Rock Products

AUG 2017

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • August 2017 • 117 Aggregates Industry Almanac Safety Training One should ask, "At what point does providing MSHA-re- quired safety training, covering the identical topics and using the same delivery processes, neither foster learning nor encourage employee engagement?" Clinging to MSHA training content and processes that have not changed sig- nificantly over the past 25 years probably tends to do little to improve or change employee safety performance. When MSHA Annual Refresher Training is conducted, we frequent- ly see most of the following: •  Tables or desk arranged in classroom style (which discour- ages discussion and interaction among participants). •  The primary processes for delivering MSHA training to students remains PowerPoint presentations, videos and lectures. •  The topics or content of MSHA training sessions, for the most part, remains unchanged. • Students tend to be inactive, do not get involved and are rarely engaged in any meaningful discussion or learning activity. •  Interaction is minimal unless presenters of the class count "clicking" on buttons of a participant's computer or hand held device. Training developed around the same topics and delivered by way of PowerPoint presentations, videos and lectures usually encourages participants to remain passive or bored during the sessions and as a result, they will probably not learn or gain new information. As indicated in the SAFES- TART education program, "if the refresher training is iden- tical to the original training and it "bores" the trainees, they might not get what they really need out of it." To improve and make safety training more valuable, trainers might fol- low the suggestion provided in the article "Effective Safety Training" in which the author states, "It is the trainer's duty to make safety training fun and educational, which will help the trainees to retain information, enjoy the course and ap- ply the learning to their work and lives." Training Delivery Processes When face-to-face training is provided, trainers or instruc- tors typically use lectures, PowerPoint slides, pictures and videos to deliver their content or programs. In recent years, distance education, computer-based training and e-learning have become popular training delivery processes. When any of these are used to provide safety education, they may be only somewhat effective in helping partici- pants attain an understanding of safety behavior and com- pliance. They may be less effective because these types of delivery processes generally encourage participants to be passive; allow only minimal interaction and virtually no en- gagement. In case of distance education, computer-based training or e-learning, there is limited or no opportunity to ask questions. On-going safety education or training, pre- sented using these delivery processes, is sometimes seen by participants as less than exciting and repetitive; there- fore, it may be only marginally effective and transfer mini- mal knowledge. A literature review indicates there may be better ways to help participants learn and thus, retain information from educational or training events in which they take part. Many studies dealing with "retained learning" indicate individuals generally retain only (Klatt 1999): • 10 percent of what is read to them. • 20 percent of what they hear. • 30 percent of what they see. On the other hand, these same studies show retained learn- ing is much higher when participants are engaged and ac- tive. If educational or training processes are selected which allow individuals freedom to participate, interact or ask questions they retain: • 70 percent of what they say. • 90 percent of what they say and do. Research on most effective training techniques or processes indicate classroom or instructor-led remains the most pop- ular delivery process used by trainers. Ken Taylor stated, in his article "Face-To-Face Training Still Leads the Way," that two studies conducted by Training Industry Inc. in 2012 found "the most effective modalities for training were face- to-face instructor-led courses and coaching." While these techniques are personal or face-to-face processes, too often they are not interactive and success of training is dependent upon the skills and effectiveness of the instructor. Current research on the effectiveness of distance educa- tion, computer-based training and e-learning is mixed; but there seems to be a consensus that both are fairly effective delivery processes in some situations. For example, learn- ing "hard skills" such as technical skills, how to do a task, operate a piece of equipment or a tool can be done effective- ly using these processes. On the other hand, using distance learning, computer-based training or E-learning for teach- ing or improving "soft skills," such as communication, lead- ership, safety, team cooperation and time or management development, may not attain the same results. Soft skills are more difficult to teach, harder to evaluate and require more face-to-face time between instructor and students. A blend- ed approach combining distance education, computer based training or e-learning with face-to-face time will increase their effectiveness and acceptance. Research has also found adult learning is improved when it is interactive, "hands-on" and life experiences are incorpo- rated into training sessions. Providing adult learners with structured case studies, group discussions and other learn- ing activities will generate interaction and conversations which encourages them to come up with ideas, questions, suggestions and solutions to problems or issues. This process is more effective with helping adults learn than simply giving facts, rules and other information for them to remember. As Pike (1989) stated, "Repetition of information adults have already learned will not increase their level of knowledge and will probably do very little to change their

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