10 Reasons You’re Probably Wrong About Online Safety Training: Part 2

10 Reasons You’re Probably Wrong About Online Safety Training: Part 2

Jill James

Jill James

Chief Safety Officer

Jill James brings an unrivaled perspective on risk, regulation and liability. With 14 years of experience as a Senior OSHA Safety Investigator with the State of Minnesota, and nearly a decade in the private sector as a safety program manager, Jill is a passionate advocate for training ROI.

Continued from Part 1

From experience, we understand that there’s a lot of misinformation about online training and its value as a progressive tool for modern safety programs. While it is true that Online Safety Training isn’t the perfect fit for every organization, this is your opportunity to understand the benefits and limitations of training your people online, identify the potential for your organization, and draw your own conclusions.

Let’s separate fact from fiction for some of the most commonly expressed doubts, okay?

#6 –If I move our training online, I’m risking my job.

Newsflash for any safety professional with the attitude that online safety training may put their job at risk—your job is already at risk.

From the management perspective, metrics or goals are often applied to evaluate the effectiveness of personnel. If you can show increased productivity, improvements in safety culture, fewer accidents, or decreased risk associated with workers comp costs, then you’re realizing a higher level of job security, right?

Because the fact is that when you are looking at productivity and making sure that every worker goes home safely at the end of every single shift, the more efficient that you can be at delivering safety training, the more effective you can be at your job; online training simply frees up more time to do more of what the company hired you to do in the first place, and that is to keep workers safe.

Safety professionals are generally busy, and that’s exactly why shifting compliance training online is helpful. Ultimately, safety people want to be an integral part of an organization and not someone who has just got the job of delivering basic training and enforcing it.

#7 – Online training is too expensive.

“Online training sounds great. But how are we going to pay for this thing? I’m a safety professional who is on a budget!”

We hear you.

Because online safety training simply takes less time than live training, usually by about half, it significantly increases productivity. Think if you could do the same training, covering the same objectives, in half an hour versus a full hour, and that the training experience was mostly ‘hands-off’ on your end—you’d be saving your company time and money. Now apply that to your entire workforce, anybody who must participate in training.

In other words, Online Safety Training pays for itself over time, rather quickly, and many times over.

Example: say there are 8 required topics for a certain employee group, and currently, live training is your organization’s delivery method.  With online courses at 30 minutes, training time would reduce by half, to 4 hours, instead of the standard 8 hours. That particular employee group would get half a day of productivity back.

#8 – I’m not sure we have the IT infrastructure to support online training.

Fact: if you’ve got one computer with internet connectivity, then you can train hundreds of workers.

Simple math. There are 2,000 working hours in a year. If each worker must take 5 hours of training, 300 plus employees would be able to take required safety training on one computer at one location.

Online training is a self-paced, personal experience for each worker. Because the training is standardized, it can be defined for a specific period of time. If a training course is 22 minutes in length, you can realistically schedule 30 minutes on a computer to complete that training, and schedule each employee accordingly.

#9 – My workers aren’t smart enough to navigate online training.

The number one thing that we hear even after a customer has decided that there is efficiency with online safety training and that they could take advantage of it, is that ‘my people just can’t do this.’ There is a false perception that for frontline employees and first level supervisors, the complexity of online training is too high.

If your workers can browse the web and operate a smartphone—and most employees have a smartphone these days—then they will be more than comfortable taking online safety training. Anybody who can use a DVD player or an ATM machine can have a good training experience. The reality is that most workers have a computer at home, or at least a tablet, and know how to work it.

All a worker has to do is login and start training—we keep it simple. 

#10 – Online training doesn’t meet regulations, does it?

OSHA doesn’t ‘certify’ or endorse training content for any training vendor. However, Vivid’s occupational safety courses are compliant with OSHA standards; our team tracks the agency’s latest regulatory developments, and updates courses to match changes affecting compliance, automatically.

Vivid’s Online Safety Training courses are designed for compliance with OSHA standards, but also provide instruction on best practices, which often exceed the basic federal standards. However, we can easily customize our content to include specific state regulations that affect your company.

Our team closely follows OSHA’s regulatory proposals and changes. When OSHA prepares to implement a new standard addressed in our training, we strive to make the change well ahead of the implementation date, to help our customers stay in compliance. For example, last year we updated over 30 courses.

OSHA recognizes that online training improves accountability, recordkeeping, workforce readiness, and worker engagement.

Certain OSHA standards require two forms of training: knowledge and practical. For many customers, our courses satisfy the entire knowledge portion of the training program. Depending on your industry, there may be specific conditions where additional training is required for the workforce. We’ve got much experience evaluating these situations, and will be able to tell exactly what you’ll need, and what you don’t.