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Safety Tips | Training

Provide safe on-the-job training

January 14, 2011

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On-the-job training can be helpful for new employees, for those who switch job roles, or when your organization begins using new equipment or methods. However, such training requires special attention, according to the National Safety Council.

The council points out four major elements in effective training:

Prepare the employee for training – Before beginning, provide the employee with an overview of the training. If you will be incorporating use of new techniques or new equipment, it can be helpful to explain to the employee why such new measures are being used. Encourage questions and feedback.

Explain the process – Verbally explain to the employee exactly what tasks will be required for the job before beginning any action. Break explanations for lengthy or complicated tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. It is very important when training to show the employee how to perform the task correctly. Do not explain how not to do something, or demonstrate an ineffective or unsafe method to be avoided.

Provide “tryouts” – Let the employee practice the new skill. It is important not to be overly critical during this stage of training. Do not expect the employee to perform everything correctly on the first try.

Follow up – Give the employee responsibility in stages, gradually building to the point where he or she can complete the job independently. Even after an employee has been at the job awhile, it is beneficial to check and make sure he or she is continuing to use safe practices.

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