Poor Safety Knowledge Retention = Increased Workplace Fatalities

By April 21, 2017 November 23rd, 2018 Workplace health and safety
workplace fatalities

Workplace fatalities for 2017 have not abated as the recent Safe Work Australia results show. The grim news is that up to 30 March 2017, there had been 45 fatalities across all industries in Australia, mostly in transport (18), construction (8) and agriculture (10) showing that compared to the same time last year there has been a 25% increase!

Workplace training is our way to reducing workplace fatalities and informing workers on how to operate in their environment in the safest possible way.

On average, businesses spend up to 10% of their annual turnover on training. Much of the training is for compliance purposes and therefore is related to health and safety. However, because it’s driven by compliance, the receiver of the training isn’t always considered when the training is conducted. Is the information absorbed? Is it transferred into the workplace?

No, not usually, because we know that after one month, 90% of the trained knowledge is lost (in a traditional classroom setting). This is an ineffective use of the valuable training dollar when only 10% knowledge retention is achieved.

We need training that considers the recipient and their learning behaviour. Through this we will see increased knowledge retention that leads to a positive change in behaviour that in turn reduces workplace incidents. Fewer workplace incidents reduces the risk of workplace fatalities.Using mobile devices and engaging content that shows real work examples and requires employee decision making, we can achieve a higher percentage of knowledge retention. Mobile devices have been shown in marketing research to engage the senses of sight, hearing and touch. The use of touch stimulates the emotional area of the brain and this emotional connection embeds learning and encourages retention of the training content as long as the content is of high quality and is relatable to the end user. Mobile devices achieve this ‘connection’ far more that training delivered via a computer. Something to consider when you are designing your next safety training course or safety induction.

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