A positive, proactive and preventative safety program with a focus on training will be appreciated by workers and improve safety culture, writes Broadlex Services’ national risk manager Dr Denis Boulais. In the safety field, the difference between effective and ineffective training may be pain, injury or even death – in addition to significant cost losses. Training is the cornerstone of the risk management process as research has shown participants are likely to remember 10 per cent of what they hear and 51 per cent of what they see and hear. Ninety two per cent are likely to remember what they see, hear and become involved in. It’s for this reason that I am of the opinion competencybased training is very important. It is integral to explaining, demonstrating and observing what needs to be done, while also providing documentation of the training. There has also been research to demonstrate that financial performance may be associated with safety achievement. In one study, 31 companies known for adopting high safety standards demonstrated higher stock market values compared to the market average where data was examined over a 13-year period. Safety needs to be integrated into all operational processes as safety and productivity are strongly linked. A positive, proactive and preventative safety program with a focus on training will be appreciated by workers and improve safety culture. I truly believe safety just doesn’t stop companies from losing money – it improves their ability to make money. An example here may be the presentation of certain certifications and innovations during tender submissions and presentations to win over a potential client. Take training on how to mop a floor as an example – ideally training is not as simple as issuing a procedure. It is important to carefully explain the procedure with participants, then show participants how to properly mop a floor (for example, with a figure of eight style motion). It is important to observe the participant conducting the process and provide constructive feedback so the trainer can be 100 per cent certain the participant is competent in the process. 26 INCLEAN March/April 2019
Training elements to consider There are some important elements to consider in training. • Trainers should involve participants in the learning process and act as facilitators not teachers. • Life experiences of the trainer and participants should be encouraged and included to promote connectivity and relevance. • Training should be structured with defined elements which are consistent with the goals of the training. • Defined objectives should be set that the participants can relate to so participants can relate to the objectives and apply them to everyday life. • The concepts of ‘what and why’ should be focused on so participants can apply the elements most useful to their work environment. • Trainers should strongly encourage participants to add value by sharing their experiences through freedom of expression. It is widely noted in the literature that human error is implicated in 75 per cent of incidents. My research indicates this may be in the ballpark of 65.5 per cent in the cleaning industry. Further research I have conduced indicates 51.5 per cent of those incidents in the cleaning industry may be because cleaners move their feet before their eyes (complacency). It is important cleaners have extensive training in awareness to ensure they stay focused and look before they move.
“Safety needs to be integrated into all operational processes as safety and productivity are strongly linked.”