How Often Should You Update / Refresh Your Workplace Training?

safety training instructor conducting safety training


Workplace Safety Training requires continual monitoring and maintenance to stay current and effective.

A safe work environment requires a commitment by leadership and the responsible participation of all staff. It is everyone’s job to prevent workplace accidents. Safety training requirements will vary by industry based on the types of hazards or risks, but the following are general guidelines that every company should implement on a regular basis.

Initial Start

safety training with ppeA very basic safety guideline is to prepare new employees on essential safety requirements as part of new hire orientation. This management approach demonstrates a commitment to workplace safety and starts new employees with an understanding of safety procedures. This day one training concept sets the tone for the responsibilities and importance of following established safety procedures. Safety training prior to starting work is essential for certain jobs that involve any level of risk. Hazardous material training, specialized equipment safety procedures, medical response training and others clear examples of “must have” training. Essential safety guidelines and emergency procedures are necessary for just about every workplace location. Basic safety training, regardless of industry, should be completed before starting the actual job.

Annual Safety Training

The common response as to how often to update training is to conduct annual refresh sessions. Again, requirements vary by industry and occupation, but an annual revisit of safety procedures is a common best practice. Many occupations require annual safety training certification to continue working. Annual training programs should be kept current and with input from staff that can provide actual experience, where possible. The annual refresher, with up to date material, sends an important commitment message to staff. Morale is improved when workplace safety is an established practice and consistently implemented. Annual training updates send a reminder message to the workforce for importance of safety procedures.

Review If an Injury Occurs

safety training in warehouse onsite showing how to liftEven with great training and a team commitment to safety, accidents in the workplace can still occur. If an accident occurs in the workplace, a review of the situation should be conducted and a refresher, or at a minimum training documentation update should be done. If root cause analysis indicates a significant change to safety procedures, then a company refresh session should be conducted. The updated training session should focus on the cause as well as the change required going forward. While the team is gathered to review an accident that occurred, this is a good time to review any other safety issues or safety concerns the employees may have. An out-of-cycle review as the result of an accident is an important step for management to communicate the priority of a safe environment to the workforce.

Summary – How We Can Help

For most workplace needs, new employees are trained in company safety procedures as part of orientation. At a minimum, this initial safety training should be refreshed annually. In the event a significant accident has occurred an “all hands” training session should be scheduled, as soon as possible. Certain job functions may have specific requirements, but in these are the basic timing guidelines. The message every day should be: safety training is essential to ensure workplace safety and provide an environment where employees can focus on their day to day jobs.

To get an assessment of your organization’s safety training or to arrange training or consulting – either at your workplace or at our locations – contact us today. Advanced Consulting & Training are Ontario’s leaders in workplace safety training.

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