Safety Training: Leverage Technology to Improve Outcomes

It is common knowledge that training and development is essential for organizational success. People with greater skill, ability and knowledge will perform at a higher level than their peers. For mine and construction workers, this also means they work safer.

It?s no surprise, then, that the busiest time of year for safety training professionals is right now. Intermittently operated mines and construction sites will soon be producing again, and many new employees enter the industry…while many more return from seasonal layoffs. Training prepares these workers to safely navigate the potentially hazardous conditions that are either entirely new or not fresh to them.

Timely and relevant training will also help boost productivity. By closing skills, knowledge and performance gaps, as well as arming your employees with new ideas, best practices and skills that they can put into practice in their jobs right away, their competence, ability and confidence levels increase. As a result, these employees are able to make better decisions and do their jobs smarter, more efficiently and more safely.

Henry Ford once said: ?The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.?

Fortunately, technology is making training better and easier to deliver than ever. More important, it facilates a more diverse approach. Every organization and every work site has unique needs, and the ability to customize training to meet these needs will yield better results.

The following options highlight the most common delivery channels for safety training available today:

  • Open enrollment classes
  • On-site training
  • Seminars and vendor fairs
  • Online training and learning management systems

For most organizations, blended learning solutions often prove to be the best option. For example, balancing on-site training and classes with a cloud-based learning management system provides for greater efficiency, improved tracking, and easy delivery of common training requirements, while still allowing for worksite specific programs.

The ability to seamlessly and cost-effectively combine different training delivery methods, which technology allows for, creates more comprehensive, effective training. It?s good for both employees and employers, and it?s good for the bottom line?safer, higher producing worksites.

About the author: Scott McKenna is president of Catamount Consulting?s New York office and is a professional member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), a certified instructor with the Mine Safety Health Administration, and an OSHA Certified Construction Trainer. He can be reached at or (518) 623-2352.