A good occupational health and safety program is not complete without training. It is significant that the workers are able to understand what to do to avoid health and safety hazards and what to do in case of accidents. Giving orientation sessions is not enough because the workers also need skills, aside from knowledge, in performing tasks related to the program. Training, therefore, is the key to enable the workers to gain control over their health and safety in the workplace since this addresses the skills needed for the learners.
Now, how does a company conduct a training program on occupational health and safety? The company, the safety committee, or a group assigned to be in charge of training should first consider the training needs of the workers, which can be done through a survey or series of interviews. Knowing their training needs would help the group to tailor fit the topics for the workers. For instance, are the workers knowledgeable on emergency measures? Or are they oriented on the use of equipment? If the workers do not know how to use a fire extinguisher or where the exit routes are, perhaps the trainers can plan sessions for these. Making a training design, therefore, is dependent on the training needs of the workers.
In creating a training design, bear in mind the knowledge and skills the workers need to learn. Appropriate methods must be planned carefully. The trainers may choose from a wide variety of methods such as giving lectures, facilitating group discussions and activities, demonstration and return-demonstration, and even role playing.
After determining the right method in training the workers, the trainers should plan what resources they will use. Resources include references for the training and training materials. Going back to the example on training in the workplace, the trainer should include an appropriate number of fire extinguishers and some flammable materials for demonstration. Flowcharts may also be made and used to train them on emergency measures. A map or an actual tour in the workplace may also be done to show the exit routes.
After creating the training design, the next thing to do is to implement the training. It is important though at the end of the training session if the workers are able to learn what you taught them. Evaluation of the workers can also be done days after the training.
Training for occupational health and safety in the workplace can be a daunting and difficult task. But after observing that the workers are able to perform their roles in ensuring good health and safety for everyone, the company could see that it is all worth it.