-mid quality safety training videos for a low cost, very few offer high-quality, up-to-date training while also remaining cost-effective.
Fortunately, SafeySoft is in the minority. Featuring hundreds of quality, up-to-date safety training videos, SafetySoft offers the luxury of engaging, compliant, workplace safety training AND it’s budget-friendly. For the numerous amount of safety professionals looking for comprehensive yet cost-effective training, SafetySoft is the solution.
Scheduling safety training sessions is by far one of the biggest headaches in terms of safety training. Between absences, tardies, etc. it’s virtually impossible to get everyone together for a safety meeting or safety lesson.
Let’s look at a common scenario.
Let’s say John is absent on the day you host a welding safety training class. You show the video to the class, but John misses it. Rather than having John find the time to watch the DVD or wait until the next training session, with streaming, you can send him a link to the training video, and will actually be able to tell if he watched the video or not.
You can even give John his own login information, and place the video in his own library so there’s no confusion on what training he needs to watch. With streaming, you can pick any day to host your safety training, and if someone misses it, they’re still covered.
While classroom training is said to be the most engaging method safety training, it relies heavily on the instructor to get the class involved to actively retain the information.
With streaming as an instructor tool, not only do instructors have access to handouts to help the class follow along, but with platforms such as SafetySoft, you’ll also gain access to hundreds of safety toolbox talks or “tailgate” talks, training guides, quizzes, checklists, and more, in order to keep the team involved and engaged.
It’s hard to say exactly what the future of classroom training will look like.
Most will argue that as technology develops and cutting edge, industry-leading methods of training emerge, such as virtual reality, classroom training will adapt to incorporate these more effective methods. However, given the fact that classroom training statistics haven’t budged within the past few years, it’s safe to say that classroom and instructor-led training isn’t going to be giving way to technology any time soon.
That being said, presently, there are innovative tools that can improve classroom training and take it farther than it’s ever been. Beyond DVDs, beyond demonstrations with outdated equipment, and beyond the traditional challenges of safety training. One of the most prominent being streaming, and one of the most prominent providers of which, being SafetySoft.