Top 3 ways to engage employees in workplace health and safety

By Haley Bilokraly

Congratulations! They put you in charge of making sure new employees and interns have their health and safety training. Remember when you were first trained? How was that?

We’ve all been there. Sitting in a boardroom for eight hours, listening to endless health and safety rules, and counting down the minutes left in your day, just to leave the room feeling like your time has been wasted.

Is this the best way to approach health and safety training?

Health and safety are extremely vital topics within the agriculture industry, but it does not mean the learning process has to be boring. In fact, to ensure employees are absorbing the essential information provided during training, it should be the opposite of boring—it should be an engaging experience with useful takeaways.

Here are the top three tips for making your next health and safety training engaging and productive:

  1. Make the Information Personal After reading countless booklets on health and safety, it’s easy for you to become desensitized to the topic. To combat this issue, make training personal by telling real stories and including relevant up-to-date statistics. This will help remind employees about the serious reality of health and safety in the workplace.

    The Telling Story Project and Ag Injury News are two online resources dedicated to sharing agriculture-related safety incidents. These campaigns are free to use, and can easily be integrated into your next training session.

  2. Be Interactive

    Regardless of how important a training session is, the material will not be retained if an employee feels as though their time is being wasted. You can make the session worthwhile for employees by using interactive methods of communication.

    Abandoning the meeting room is a great opportunity to make training interactive. Instead of sitting at a desk speaking about hypothetical hazards in the workplace, walk around and show new employees which areas or equipment hold a higher risk of injury.

    Another way to be interactive is to turn learning into a game. Who doesn’t love friendly competition? There are plenty of free online tools, such as Kahoot, to quickly create trivia games using your training material. You can even supply small prizes to the winner as a further incentive.

  3. Focus on Frequency, Not Duration

    When staring at an extensive list of health and safety topics to cover, it is tempting to “get it over with” in one long day. However, this approach will only overload employees with excessive information and communicate that health and safety is a chore rather than a crucial conversation.

    Instead, break up training into continual, short, and frequent sessions. Not only will this be beneficial for keeping the attention of your employees during each session, but it will also ensure that safety is consistently top of mind.

    Remember, just because your health and safety training was bland and uninteresting, doesn’t mean you have to teach others the same way.

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