Kevin Ian Schmidt
quality workplace safety training

10 Reasons Why Safety Training is Often Ineffective

There are a number of reasons why so many safety courses fail to provide results in the workplace.

 Ten of the most common reasons for the lack of results in safety training

  • The most important one is that the environment to which the participants return is not blessed with effective leadership. This ineffective leadership does not encourage or foster a safe environment. Often, there is a culture of blame when there is an accident or incident.
Check Out: How Effective Leaders Use Positive Reinforcement For the Greatest Effect
  • Next, the training is purely knowledge-based and not behavioral based. This means that whilst the participants may leave the course with extra knowledge, they don’t necessarily know how to apply it. Academic teaching methods are used, theories are expounded and there are few practical elements in the training. Safety is an emotional subject and the training programs must be designed with care.
  • Safety Training can be boring in the wrong training hands. This is a great turn off for so many people attending the courses because they become disengaged and will not accept any new concepts or change their behavior back in the workplace.
  • Frequently, the person taking the training course does not understand how people learn. This means that most of the money, effort and time is wasted and the participants become cynical and unwilling to embrace new ideas.
  • Because so many training courses attempt too much, the group members rapidly go into an overload coma. When this occurs, no learning takes place and consequently no behavioral change back in the workplace.
  • The participants are subjected to endless videos and “death by PowerPoint™” This means that at least two thirds of the group members are not reached by the information.
  • The training is not fun. Worldwide research shows that training which is fun with plenty of humor is much more effective in terms of the retention and attention of participants. Furthermore, there is a greater acceptance of new ideas and concepts.
  • The managers are not trained with the rest of the staff. This means that there is always the opportunity for a greater disconnect between the two groups in terms of common goals and objectives.
  • There are no training objectives which are shared with the participants. They are not included in the process of setting goals and objectives nor are the involved in deciding how these are to be reached. There are no expectations set for performance after the training.
  • There is no follow-up coaching on the job so that training is taken out of context and is irrelevant. There is no measurement of changed behavior.

If the participants in the training are not asked for a commitment to a safer working environment, it is unlikely that they will spontaneously give it.


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