SAFE OPERATIONS MEETING
Importance of Safety Training
Routine work can dull alertness and a relaxed attitude can replace the caution that existed when the job was new and interesting. In many jobs the same route is traveled daily over the same roads or the same tasks are repeated with little conscious thought. Without some periodic reawakening to the ever-present hazards, lethargy deepens and the odds of an accident occurring can increase.
Workers may not always recognize the importance of safety training, or they may think of it as unnecessary because they’ve "been doing it for years." But an important benefit of periodic safety training is the reminder that a danger can exist and that no one is immune to accidents. Therefore, it is important for workers to understand the purpose of the training session, why it will be useful to them, and what can result from not following safety rules and procedures.
The safety training should be organized so that the order in which the material is presented will match the steps to be taken on the job. The trainer must ensure that every worker understands the materials. It's not enough just that a person was present or took a test. Trainers should insist on questions from trainees after a session to find out what did or didn't sink in and indicate what needs to be reviewed. If there's a general lack of understanding of hazards or safety rules and practices, an additional meeting or a refresher course may be necessary.
Employees should be able to immediately practice and apply new knowledge and skills. If workers don't understand safety training information well enough to use it on the job, the training has not been effective. There should be immediate feedback from observations by supervisors, who should watch employees do their jobs and question them, to identify what they know and don't, know.
Most of these tips are relatively simple and inexpensive solutions, but the safety payoff can be enormous. Remember, training is only effective when workers understand and use what they've learned. It takes less than a second to lose the rest of your life.
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