Using Online Safety Training to Prevent Workers’ Compensation Claims
Dan Levenson August 26, 2021
Your company may already offer safety training in-person and perhaps you think that is the only viable method of delivery, especially if your manufacturing plant had citations or violations from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in the past. You also might own a startup and believe that your only option to fulfill OSHA requirements is in-person training, but you can use online safety training to provide better training for your employees. Well-trained employees experience fewer accidents. Fewer accidents at your business mean fewer workers’ compensation claims.
That tops the list of the many benefits of online safety training which includes savings of time and money, as well as improved education and retention. These benefits have led more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies to implement online training. Using e-learning combines multiple forms of media to educate and inform by presenting the information in every manner – audio, video, written text, graphics. This method ensures that, regardless of how an individual best learns information, it gets presented to them in a manner they can understand and digest. It presents information in small, manageable modules that follow a logical order and provides knowledge checks such as quizzes and tests.
Flexibility of Methods
The inherent design of e-learning provides the first benefit of online safety training – its flexibility for the learner. Unlike in-person, face-to-face training, an online program lets the user replay the course material as many times as needed. They work at their own pace, individually. The opposite is true of person-to-person physical training in which the teacher presents the material in a one-and-done fashion. With online safety courses, the student can save their progress at their convenience. They can review materials before taking a quiz or test. A 2010 US Department of Education report revealed that adults learn best through online training, but low-achieving students also known as slow learners did better with traditional classroom delivery. Since you probably do not employ the latter, using online safety training could improve the retention of your adult workforce.
When travel isn’t possible, yet you need trained employees, online safety training provides the solution. You can provide training to those in multiple time zones and varied locations from the cloud. Since the course material remains available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, employees can complete the course when they have time. As long as they have an Internet-capable device and the Internet, they can complete their training. This alleviates your need to block off time during the workday for training, so your productivity does not fall behind.
OSHA frequently updates its safety regulations, creating a challenge for safety instructors who conduct in-person training. You can easily update an online training to include the latest revisions to safety training materials. Since you have access to your training materials, you can make the updates the very day OSHA issues the revision to the safety regulation if needed.
Standardized Safety Training
The online safety training curriculum provides standardized information. With individual instructors presenting information in varied locations, your safety training program lacks standardization. With online training, information gets written or recorded once and each student plays back the same information, presented in the exact same manner. You organize all courses in a learning management system (LMS) to provide easy access and to encourage employees to complete additional training in a voluntary manner.
Global organizations or businesses with employees who speak a variety of languages natively can improve their employees’ learning by offering online safety courses in their native language. While it would create a complex hiring situation to contract with certified trainers in every needed language, you can easily translate the materials on an online safety course and have the materials recorded in various languages. Your employees choose which language works best for them and complete the training in it.
Humans learn better online because humans learn better in interactive situations. When the learner can touch a tool to practice with it or use a virtual model of the tool, they learn better. The typical learner retains as little as 10 percent when attending a lecture or reading, but providing an interactive e-learning module can bump that retention up to more than 70 percent.
Speaking of productivity, according to IBM, you could boost productivity by up to 50 percent with online training. To put it into dollars, so it makes sense, when your company spends $1 on online training, it can return to you in up to $30 of productivity gains. Since fast learners can complete online courses quickly, they enhance their productivity faster. Since the learning is all self-paced, the slower learners do not bog them down and they do not frustrate the slower learners by wanting to go through the material quicker, which could erode the slower learners’ ability to uptake the information.
You save both directly and indirectly. You save directly because online training costs much less than classroom training. You alleviate the costs of classroom rental, employee travel, hiring trainers, car rental, and hotel rooms. You save indirectly because improved employee retention results in fewer accidents, which cuts the costs of workplace injuries and illnesses. Your company remains in compliance, so it avoids fines. You experience fewer equipment problems since your employees know what to do and how to do it safely. But using online safety training also results in other savings, including reduced time and money to develop safety training materials, reduced cost of maintaining safety training records and completing reporting requirements, and reducing the time required to train a new employee.
You Make Learning Fun
Using interactive, cloud-based safety training lets your employees learn in an enjoyable way. You make learning fun by providing them with dynamic multimedia content that they can playback as many times as needed when they need it. They use interactive quizzes and tests to ensure they understand and retain knowledge. You can let them use virtual tools, so they get used to the interfaces or mechanical items they will use in real-life situations. The age-old example of this as far as computers are concerned are the flight simulators first used by the US Air Force and private airlines to provide pilot training. You can virtualize any interface or tool to provide hands-on training without the exorbitant cost of needing to purchase 50 of any item specifically for training use. Plus, when you create the virtual version of a drill or cockpit or manufacturing line, you allow the employee to access it on an as-needed basis. They can practice using it properly, as often as needed, without impacting other workers or requiring the trainer or any supervisory personnel to be present. Since it only provides a simulation with no person involved, they cannot hurt themselves or others. You not only make learning fun; you make it safer.
You have many reasons to implement an LMS today with training that can help you meet and comply with OSHA regulations. Moreover, your move to using online safety training can improve every facet of your business. Contact us to help you learn more ways you can protect your business from costly workers’ compensation claims. The best way to prevent claims is to make sure accidents don’t happen.