Occupational Safety Training: Consider Doing it Online

Employers must follow the workplace safety standards or they risk harsh penalties. Some companies have turned to online safety training to make employees aware of state and federal safety rules.

Safety First

Employers use online safety training programs for several reasons. One is that the training can be done at any time. If employees who work second or third shift need to complete the training, they can do so during their regular shifts instead of having to come in to work when a trainer is available. Ease of access is another big advantage of online safety training courses. The programs typically allow workers to save their progress, so they can stop training if their supervisors need them to perform their regular duties. The blended approach allows employees to complete some of their training online, but it also recognizes the need for some employees to participate in on-site training. This approach is a good way to reduce costs, as you do not have to pay a training consultant to deliver the online portion of the program to your employees.

A good way to determine whether an online safety training program is working is to administer a pre-test and a post-test to assess each employee's knowledge. The pre-test helps you determine how much the employee knows about the topic before completing the training program. The post-test is delivered after the completion of the training program. If the training program is effective, most employees will perform better on the post-test than they did on the pre-test. You can even set a minimum passing score for each test so that employees have to repeat courses if they do not achieve a satisfactory score. You can also review your accident and injury rates to determine whether they are lower than they were before the online safety training.

Training with Technology

Technology has completely changed the way employers meet their safety training obligations. In the past, employers had to hire on-site safety employees or pay a training consultant to deliver training programs to workers. The cost of hiring an occupational safety training consultant often includes travel time, preparation time and actual training time, so using this type of training program is an expensive prospect. With the availability of online safety training, employers do not have to spend as much money on consultants. Using online training programs also eliminates the need to purchase training booklets or make photocopies of training handouts. The U.S. Department of Transportation released a report on the efficacy of Web-based training in 2011. The report indicates that this type of training is effective when the material is kept up to date and the training programs contain short modules that cover the most relevant workplace safety issues.

Real Cost of Safety Training

The cost of online safety training depends on several factors. One is whether you have an in-house safety professional develop the content or you hire an outside consultant. Your cost will also depend on whether you have the equipment needed to deliver online training or if you have to purchase new computers. If you decide to have your employee complete training courses provided by other companies, you can expect to pay $19.95 to $99 for some courses. The cost may increase for specialized content related to trucking and transportation, construction and other hazardous occupations.

Despite the many benefits of online safety training, it does have some drawbacks. If you need to train employees who do not use computers in their everyday work, they may not have the skills necessary to use an online safety training program. Some employees are not strong readers, so they may have trouble understanding the material.

Occupational safety training is an important part of keeping your employees safe. This type of training can also help you avoid accidents that can cost your company a lot of money. Consider investing in online safety training to give your employees a more convenient way to complete their training requirements.

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