So what really works? Here are the top 7 lessons I’ve learnt:
1. Talk about consequences - Be graphic in your explanation, if getting it wrong means they won’t be going home tonight make sure they really do understand that. We seem to be too polite, too ‘PC’ - don’t be - put safety messages into their correct perspective.
2. Make it clearer how you want the job done, including what to do when things go wrong. Workers will pick up what they need to know to get started on the work. This is often a bare minimum and they will slowly then learn the job more fully as they go. Clear and precise training improves productivity and reduces mistakes.
3. Make it clear what is expected - So many accidents happen because of a perceived need to do something in a wrong way or in a certain timespan. So often the employer never really had the expectations the worker thought they did - but if you don’t tell them, workers will often make up their own mind as to what is expected.
4. Check understanding - Recognise that people learn in different ways.
5. Ask for input - No one understands the risks quite as well as the workers - we need to ask for their input more.
6. Give them somewhere to head - Workers respond positively to a pathway of learning.
7. Make safe simple - Make doing things the safe way, an easy option and you are far more likely to succeed. If you must have documentation make sure everyone understands why it’s important.