Training Technology Timeline


During the economic downturn, employee training was often the first to go. It was viewed not as an investment but as an expense to be reduced or eliminated. And in some cases, environmental health and safety professionals in organizations are still fighting to get that training budget back to where it ought to be. What’s frustrating for those individuals working for organizations still tightening the training belt, or where the prevailing thought is that occupational safety training is too expensive, it that advancements in training tech continue to make quality training more accessible.

So what are some of the reasons companies would want to invest in safety training?

For starters, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a good worker safety and health program can save $4 to $6 dollars for every $1 dollar of investment.

Need more?

Heightened Accountability

The number one reason why safety professionals are moving to online training is for accountability and measurable data on safety progress. If you want to move the safety culture of your organization forward, tighter control of information is where to start. When combined with a training system, online courses can be automatically analyzed for attendance, competence (test results). You can audit for safety compliance instantly. And you can track all of your live training events, pairing online courses with safety meetings, tailgate talks, and group instruction. 

With online training, you always know exactly how your workforce training program is working. 

Traditional Training Costs

Each year OSHA penalizes companies for lapses in required training or training inefficiencies. Many organizations use the same old boring, repetitive videos and PowerPoint decks. Developing training assets internally takes time and costs money; the cost of training involves much more than just the price tag for the training material. For example, tailgate lessons delivered by a supervisor are not really free, just as sending the crew down the road to sit in a classroom for 8 hours involves more than the cost of wages and instructor fees. Hiring safety experts for live training sessions is expensive. And it costs a lot of dollars to fly people around for training purposes. 

Time is money, and getting a better return on investment (ROI) means finding the most efficient training option.

Reduce Time Lost to Training

Ask yourself, what’s an entire 8-hour day of lost productivity cost your company? Much of the American workforce is still paid by the hour, so taking time off for training is expensive. That’s the fundamental reason online workforce training has grown as a market. There’s a cost associated with having the workforce out of production, and that cost can be considerable depending on intensity of the training focus and number of training requirements. When paying workers to sit for a training session, these workers are not in production, so there is time and productivity loss there. 

Online safety training gets workers back on the job, faster. It also presents an opportunity for management to increase operational efficiency, and be more agile than the competition in one area where most companies struggle. 

Reduced Training Admin Time

Managing workforce training can take a lot of time without the right tools. With live training, administrative employees stay busy scheduling time of the job for groups of employees, and arranging training by hiring professionals. Keeping track of ‘who’s compliant and who’s not’, and ‘who’s taken training and who hasn’t, with manual data entry and Excel spreadsheets, is also time intensive. 

Online training systems automate frequent tasks to help manage workforce training programs with ease. By alerting workers when training is due, overdue, or expiring, and notifying workers when training is complete or incomplete, the burden of tracking a workforce training program is mostly erased. Online training systems simplify things greatly; admins assign the courses, and workers are tasked with completing them. That’s basically it.

Online training systems make tedious, complex administrative tasks, easy to execute and returns to admin folks something we all value—time.

Want to see what training will actually cost you; and how much you can save? Check out our Return On Investment (ROI) calculator to learn more.

Here is a list of some of the biggest events in the history of safety:

1888: Johnson & Johnson introduces the first aid kits as Americas begin to travel more

1910: First accident prevention sign business founded

1911: 146 female workers killed in Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

1924: Birth of traffic laws

1928: First emergency eyewash station in the U.S. introduced

1931: 476 workers die from silicosis while blasting a tunnel in West Virginia

1946: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established

1957: Seat belts introduced

1971: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established

1983: The Hazard Communication Standard is introduced, giving workers the right to know what chemicals they are being exposed to and what hazards they may present

1989: OSHA issues lockout/tagout standard

1991: OSHA issues bloodborne pathogens standard

2007: Employers required to pay for most types of PPE