How to reinforce positive health and safety behaviour at work
In addition to having serious consequences on the lives of employees and their families, work-related accidents are costly for companies. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), occupational health and safety incidents account for 3.94 percent of global gross domestic product each year.
While the causes of accidents vary from one industry to another, there are three main ones, according to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada:
1– Bodily reaction and exertion
2– Contact with objects and equipment
Fortunately, with the right tools, you can prevent many of these accidents.
Reduce the rate of workplace accidents
One of the first things you can do to reduce the number of accidents at your company is to implement a general prevention policy (link in French) that is specific to your industry.
This reference document should contain all the information necessary to help your employees work safely. In particular, it should include your main sources of risk—that is, what could cause injuries to your employees.
For instance, if you run a factory, a source of risk might be the inhalation of a hazardous chemical in the form of a gas. If you’re a retail business owner, your risks may be associated with repetitive tasks or static or uncomfortable work postures.
Ideally, you would eliminate the sources of danger or implement corrective measures. However, this is not always possible; take, for instance, a factory that uses dangerous products. You need to provide your employees with the right equipment and, most importantly, the proper training.
The power of microlearning
Properly trained employees are aware of the hazards in their environment and adopt safe work practices. Eventually, they become health and safety ambassadors within your organization who are capable of educating new recruits.
Typically, health and safety training is held in small groups and covers many concepts. However, over time, people may gradually forget what they’ve learned and revert to potentially dangerous behaviours.
Used in conjunction with traditional training, microlearning helps maintain a safe work environment throughout the year. Once a day, your employees receive a short training session on their smartphones that’s directly related to their day-to-day work. For example, if they work in a noisy environment, one of the training sessions would focus on the adverse effects of noise on hearing, while another would address the proper use of hearing protection equipment. Even if they’ve already seen this material during a training day, the bite-sized content is sure to refresh their memory.
Because microlearning content is quite short (less than 10 minutes each), employees have time to watch it in full, ensuring better information recall. They can watch them on their lunch break, while taking public transit, or before going to bed. The courses are also paired with quizzes to help your employees assimilate the material.
As a manager, you have real-time access to user data. This way, if most of your employees have a hard time with a certain module, you can react quickly by offering a refresher.
The data collected also allows you to quantify in real time the impact of microlearning on the number of accidents, which is not always possible with quarterly or annual training sessions.
Some concepts are difficult to learn through text. That’s why microlearning solutions generally use audio and video content. With audiovisual material, you can show your employees the right posture to adopt when they lift heavy loads, for instance, or how to drive heavy machinery.
Have changes been made to your warehouse? Have you acquired any new machines? Is a new regulation coming into effect soon? Microlearning allows you to react fast by designing new training capsules in no time. You can even create them before changes are implemented at your company to ensure your workers are well prepared.
Focus on positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement has been proven to help develop good behaviour. With a microlearning solution, you can reward the most deserving employees. Users who score the highest on the quizzes can win a variety of prizes. Employee of the month, a gift certificate, a trip: you decide how you want to reward them.
In addition, microlearning solutions typically include a table of top users that’s visible directly in the app. This feature adds some healthy competition between teams who want to earn the top spot.
Employees who are more motivated will also be more likely to give you feedback. Conveniently, most microlearning solutions include social features, such as a comment module, a chat function, and private messaging. With these features, your employees can notify you right away if they detect a risk in their work environment or if they have suggestions for improving safety. After all, employee cooperation is essential to maintaining a safe work environment!
For other aspects
In addition to teaching your employees about health and safety, microlearning helps you protect your customers. If you’re in the food industry or the restaurant business, you can offer your staff training on proper hygiene measures.
Changing habits, one microlearning session at a time
Changing health and safety habits doesn’t happen overnight. However, with a microlearning solution like Albert, you’ll have no trouble establishing a safe work environment in all your departments. Your employees will be happy to watch the short daily training sessions, and you’ll be able to track their learning progress in real time.