With vaccinations numbering in the millions we're starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. As we get back to normal, one thing is clear—safety managers are drastically rethinking their training programs.
In 2020 due to the pandemic, we saw a near universal shift away from 3rd party in-person instruction. While some safety managers moved to a completely online training solution, many managers simply delayed their training altogether. Although there was a pandemic (and for many this was the only reasonable option), it’s important to keep in mind that OSHA did not drastically shift their stance on safety training requirements for business.
As we get deeper in 2021, two things are clear: 1. Training programs have been severely neglected in the last 18 months and 2. Safety managers must now weigh the risks and rewards of their in-person training programs. While we do advocate an "all of the above" approach to training, the purpose of this article is to help safety managers identify the best options for getting their programs quickly up to speed.
There was a huge shift away from in-person training last year due to COVID-19. Even as pandemic restrictions begin to relax, it's become apparent that online training is here to stay. While online training does have its pitfalls, the improvements in technology and course content is making online training a more viable option than it has ever been in the past.
- Learn anytime anywhere
- Large amount of course content
- Great for "refresher level" training
- Reporting, documentation and certificates
- User/department level assignments
- Scalable and quick implementation
In-person training isn't going away anytime soon...
Despite COVID-19 and the increase in popularity of online training, in-person classes are still an extremely valuable resource and are even required for some topics.
The trainers who teach these courses, whether in-house or 3rd party, can bring valuable perspective and expertise to drive engagement for your team and make the class more relevant to your business. Furthermore, many certifications require that at least part of the class, generally the skills assessment, be conducted in-person.
While online training has improved drastically in the last year, there is still no substitute for an engaging and competent teacher.
When considering how to get your program up to speed you should consider an "all of the above" approach. Online training is a great option for courses that are short, easy to understand and don't require equipment. In-house train the trainer courses can make trainings relevant to your business by giving tailored information based on your unique layout/equipment hazards. Finally, 3rd party in-person training is excellent to drive engagement by pulling an outside expert into your facility to give you a fresh perspective.
Regardless of how you decide to execute your training program, it's important to get started now.