Level up your trainingLisa Thibault
At the best of times, manufacturing and processing workplaces are challenging environments for effective training. Rising to that challenge, this year’s Safety Excellence Award nominees shared fascinating examples of innovation in how they delivered training, tested competency, and engaged employees to learn.
Learning Management Plus
The Digital Action Tracking System (DATS) at Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats (2020 Safety Innovator Award winner) is a safety training and learning management program solution.
“Using DATS…has allowed our employees to keep current and to advance their career at their pace,” noted Sarah Gregory, Kingfisher Boats Director, HR and Administration. New elements of the system are being introduced so that it can be used as an inspection and investigation tool – not just as an LMS.”
What do employees actually know about safety? “Requiring all employees—from hourly workers to management—to complete the company’s 10 Hour Training program has allowed Kingfisher to establish a baseline of health and safety knowledge across the plant”—all tracked in DATS, Sarah said.
“At Kingfisher, we believe safety is everyone’s responsibility, she added. “By training all employees, our goal is to create more subject matter experts, promote transparency, and foster a culture of inclusion.”
Driving safety performance with metrics
At Surrey’s Highland Foundry, top-level business KPIs now include two key safety metrics: a leading indicator tracking Safety Training Hours Completed, and a lagging indicator measuring Lost Time Injury Rate.
This focus on health and safety training “has elevated the collective knowledge of all Highland employees,” noted Highland Foundry Quality Manager Bryan Almendral, “ and Highland Foundry is committed to continually monitoring and improving our processes to eliminate workplace injuries.”
“More employees have been trained than ever,” he said, and “employees are now more confident in the tasks they do and have the knowledge to carry out their work in a safe manner.”
With an annual target in 2019 of 500 hours of safety training (an average of five hours per employee), the company achieved 790 total hours—close to eight hours per employee—on a wide range of general and job-specific topics.
Raising safety visibility
Several Alliance members have raised the profile of health and safety in their organizations with a dedicated Safety Training Day. At Knight Signs, Mission Hill, and other companies, this is a key strategy. Training, contests, demonstrations, and games help teach and engage workers in conversation about health and safety.
At Delta’s Knight Signs, a Safety Innovator Award nominee, Safety Day was a new initiative in 2019. “It was a day filled with education,” noted HR Admin/Executive Assistant Natalia Kouznetsova, “through fun activities such as Hazard Assessment, fire extinguisher training, stretching exercises, and safety amazing race.”
Engaging trainees with video
At Pace Processing, OHS Coordinator Paul Dostal has put his background in video production and computer animation to work, producing a variety of in-house training videos, including workplace health and safety videos targeted to the demographics of their workplace: mostly ESL workers.
“To deal with the challenges of language and communication,” Paul noted, “I video-recorded on-the-job videos relating to chemical safety, food safety, mobile equipment operation, safeguarding, lockout, equipment safety, as well as custom videos of job tasks being performed in order to adequately train their new and existing staff.”
To make these videos more engaging for staff, Paul worked with several of Pace Processing supervisors and QA employees to record voiceovers, “providing workers with images and voices they are familiar with.”
“Added elements of light humor and gamification also help keep workers engaged and keep the tone light and friendly,” Paul noted.
Knight Signs also uses some of these strategies in the development of a video orientation program. “We invited our employees to be movie stars and to coach new employees through the safety video on different topics,” Natalia said.