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Five Steps for Providing Effective Safety Training

afety training is defined as the “how” in safety, and it teaches your workers safe behaviors, practices and procedures. Here are five tips to help supervisors conduct effective on-the-job safety training.

Introduction: Tell the worker what you are going to train him or her to do. Emphasize the importance of the procedure to the success of your company or organization’s production and service goals. Invite questions. Emphasize natural and system consequences. A natural consequence is the resulting hurt or health that occurs automatically as the result of the worker’s actions. A system consequence is the punishment or reward that may or may not occur as the result of the worker’s actions. The number one reason why employees do not follow rules in general is that they don’t know why doing so is important. Employees will be much more likely to follow safety rules if they know what the natural and system consequences are.

  1. Trainer show and tell: Demonstrate the process. Explain and demonstrate safe work procedures associated with the task. Help the worker become familiar with each work practice and why it is important. Explain each step and then perform each step while the learner observes each step and is invited to ask questions at any time.
  2. Trainer ask and show: Have the learner explain the procedure to you, while YOU perform it. This approach gives supervisors the opportunity to discover whether there have been any misunderstandings on the worker’s part. Ask learners questions as you perform each step.
  3. Trainee tell and show: Have the trainee explain the process to you step-by-step, and once receiving your permission to continue, have the worker perform each step while you watch. Continue to ask questions of the trainee.
  4. Conclusion: Recognize the trainee’s accomplishment. Re-emphasize the importance of the procedure and how it fits into the overall process. Tie the training again to the worker’s accountability.
  5. Document: Effective documentation is more than an attendance sheet. Make sure that you certify that adequate knowledge and skills have been achieved. If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t get done!

Here is a sample of proper training documentation:

Training Subject ______________________ Date _________ Location _______________

Trainee certification: I have received on-the-job training on those subjects listed. This training has provided me adequate opportunity to ask questions and practice procedures to determine and correct skill deficiencies. I understand that performing these procedures/practices safely is a condition of my employment. I fully intend to comply with all safety and operational requirements discussed. I understand that failure to comply with these requirements may result in progressive discipline (or corrective actions) up to and including termination.

Employee Name Signature Date




Trainer certification: I have conducted orientation/on-the-job training to the employee(s) listed above. I have explained related procedures, practices and policies. Employees were each given the opportunity to ask questions and practice procedures taught under my supervision. Based on each student’s performance, I have determined that each employee trained has adequate knowledge and skills to safely perform these procedures/practices.

Trainer Name Signature Date

Training validation: On ___________________ (date) I have observed the above employee(s) successfully applying the knowledge and skills learned during the training.


Supervisor Name Signature Date

(Source: Oregon OSHA)


Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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