Guest blog post by Ashok Sharma.
Managing Safety requires a delicate balance between enforcing compliance, shared understanding of what is expected from the team as well as training for how things should be done safely. Without systems in place to gather information and calculate training return, it’s difficult for many companies to even know whether or not programs are tangibly improving safety for employees. Without the ability to monitor and organize information, the ties between performance and business objectives can quickly become tangled. This can have dire consequences for employee motivation and lead to the misallocation of safety resources towards short-sighted objectives.
Traditional safety programs have many worthwhile components, such as safety meetings and incentives, but in isolation, these elements lose focus and can, in the worst of circumstances, work against the betterment of overall safety.
The best way to combat this inefficiency is by using an online Learning Management System for safety training needs. An LMS will allow organizations to distribute large amounts of information in a controlled manner, monitor learning, and analyze trends through evaluation and follow-up sessions. With the incorporation of a Learning Management System into a traditional safety program, the leadership team can eliminate the isolation of individual safety program components, like toolbox meetings, and incorporate resources into a fluid and coordinated safety system.
Learning Management Systems allow employers to do more than distribute information. The incorporation of records management as part of most LMSs allows management to analyze statistics, like total incidents with more precision and establish objectives that will promote the long-term success of any safety program.
By embracing a digitized system for safety training, managers are putting themselves in a position to:
Ignore the statistics
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometime incident ratios and raw numbers can be misleading. Evaluating the success of a safety program based solely on statistics and reduced incidents can lead to shortcuts, like not reporting injuries to keep numbers down. A digitized safety program will allow managers to incorporate safety statistics into plan evaluation while engaging employees and customers (potentially) in dialogue to identify the metrics that offer true insight into safety program performance.
Create long-term, demonstrable improvement
Isolation is a key factor in the reduction of safety program efficiency. Using a digitized LMS to distribute information, collect employee feedback and evaluate training gives employers the tool they need to analyze long-term problems, catalogue solutions and create systemic, continuous improvements—for programs and the organization itself.
Prioritize safety, not safety metrics
One of the most important aspects of an LMS-oriented safety program is dialogue. Giving employees an avenue for feedback allows them to report safety infractions, request clarification on directives and training, and engage management in conversation around organizational objectives. A dialogue-based model turns safety into a system, not just a program. This allows management to tap into employee insight, a valuable addition to any safety program. By clarifying objectives and ensuring employees are on-task and focused on safety, not just reducing incident reports, managers can ensure that safety programs produce a safer environment, not just better statistics.
Reduce human error
Learning Management Systems streamline operations and reduce human error. Automated information collection, delivery and employee evaluation means more time for safety staff to focus on priorities. Automatic updates ensure that employees receive training renewal on time and make it easy to provide authentication of compliance on the job site.
Professional Safety, 38(3), 16–21
Occupational Hazards, 58(8).
Professional Safety, 39(6), 28–30.