Today we’re going to explore one of the best teaching methods for safety training: eLearning.

Online training is shaking up the EHS world. That’s why we partnered with LMS provider LMS365 to provide clients with Microsoft integrated, award-winning online learning software.

Read: Why You Should Use LMS Software for EHS Training »

This blog post looks at why online safety training for workers is the best approach. Let’s dive in.

Why Safety Training is Important

Okay, okay. I know you know the importance of safety training. EHS training is crucial for a good safety culture. It’s as simple as that.

In the UK, over 200 people are killed each year by workplace accidents. Over one million are injured.

In the US, 99 workers on average die each WEEK from workplace accidents.

Those cold, hard stats leave little room for safety training excuses.

Let’s take a quick look at the further benefits of EHS training:

  • Keeps health and safety at the forefront
  • Helps avoid the financial costs and lost production time of accidents
  • Builds a reputation as a safe employer
  • Happy workers

However, despite its importance, health and safety training is regarded by some as dull and boring.

Workers with this mindset are hard to engage. Unfortunately, it is these workers who are likely to put themselves or their colleagues in danger.

So, how do you engage workers with workplace health and safety?

One way is to make health and safety fun by introducing gamification.

Another way is to introduce eLearning and blended learning to your safety training program. But first, what’s the difference between eLearning and traditional learning methods?

Traditional Learning vs eLearning and Blended Training

Firstly, let’s get these definitions clear:

Traditional learning = teacher-led sessions with students sitting and listening to the lecture.
eLearning = learning completed online. In other words, electronic learning.
Blended learning = a mixture of traditional and eLearning approaches.

Now we’ve got that cleared up, let’s look at the pros and cons of each teaching method.

Traditional Learning

If you’re over a certain age, this type of learning will take you back to your school days. We all remember sitting looking at the clock and waiting for the bell to ring as the teacher droned on.

As a result, some of us associate traditional learning methods with our school days. In other words, we lose interest in the subject quickly.

However, that’s not to say there are no upsides to traditional learning methods:

The pros and cons of traditional learning methods.

ELearning

Even though it’s a much newer form of education, eLearning has taken the training and education market by storm. So much so, a massive 98% of companies plan to use eLearning training methods by 2020.

The pros and cons of eLearning teaching methods.

Blended Learning

Arguably, blended learning is the best of both worlds. Sometimes referred to as hybrid learning, blended learning combines classroom instruction, apps, webinars, and eLearning for a well-rounded, progressive learning structure.

The pros and cons of blended learning.

Will Davies, Marketing Manager at interactive eLearning content provider iHASCO says:

"Employers shouldn't always necessarily use eLearning for training. Sometimes, blended training is the best approach. However, eLearning is rapidly becoming more popular with employers as a cost-effective and time efficient training approach."

Using Online Learning for Safety Training

Now we know about the available learning methods for safety training, but how do you deploy them?

Firstly, you need a LMS system. LMS stands for Learning Management System: a software managing educational and training resources.

Pro-Sapien offers LMS software with our partner LMS365. Managers can create, distribute and track learning courses. Moreover, employees control their own learning schedule with progress trackers and notifications.

LMS hosts the content for online safety training for workers; learning content arrives in various embedding strategies, for example ‘Tin Can’ and Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM).

SCORM content is shareable and resusable learning content, considered the ‘best of breed’. ‘Tin Can’ is similar, however, it tracks learning activity taking place outside the LMS.

Importantly, both strategies are ideal for staff training.

However, it can’t just be any old eLearning content you give to learners. Use high-quality, interactive courses for the best results.

Will says:

“Engaging, high-quality eLearning is more memorable for some learners.

The human brain remembers important information far more effectively with visuals rather than text. Importantly, high quality eLearning must be used.

Many online training companies brand their course content as "eLearning", when the reality is flat presentations doing nothing to engage the learner. It just moves learners through a series of poorly written and designed slides. They're just box-ticking exercises, really.

Always use eLearning providers that can prove the quality of their content before you buy. Also, make sure the courses are approved by industry recognised bodies. For example, iHASCO course are approved by IOSH and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.”

Using reputable safety training content and LMS has its benefits:

  • Helps create a positive safety culture
  • Configurable course content
  • Ability to track learners' progress
  • Integration with existing company software
  • Provides EHS leading indicators

Online Safety Training for Workers

Do workers prefer traditional and online teaching methods?

Will says:

“There are many reasons learners enjoy eLearning. For example, short courses do not interfere with the working day. Courses are digestible, memorable and engaging. Best of all, online learning content is user-friendly.”

Moreover, we live in a technologically advanced world. In the developed world, 81% of people have access to the internet. An estimated 5 billion people have mobile devices.

Looking at those numbers, it makes sense to place learning content on a platform the majority of us use every day.

Look at it this way: 50% of workers forget what they learned in an hour. We all know the importance of safety training, and what can happen when it’s forgotten.

It’s your job as an EHS professional to ensure the safety of workers. Is eLearning the answer?

Keep reading: The Danger of Routine and Complacency in the Workplace »

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A University of the West of Scotland graduate with a BA in Journalism, Holly joined the marketing department in 2018 and brings a wide range of experience to the team. Outside of business, Holly enjoys cycling, cooking and yoga. As the Digital Marketing Executive, Holly coordinates Pro-Sapien's social outreach and blog content, and can be reached at holly.callender@pro-sapien.com.