A safety training needs assessment can help you determine whether your company's current safety training program is effective and identify areas for improvement. In addition, conducting a training needs assessment for all new work processes implemented at your company will ensure you are providing effective safety training to your employees and avoid injuries related to unfamiliarity with the new work processes.
Here's how to conduct a safety training needs assessment in five steps.
1. Determine the purpose for the safety training needs assessment. You may need to conduct a training needs assessment in the following situations:
- A change in the workplace, such as bringing on a new type of equipment or creating a new process at your company that exposes your employees to new risks
- An unacceptable rate of injuries, near-misses, or lost productivity
2. Gather data. Use safety observations, interviews, questionnaires, incident reports and performance appraisals to evaluate your employees' safety knowledge.
3. Analyze the data to identify any gaps or deficiencies between the knowledge required to do the job safely and your employees' knowledge.
4. Determine if your safety challenges can be addressed by training. If your data shows that your employees lack the required knowledge of risks and safe practices, safety training can help solve that. However, some performance problems cannot be corrected by safety training. These would include issues such as lack of motivation, morale, lack of resources, or system design.
5. Propose the safety training solution. If you find that your problem is one that can be solved through additional safety training, you can then go on to develop a formal or informal safety training program that will correct the deficiency. The data you gathered during the assessment will help you develop a safety training program that delivers the right content to your employees and improves your company's safety performance.