Jun 30, 2015

Using the Internet to Improve Workplace Safety

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One of the huge advantages to AWANE's AICC Workers Compensation Program  is our focus on developing an effective safety culture in the workplace. In the past, it was easy for management to overlook many of the requirements to implement a strong safety culture. Resources were scarce and there was a large gap in knowledge. This is not the case today. There is the internet, safety organizations, and trade associations like AWANE who have many training and education resources available to senior management. It is not whether the information is available, but defining for senior management what information will be the most effective based on the specific operations of the company. This is easily done by developing an effective company safety committee, among other internal processes.

The internet is a great tool all employers should try and utilize when teaching workplace safety. By using the internet to improve workplace safety you can assure your employees have unlimited access to any and all safety resources. "E-learning" as it is often called is the future of workplace safety.

How the Internet Helps Promote a Safe Workplace

Online safety websites can be used to track the safety knowledge of employees. There are sites that allow you to not only track a workers progress but to also print out certifications and awards for necessary and completed tasks and lessons. One of the most important factors in promoting a safer workplace is making sure management sets an example by working safely as well. Management should also take all the online classes and take part in all the online safety exercises where employees also participate. Below is a list of ways you can use the internet to promote workplace safety.

  1. A webcam is a great tool. You can use them to conference call with safety specialist that you otherwise could not get to come into your meeting.
  2. Videos are a wonderful teaching tool. They are another resource that allows you to have the training of a specialist while in the comforts of your own office. It is also said that people learn better with visual aids.
  3. There are thousands of safety quizzes that can be downloaded or printed out. You can usually find a variety of quizzes on a large array of safety topics.
  4. Safety certifications are available for people who complete online courses. You can find a few courses that are relevant to your line of work and require all employees to complete the certification.

Pros and Cons of Internet Safety Training

There are several advantages to using online training for workplace safety. There may also be disadvantages to online safety training. Before you decide whether online safety training is right for you or not you should check the list below. It will help you balance the pros and cons of training your employees online.

Pros of Online Workplace Safety Training

  1. Most online safety training course are easy for everyone to use.
  2. Many companies allow you to customize your training course to fit your workplace safety needs. This assures you are only covering the topics that are relevant to your safety.
  3. People can use online training course at times that are convenient for their schedules.
  4. Interactive safety quizzes, games and training help a person remember what they have learned more easily than a book or lecture.
  5. Online training makes it easy to train all your employees on the same topics at their pace. It also lets you keep track of those who may need more training in certain areas.

Cons of Using Online Safety Training Techniques

  1. While they are user friendly they still require each person to have at least a basic knowledge of computer use. This may cause a problem for older employees who do not use computers on a regular basis.
  2. If you do not have computers available for use they will need to be purchased. If you are going to require online training you cannot penalize those who do not own a home computer.
  3. There is little personally interaction between you and the employees as well as the workers with each other. This makes it hard for a person to ask questions if they have them. You may need to have safety meeting just to address any question people have from the training.
  4. While there are thousands of online training courses and games many of them are just plain boring. This can make it difficult to assure people are paying attention and learning.
  5. Unless you block access to all sites except those required for training people may misuse the computers.

These are just a few things you should consider when deciding if you should use the internet to promote workplace safety in your office. Remember all safety training needs to be audited. Statically most workers only retain 20-25% of the information they review. Reinforcement will be necessary.

AWANE members in the AICC Workers Compensation Program receive unlimited loss control from our specialists, large up front discounts on premium, and also get paid dividends each year due to the strong performance of the group. We are proud of our 99% retention rate! Please contact us to learn more about our programs and how we can help you protect your business and employees.