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How integrated training management can prevent safety accidents

Keeping workers safe on the job requires a holistic approach, and without training management software, it's difficult to ensure that the right employees get the right training at the right time.
Keeping workers safe on the job requires a holistic approach, and without training management software, it's difficult to ensure that the right employees get the right training at the right time.

Keeping workers safe on the job requires a holistic approach, though it can be challenging. On any given day, a safety manager can be running from worksite to worksite ensuring employees aren't harmed, as well as creating and executing training programs.

But where does ensuring employees get the training they need and are aware of constantly changing compliance updates come into play?

Training management software keeps things easy

The truth is, there are so many changes that take place in highly regulated industries like construction, health care or finance that compliance changes specific to health & safety management sometimes go unnoticed. Then, at the end of the year employees may receive a comprehensive training seminar that tries to fit all the new information workers need to rely on and retain in a regular session. At its core, this is an outdated practice and often a last-ditch effort.

NAVEX Global conducted a report that sought managers' and senior executives' top three issues in relation to policy management, and what it found wasn't too surprising:

  • Keeping policies updated with evolving regulations: 47 percent.
  • Employee training: 40 percent.
  • Ensuring accuracy and reducing policy redundancy: 32 percent.

"...A lot of people are unhappy with their policy management programs when it comes to compliance. Even with those who are happy, there's always room for improvement," Randy Stephen, report co-author, told PC Magazine. "We saw that both the budget and responsibility for policy management can be spread across a large group of business units, and that dispersed responsibility within the organization can contribute to a lack of efficiency."

Knowing about the transitions in policy is only half the battle—instituting educational sessions aimed at helping employees understand and implement these new rules in their daily routines is key. In this capacity, training management software has allowed organizations that use Environmental, Health and Safety systems to ensure employees are up to date on the latest policy developments and that any learning or performance gaps are identified and addressed.

Training management software offers organizations a way to streamline regulatory updates into educational sessions.Training management software offers organizations a way to streamline regulatory updates into educational sessions.

Digital training management starts a domino effect

Compliance is an area of the business that can become nearly autonomous with the right process in place. NAVEX Global study authors felt the results pointed to a clear need for an automated policy management system, but that doesn't exactly cover all of the bases. After a safety manager learns about a change in safety regulations, he or she still has to introduce it to workers in a way that will have a meaningful impact.

"Training management software automates policy compliance."

In steps the Forgetting Curve, a well-understood theory that ascertains a person will forget 70 percent of the information learned within a 24-hour time period, according to Xcelus. This means the last-minute training sessions aiming to cram in every policy change enacted in the last two years aren't helping in the slightest.

The key to overcoming this curve is regular reminders or subsequent educational sessions. Training management software allows a safety manager to roll out daily, weekly or monthly training sessions to ensure 100 percent retention of new information, as well as:

  • Keep track of attendance, scores, scheduling and course participation.
  • Get training materials right from the source of regulatory changes and audits.
  • Leverage organizational incidents and course scores to understand which gaps require action.

Having a pulse on industry developments is just one part of the solution—companies need to create a holistic system for enforcing pertinent policy updates rather than throwing last-minute training sessions together as a stopgap. Having all of this information at the push of a button also allows businesses to employ analytics to evaluate their efforts.

A report from the Italian Association of Chemical Engineering found that a scientific approach to evaluating safety training methods is one of the more effective ways to understand if educational sessions are working. This is done by tracking experimental data—otherwise known as incidence reports—and pairing that up with a quantitative measure, which in this case are the test scores. If test scores are low and injury reports are high in a certain area of operation, it's clear that more training is required.

An effective digital training management strategy isn't just the shiny new process companies implement to stay modern—it's becoming necessary in light of fast-paced, constant regulatory changes across multiple industries.

How is your company providing employees with the training they need? Leave a comment below to let us know how your efforts are going.

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