Many companies find it challenging to provide engaging training; however, using MicroLearning to train workplace safety is quite effective. MicroLearning is already in use for several business training purposes including leadership, supervision, and technical skills. Some companies are starting to create training modules specifically for safety.
The newer members of our workforces have been born into a computer age and source almost all of their information online. Placing traditional learning in front of them is both unfamiliar and not readily consumed. However, safety has a bit of catching up to do because most safety manuals and training materials are still in print, with up to 70% of companies using spreadsheets to record their risk management processes.
Generally, MicroLearning courses run less than five minutes and focus on a single concept or skill. Training using this method is likely to be influenced by the uptake of mobile devices and young people’s learning preferences. Following our recent article, Can MicroLearning Improve Safety Training? we provide six reasons to start incorporating MicroLearning into your safety training.
1. Using MicroLearning to Train Safety
When you want to reinforce a safety message or information around hazardous tasks, MicroLearning can help to deliver a concise message. A MicroLearning course or video can also be useful to refresh and remind after longer training courses, especially if you repeat the key concepts regularly. In doing so, you keep the content in front of the employee’s mind, and retention is likely to be higher. When it comes to safety, retention is the key to help to shape positive behaviours.
2. Learning a New Task or Procedure
You can use MicroLearning to train safety procedures or new tasks. Microlearning can help remind employees about procedures that they haven’t used for some time. For example, an emergency process or a lock-out procedure. New skills can also be learned using MicroLearning, for example how to tie a knot to secure equipment or a refresher on the safest way to stack materials, so they don’t move or fall.
What is particularly useful about MicroLearning is that it usually takes a very short time to deliver the message which means employees can fit it into their busy day. When you provide MicroLearning before a new task or as a refresher you are providing just-in-time training – training when we need it, as we need it.
3. Providing Instant Knowledge to Answer Immediate Questions
You can use MicroLearning as a Q&A resource to provide answers as needed. For example, when servicing a machine, a reminder of the isolation process is likely to prevent pinch and crushing injuries. Also, this method of training can act as a means to provide guidance when things go wrong. It can almost take on a flow chart format: Is A happens, proceed to B or if C happens, proceed to D. When you use MicroLearning using videos delivered on smart devices you can provide information in real-time. You know your employees have the information readily at hand. What you don’t want is them searching the internet for answers or asking Dr Google.
4. Helping When You need to Do a Safety Intervention
When you need to respond to safety issues and reinforce safe behaviour, MicroLearning can deliver that message immediately. For example, if you have had a breach of procedure where an employee has entered an exclusion zone or ‘no go’ zone, you can issue a MicroLearning training course on that same day. Alternatively, exclusion zones could be the topic of your next toolbox session, and the training content played to the group to discuss.
MicroLearning can also reinforce any safety alerts that come across your desk and the information you can distribute these instantly out to the workforce. Finally, you may wish to target some training for specific employee groups, and MicroLearning can save the time they might have needed off work to attend that training session.
5. Being Proactive Before a Safety Problem Arises
You can use MicroLearning to train safety to increase awareness of an issue before it becomes a problem. For example, you may have been receiving near-miss reports of employees almost coming into contact with falling objects due to uneven stacking on pallets or racking over the pre-Christmas busy period. If you know that these incidents are likely to increase at that time of the year, you can schedule MicroLearning courses on safe stacking in the months leading up to the busy season. It’s a good idea to set up a calendar of MicroLearning just before predicted high-risk times.
6. Training Employees on Mental Health Topics
Workplace safety encompasses both physical and psychological injury prevention. Where MicroLearning is beginning to make an entrance is in employee mental health training. Mental health and well-being are sensitive topics. Using a MicroLearning delivery method can help you to provide employees with privacy to learn about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions. MicroLearning is also a useful method to deliver simple exercises to relieve stress, anxiety or depression symptoms.
Tap into Safety Uses MicroLearning
The Tap into Safety training platform uses MicroLearning to deliver key safety and mental health messages. The platform has a library of animated videos that cover a wide range of topics including height safety, manual handling, exclusion zones, stress, workplace bullying and sexual harassment. You can access the extensive library of out-of-the-box training for only $10 per course. Contact us to learn more.
The six reasons to use MicroLearning should provide you with evidence and encouragement to try it out. Where MicroLearning can help organisational safety is when we want to train in specialised, individual tasks. These might be stand-alone or part of a broader topic.
One advantage of using MicroLearning to train safety is that it enhances the retention of knowledge by making an abstract point more concrete. For example, we could use this method to demonstrate how to apply safety procedures in the context of the worker’s job. A second advantage is that it helps organisations provide prescriptive training before a potential problem.
MicroLearning is becoming a widely-used element of training in organisations and is now being used to train in safety and mental health. The distinct advantage is the ability to provide low cost, ongoing, directed, year-round learning in small bursts.