Training employees on workplace health and safety is a regular feature of corporate training. It’s vital! But face it – it’s not exactly an exciting topic, especially when participants are forced to sit through mandatory training sessions. This leaves the facilitator with a rather difficult challenge to make it endurable, let alone bringing excitement and enthusiasm to the learning environment. So, making the experience more convenient and allowing participants to go through it just when they want to can be of some help. And this is why taking Occupational Health and Safety training online might work. Employees can take the sessions right from their home, any time before the assessments.
Not only is this helpful for employees but it also offers a number of benefits to businesses as well. One, they take Online Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training online – automating a regular feature, which eventually saves man-hours away from work and time and money incurred on travel.
Once you decide to take Occupational Health and Safety training online, the first question you face is – how to do it? Here are some best practices for administering occupational health and safety training online:
1. Choose the Right Online Training Platform
The right online training platform is integral to the success of your training program. It should be deployable – easily and on all devices. Ease of taking a training matters a lot when a topic is as drab as OSHA. Think about
- the features that you want
- your short and long term goals, and
- how much control you want over your program.
This will give you a profile of what you need the platform to do. Moreover, focus on ease-of-using technology. The easier a platform is to use an online learning system, the more inclined learners will be to actually use it. Even if the training is required, employees will get more out of it when access is seamless and requires very little effort.
Computer literacy is something you should consider as you create and administer your occupational health and safety training online. Not all people are computer savvy, and many lack even basic computer skills. A platform that is intuitive to one learner may be extremely frustrating to another.
While this sets the base, you will also want to ensure that your platform has good support in case you have a problem. Determine your budget and look for platforms that fit your needs. A cloud-based online training delivery platform will be more economical than a licensed software system, easy to use. Also, it’s easy to scale your operations with the former.
Online OSHA training is administered using a combination of video, audio, and text, so your platform needs to support a variety of content. Choosing the right online training system is the first and most important part of creating a successful program.
2. Make Content Relevant
Consider your audience and the speed at which you would want them to complete the training. Typically shorter content works better. Therefore, dividing the content into short, easily digestible lessons works in your favor. Find logical breaks in the information. This makes it easier for learners to access and retain the material.
Cramming all the required information into one lengthy video will discourage learners. Too much information at once makes it more difficult for learners to retain, and it is quite frankly boring. Short, punchy lessons allow participants to quickly ingest the material and move on. If they are short on time or want to get ahead, they can view a lesson and absorb the material while on breaks.
Create assessments employees can take after each section, requiring them to get a certain score before moving on to the next section. This ensures that the material is being understood — and reinforces their new knowledge.
3. Use a Variety of Training Methods
The beauty of online education is that you can incorporate a wide variety of learning aides to increase learner motivation and engagement. Take full advantage of supportive devices such as videos, puzzles, games, text, PowerPoint presentations, images, audio files, and anything else that you can dream up. Also, you can record your live sessions and edit and upload them to create additional assets. The participants can refer to the discussion even after the session. In fact, it is almost always necessary if you want to keep employees engaged and interested.
Ideally, you should try to provide a variety of training methods. For instance, combine a video with an interactive puzzle or game. You might also provide text for the learner to read. Interesting animated or humorous videos make a good follow up to the printed material.
4. Set Guidelines, Objectives and Expectations for Each Lesson
Planning is the key to any learning situation, whether in the classroom or online. Prior to beginning any online training program, determine your objectives, set guidelines, and identify expectations for each lesson. Some trainers find it useful to publish their guidelines at the beginning of the course. Placing them at the beginning of each lesson may be a better option if the sections differ from each other. It makes learners aware of what they should be taking away from that particular segment of the training.
By setting expectations for each lesson, the person creating the content can use that to construct each segment. This ensures each lesson is relevant and in line with the overall goals of the training.
5. Include Stories and Real-Life Examples in Content
Certain types of training, including OSHA online training, benefit greatly from real-life examples, testimonials, case studies and stories. Illustrating concepts or showing how they apply in real-life situations draws the learners into the lesson, giving them a point of reference that they may not have had otherwise. They become a part of the experience as the lesson comes to life right before their eyes. This is a powerful teaching method that should not be ignored.
Conclusion: When you take Occupational Health and Safety training online, you ultimately make learning easier and more convenient for your employees. Also, it will be good to take time to listen to your learners and find out what concerns they have, what learning styles you may be dealing with, and what will keep them engaged so they will retain the information you are providing. Keep them in mind when designing OSHA training for online consumption.