6 Key Components of a Complete EHS Training Strategy
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Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith
September 26, 2019

6 Key Components of a Complete EHS Training Strategy

Like with anything, it helps to go into EHS training with a clear strategy. Not just because it helps employees, trainers, and supervisors stay organized, but because it’s necessary for some of the key reasons why safety training is administered in the first place.

female-student Engagement

Engagement and participation with EHS training programs remain a challenge for safety training staff. In fact, in an Atlantic Training survey of over 600 safety training professionals, over 10% said that participation was one of the top challenges of their safety training efforts.

video-tutorials-2 Retention

The main objective for administering safety training in the first place is so that employees will retain that knowledge and integrate them into their daily work practices. 

know-how Results

Safety training influences your safety culture. A positive safety culture is a direct response to having an effective safety training strategy.

That being said, your EHS training should uphold these three core pillars. Ensuring that it is, requires that your EHS training strategy has these six key components.


1. Targeted Safety Content

There are countless organizations engaging in countless operational activities, each with their own unique body of tasks. For each one of these seemingly infinite job tasks is the risk of injury or illness. 

Because of this, your EHS training strategy should effectively cover all the bases, meaning the safety training content should be targeted to each, and especially high-risk, job tasks. For example, a blanket Safety Orientation in Construction safety training session might lightly cover forklift safety but certainly won’t have the adequate depth of knowledge necessary for a construction forklift operator to have.

Additionally, general training tends to cover areas that some employees may never need to be well-rehearsed in. If a warehouse worker doesn’t have their forklift operator license, then it will be unnecessary for them to sit through a warehouse safety training session that goes deeply in-depth about forklifts.

Part of the reason safety training is effective is that it accurately targets those who engage in certain job tasks every day. Your EHS training strategy should involve matching the right employees with the EHS training that is most relevant to them. Those general safety training topics should be used for your semi-annual training sessions to enforce a unified safety culture outside of hosting targeted training.

Because this is a necessity, it’ll be important to have a diverse spectrum of training topics accessible at any time, which we explore in number two.


2. Accessible EHS Training

If safety training isn’t very accessible, neither will any other elements of safety. EHS training helps set the safety nuance in a workplace, meaning if it has holes, equipment and attitudes might also.

SafetySoft-Blog-tablet2Fortunately, you can instill accessible training instantly these days as the foundation for your EHS training strategy. Online EHS training courses can be set up at your workplace within a day, and allow for a wide array of safety topics to be accessed at any time by any employee in need of training. In fact, online EHS training courses are accessible by most modern devices, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers.

The benefits of having an online library of targeted EHS training topics are almost undefinable. Not only are you preserving the time spent pulling employees from the floor for training they may or may not need, but it allows for flexibility for both employees and classroom trainers. In high-stakes, high-risk industries such as construction, warehousing, and agriculture, the richest, most accessible training for the employees who need it is critical.

What’s important to note about online EHS training is that it can be used in tandem with classroom training making the administration of instructor-led training much easier. Safety training videos, instructor materials, tests, quizzes, handouts, and in many cases, an arsenal of tailgate talks are all accessible via online EHS training.


3. Adequate Frequency

One of the biggest problems with an EHS training strategy is that it tends to neglect training frequency. This is due to a variety of reasons:

Lost Productivity for Training Sessions – A one-hour safety meeting is never just a one-hour safety meeting. Having these frequently can contribute to lost production.

Planning – Planning an entire safety course, researching engagement methods, etc. is time-consuming.

Scheduling – Scheduling training sessions or scheduling certain employees for their necessary training can be a burden. Even more so if an employee is sick.

Sadly, these hurdles have led to a variety of troubling statistics.

An NSC survey found that about 36 percent of the 2,000 full-time and part-time employees in 14 industries surveyed felt their employers prioritize productivity over safety. Fifty percent of respondents in the same survey felt that safety meetings are held less often than they should be (likely due to inconvenience or lack of resources) and 36 percent said that they feel safety takes a backseat to job tasks.

