Opinion

Supervisor Awareness Training

Supervisor Awareness TrainingWe provide fantastic sessions for our clients.  Our training is delivered with careful preparation, insightful content, and the site specific and industry specific factual key points that many organizations need to educate and train their staff and employees.  We always receive praise and gratitude for all aspects of our training session services.

Unfortunately, we also get the impression that much of the material that we cover in our training sessions with our client employees may be lost on them in a very short period of time following the actual training session.  When not reinforced over time, the adult learning retention process atrophies and declines dramatically.   Employees who attended training remember less about the course no matter how beneficial the entire experience may have been at the time.  They often remember the instructor and the visuals of the training room and the other attendees.  They may even recall some of the images from the visual aids used by the instructor (i.e., videos, still pictures in a PowerPoint, etc.)   Even the images, however, aren’t quite as impactful over time as the associated meaning of the image is difficult to remember as far as it related to a safety fact or as representative of a safe practice or process.

A significant amount of the material presented in a safety training course can be retained, however, with proper reinforcement and review within a 90 day period of the initial training event.  This means that department supervisors or lead personnel who oversee the day to day tasks of the employee should know as well, or even more thoroughly, the foundation of the material that is being presented to their subordinates in the training classes.  In many instances, this is not the case and much of the material is not reviewed or even discussed unless an event of some kind, such as an accident or injury, creates a discussion of the related topic.  The reason for this lack of review emanates from the fact that the supervisor is not, himself,  trained or informed of the material that is covered in these courses and do not know how he/she can reinforce the information during normal work tasks and processes.  In many cases, the supervisory staff has not even attended the same training classes before their employees do so.  Thus, the supervision is often unaware of the specific facts and requirements of the safety regulation and therefore is not equipped to help an employee/operator to apply the proper procedures or policy to their job/task, effectively.

There are, of course, production demands that often overshadow the company efforts to provide proper and thorough safety training programs.  However, in the case of information and facts, there does exist an imperative that managers and supervisors be as informed or better informed of the material covered in these training courses if the material is going to be retained and learned by the affected employees.   Without this type of follow through in an organization’s safety program, the effect of a training course will have marginal benefits to employees and operators, at best.

It is our recommendation that before employees attend these safety awareness/training courses, the supervisors attend an “awareness” course so that they will understand and reinforce the “do’s and don’ts”, the fundamentals and the site-specific situational aspects in applying the rules of safety in the workplace.  With such knowledge, the supervisor will see a marked increase in safety awareness and conscientiousness from the employee when it comes to the related safety topic.   Forklift operators, production line operators, maintenance personnel and the rest of the team members of the company will work safer and with more confidence in themselves and their co-workers and managers.  This level of awareness and effectiveness is where safety training pays off.

If you want to learn more about effective safety training, visit the OSHA website at www.osha.gov.  You can also access ANSI Z490 standard for employee training best practices.

Feel free to contact us at (404) 692-3013 for a no obligation discussion of options and programs available through our fantastic lineup of safety training courses.

Dennis Diamond, President
Email: ddiamond@diamondtrainingservices.com