Education: The term "educate" originates from the Latin, Ed-u-cer-e (ey-doo-ker-ey), which means "that which leads out of ignorance." Education is actually anything that brings us out of ignorance and helps to improve our knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs).
John F. Rekes, PE, CIH, CSP, says it well: "Education is a process through which learners gain new understanding, acquire new skills, and/or change their attitudes."
Education in its broadest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. (Wikipedia)
Training: Rekes goes on to describe training as "a more specialized form of education that focuses on developing or improving skills. While training incorporates educational theories, principles and practices, its focus is on performance. The goal of training is for learners to be able to do something new or better than before."
The outcome: The educational process can be quite complex and learning usually takes place on many levels. An educational program can be successful even if the learners can't do anything new or different at the end of the program.
Each section in this course will include a quiz question at the bottom of the page. In the last section, you'll be able to check your score and retake the quiz if desired. Be sure to answer all questions or you won't see your score. To improve your score after you get results, just go back through the sections and change your answers. Do not refresh pages or you'll have to answer all questions again.
Safety education informs, persuades, and motivates students to be involved and work safely. The most important goal of safety education is to show why working safely is important.
Why do you think most employees don't do what they are supposed to do in the workplace? It's because they don't know why it's important to do it! Consequently, the most important thing we can do as safety trainers is to make sure our students know why working safely is important.
So, what is the process we can use to make sure employees can most effectively educate to improve safety performance? We call it the KSA Education Process, and it involves three basic strategies to educate employees so they can gain knowledge, increase their skills, and improve abilities: instruction, training, and experience.
General safety instruction is usually conducted as a course or meeting in the classroom, workfloor, or around the tailgate. Instruction may also be given through written notices, newsletters, or videos. Instruction may be quite effective when presenting required and "nice to know" information. For example, general safety instruction may include:
To document instruction, you usually only need an attendance roster. That's because students may not actually have to prove they've learned anything. If students do have to demonstrate they've learned something, an effective way to do that is with a written test because it formally documents proficiency. Remember, as far as OSHA is concerned, "If it isn't in writing, it didn't get done." This is another reason why it's important to purchase OSHAcademy certificates, cards, and transcripts.
Also, the only evaluation of training required for safety instruction is the student reaction survey. The survey gives trainers feedback about what learners thought about the training topic, the presentation, and trainer qualifications, and how strongly the felt the training met their expectations.
Safety training differs from safety instruction because it focuses improving "how-to" skills through practice. It takes what the student has learned during instruction and provides an opportunity, through practice, for the student to apply that knowledge.
An important consideration when developing safety instruction and training is to determine if OSHA requires a "demonstration" of adequate employee knowledge and skills as part of the training.
Technical "hands-on-how-to" safety training that teaches employees how to do hazardous tasks and procedures is actually the most common type of safety education. The training may be quite specific and usually requires some form of student hands-on participation or practice.
Remember, even though a particular OSHA Standard does not specifically state or require that employees "demonstrate" proficiency, best practices in safety education may require that you include formal testing, hands-on practice and a performance demonstration in a training session. Make sure you include hands-on practice and demonstration whenever employees might be injured on a job or if they have a deficiency in KSAs.
Most OSHA training is technical in nature because it teaches employees how to do things. For instance, when reading about the training employers are required to provide regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) in 29 CFR 1910.132, we see that employers must cover the following topics:
Because there is a "how-to" requirement above, the training should include a skills demonstration and written test to make sure each student actually has the ability to use the PPE properly.
More examples of hands-on technical safety training include:
This consensus standard establishes criteria for safety, health, and environmental training programs. Criteria includes program development, delivery, evaluation and program management.
According to ANSI 490.1, at a minimum a training program should include the following criteria:
The following information was adapted from 29 CFR 1910.120 Appendix E, Training Curriculum Guidelines - (Non-mandatory). Although written specifically for training hazardous waste operations, the core criteria may serve as an excellent template for the design of your safety training program. In the next few sections, we will discuss the 10 core criteria.
1. Training facility: The training facility should have available sufficient resources, equipment, and site locations to perform didactic and hands-on training when appropriate. Training facilities should have sufficient organization, support staff, and services to conduct training in each of the courses offered.
2. Training Director: Each training program should be under the direction of a training director who is responsible for the program. The Training Director should have a minimum of two years of employee education experience.
3. Instructors: Instructors should be deemed competent on the basis of:
4. Course materials: The Training Director should approve all course materials to be used by the training provider. Course materials should be reviewed and updated at least annually. Materials and equipment should be in good working order and maintained properly. All written and audio-visual materials in training curriculum should be peer reviewed by technically competent outside reviewers or by a standing advisory committee.
Reviewers should possess expertise in the following disciplines where applicable: occupational health, industrial hygiene and safety, chemical/environmental engineering, employee education, or emergency response. One or more of the peer reviewers should be an employee experienced in the work activities to which the training is directed.
5. The program for accepting students should include:
6. Ratios: Student-instructor ratios should not exceed 30 students per instructor. Hands-on activity requiring the use of personal protective equipment, testing equipment, or hazardous procedures should have instructor ratios of 5-10 students per instructor.
7. Proficiency assessment: Proficiency should be evaluated and documented by the use of a written assessment and a skill demonstration selected and developed by the Training Director and training staff. The assessment and demonstration should evaluate the knowledge and individual skills developed in the course of training. It's important to understand that "individual," not "group" testing be accomplished. Asking the "group" questions, and receiving answers by one or more members of the group, is not acceptable.
The level of minimum achievement necessary for proficiency should be specified in writing by the Training Director as follows:
The content of the written test or skill demonstration must be relevant to the objectives of the course. The written test and skill demonstration should be updated to reflect changes in the curriculum and any update should be approved by the Training Director.
The proficiency assessment methods, regardless of the approach or combination of approaches used, should be justified, documented and approved by the Training Director. The proficiency of those taking the additional courses for supervisors should be evaluated and documented by using proficiency assessment methods acceptable to the Training Director. These proficiency assessment methods must reflect the additional responsibilities borne by supervisory personnel in hazardous waste operations or emergency response.
8. Course certificate: Written documentation should be provided to each student who satisfactorily completes the training course. Certificates and cards provide a permanent record of your training achievements and should be kept in the employee's personal possession.
The documentation should include:
This documentation may include a certificate and an appropriate wallet-sized card of the above information. When such course certificate cards are used, the individual identification number for the training certificate should be shown on the card.
9. Recordkeeping: Training providers should maintain records listing the dates courses were presented, the names of the individual course attendees, the names of those students successfully completing each course, and the number of training certificates issued to each successful student. These records should be:
10. Program quality control: The Training Director should conduct or direct an annual written audit of the training program.
Download the complete CFR 29 1910.120, Appendix E.
Download a Sample Training Plan (pdf format).
Click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and recheck your answers.
Watch this short video that tells a story. Telling stories like this is one of the best ways to instill the importance of safety on employees. This Safety Memos video discusses a fatal accident that actually occurred in a workplace, and relate the factors and events that may have led to the worker getting killed.