This attitude amongst employees has countless adverse side effects for businesses, such as worker’s comp, poor safety attitudes, and a distrust of management...all very toxic to workplace culture. Frequent EHS training can counteract that.


4. Updated Courses

The constant updates to OSHA standards and industry safety “best practices” in general warrants the need for continuous updates to specific safety training topics and courses. Not only does this ensure your company’s compliance with the law, but in many cases, compliance with business insurance providers. Training that doesn’t cover these critical updates can result in heavy fines or worse. Additionally, out-of-date training is too familiar (therefore negating retention), not engaging, and, due to the styles and trends of the actors, a bit comical. 

Newer, up-to-date training such as online training courses or DVDs made within the last year often feature more diversity, high-quality animations, and even real-life case studies and stories from real employees. One of the most effective tools for upholding this critical component in your EHS training strategy is online EHS training. Online EHS training libraries are not only packed with current courses, but they’re updated frequently. Whenever an OSHA regulation is changed or added, the course manufacturers put out a new training course that is instantly added to the library of the online safety training provider they’ve partnered with. Content stays fresh, engaging, and up-to-date.

If your safety training features that same old male voiceover and bad acting, then although you may think you have a sound EHS training strategy, the truth is that you don’t.


5. A Calculable ROI

Safety training, in general, has an immense ROI. EHS professionals know this, but others may not. That’s why getting everyone on the same page ROI-wise will help you make effective choices for the tools you choose in your EHS training strategy.

That can be a difficult, and often time-consuming process. 

SafetySoft-Blog-ROI (1)

Especially if there’s a lot of hands in the pot that have to give their approval before investing in new, cutting-edge training solutions.

Fortunately, having a calculable ROI can expedite that process. 

If you’re amidst a time-consuming process getting approvals, there’s managerial resistance to investing in the best tools, etc. for your EHS training strategy, a training ROI calculator will be your best friend.

Most online safety training providers have an ROI calculator you can use to break down your ROI based on how many employees you have to train, your industry, and more. These carefully calculated figures can ensure that your EHS training strategy has a calculable ROI that you can share with key stakeholders. If you’re looking for a calculable ROI for online EHS training, Atlantic Training has training development reps with access to one that’ll help you break down just how much your company can save by investing in the right tools for your EHS training strategy.


6. Complete and Consistent

Consistency in your EHS training strategy is different than frequency. A consistent EHS training strategy will not only have frequent administration but all the training sessions, content, etc. are the same across the board. You can’t have up-to-date, cutting-edge online safety training courses for just certain high-risk jobs tasks, while other employees are stuck with old, dusty DVDs. Consistency in frequency, content, and administration is important.

What are the consequences of inconsistent training? If complete, consistent training is not an integral part of your safety training program, you risk under-utilized training assets, uneven safety cultures by department, and non-cohesive safety attitudes. A successful EHS training strategy takes consistency into account.


Key Takeaway

Let’s recap.

If a successful EHS training strategy is what you’re after, then you’ll want it to include these 6 core components to maximize engagement, retention, and results:

  1. Targeted safety content
  2. Accessible EHS training
  3. Adequate frequency
  4. Updated courses
  5. A calculable ROI
  6. Complete and consistent

An over-arching training method that encapsulates all these key components is online EHS training. 

Online training features key attributes such as:

  • A vast, up-to-date library that covers a wide variety of topics
  • Online record keeping
  • A user-friendly dashboard
  • Customer-service
  • Extra downloadable content for your use at any time

An EHS training strategy that employs online training is bound to be successful, as its key attributes target the core components of effective training.

Ready to get started? SafetySoft by Atlantic Training is a complete online safety training library that can propel your safety culture in a much more positive direction. Featuring materials for instructors that empowers them to deliver impactful training, and automated record keeping, SafetySoft is your training solution for a safer workplace.