Ways to Train a Diverse Workforce for EHS


What is EHS training?

EHS training focuses on training your staff to work in accordance with company and Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines and standards. In the post-pandemic world, it is extremely important to train employees to manage health, safety, and the environment, and also to assess risks and take quick actions. An effective EHS training includes safety compliances, safer work ethics, and the importance of sustainability. It can use information related to injuries’ management, preventing slips and falls, hazard identification, risk control to name a few. At the same time, if employees are empowered about the rising danger related to greenhouse gas emissions and harmful chemicals and machinery, they can be better prepared for the future.

While every employee in the organization needs to have safety training, there is also a need for job-specific specialized training for some workers. For the sake of the health and safety of your workers, it is ideal to conduct regular toolbox talks and refresher training, especially if you are bringing in new technologies or changing rules in the organization.

The right way to train your workforce

While different industries like manufacturing, construction, and logistics have their own set of varied requirements for their individual workforce, the safety standards are usually standardized with little variations. To train the workforce effectively, it is important for the employer to understand the background of all employees and be empathetic towards them.

Here is how you can train your workforce:

1. Automate and digitize your EHS compliance
EHS management software like Pulse has been making this training easier and a smooth process. While these systems can track the record of attendees and training schedules, many of these can also send training reminders and even highlight topics of training that may need immediate attention. The software can plan, schedule, and invite the personnel for training sessions. If the record of the session is documented and sent to stakeholders, it can save your time and resources that you can use on more productive tasks.

By using efficient EHS software and checking real-time reports, employees can understand the inspection process online and take corrective measures beforehand. This allows each one of them to be a safety guard at your worksites.

2.Understand your employees
When planning for the training, understand the needs and levels of your learners and create the content accordingly. Take into account their reading proficiency, level of education, experience on the particular topic, and learning methodologies. Also, take into consideration the language they are comfortable in. You may need to plan your content in the local languages as well as English.

You can even go a step ahead and see what works best for your team by experimenting with a combination of visual, audio, theoretical, and practical methods of imparting training.

3. Use real-world examples
Using relevant examples, specific to their job roles helps in keeping the employees engaged, improves retention, and makes learning easier. You can even use stories to explain your concepts. Remember, most learners connect better to stories and understand the impact of their decision on realistic events and people. By using examples of past incidents, you can make employees more vigilant and alert. Keep the session interactive and keep the audience engaged by asking questions or taking feedback.

4. Make hands-on training a common practice
When imparting a new skill or a safer way of doing a task, hands-on training goes a long way. For instance, it is more effective to make the workers practice working on a scaffold than just explaining the steps. Hands-on training also allows you an opportunity to assess their retention and need for retraining. This method might also prevent future incidents and accidents.

5. Assess their knowledge
Throughout the training session, ask questions to keep the employees engaged and make learning more fun. A two-way communication empowers learners, challenges them, and also acknowledges their past learning. Such communication also makes employees more confident. You can also ask questions through audiovisuals, conduct games, and quiz and, practice appreciation and recognition by setting up some rewards.

6. Inculcate behavioral change
Plan your training schedules with different activities and formats to reinforce the learning. Do not expect the employees to attend training and apply the concepts. You may have to repeat the teaching, again and again, to change old behaviors and inculcate new ones. Establish a schedule to review learnings on a regular basis, and try to reinforce key training takeaways in different ways.

7. Walk the talk
‘The best way to change the world is by changing yourself.’ The famous quote is very well applied in EHS training. The best way to inculcate safe ways to work and new behaviors is by following the new norms yourself. When workers see the management and leaders doing things, they are automatically bound to follow through. To do so, use communication as a tool, practice what you preach, and act as a part of the team.

Lastly, ensure your training sessions do not undermine the dignity of your workers and meet cultural barriers by conducting multilingual sessions. By investing in EHS training either in-house or through a competent trainer can benefit in increasing productivity, reducing costs, and reducing incidents and accidents. By using Pulse, you can make your employees your eye on worksites as they would learn on the ground about safety and health by conducting paperless inspections.