Safety, Make it Personal

I’ll be the first to admit, I am not an expert in the field of safety. In fact, I know perhaps only a small handful of people I would consider to be experts. We all have certain areas that we specialize in, but few of us know enough to be considered an expert.

I have been around long enough to know that if you want to get your message across to your employees, and make an impact, you have to make your message personal. When trying to convey complex safety regulations and information to your employees there are a number of decent “package” programs out there for your use. Many vendors offer a variety of delivery methods for maximum impact; from power points to videos, from online learning to classroom exercises. The problem is that although they contain the proper information, they lack personalization.

In my experience I have learned that the most effective way to deliver the material, and to get the best results, is to relate the information to the employees in a manner that they can easily understand. No matter what delivery method I am using to convey the information (classroom training presentation, informational video, handouts, fliers, mailings, etc.) I look to use things my employees can relate to.

Take for instance a power-point presentation on driving safety. When designing the presentation I will include pictures of my company’s vehicles, pictures of myself or one of my employees driving, insert pictures of familiar buildings, jobsites or surroundings. By utilizing visuals that the employees can relate to, they are more likely to understand and comprehend the material; and that equates to better retention. After all that’s what we are trying to accomplish, an understanding of the requirements and a change in behavior.

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