Utility Company Safety Program: Best Practices for Delivery

Any company safety program is important, but utility companies often face unique circumstances that make safety training and compliance paramount. The oil and gas industry has one of the highest rates of severe injuries, and the utility industry has the highest rate of fatal electrical injuries, as well.

Choosing a delivery method for a utility company safety program takes serious consideration. With a significant sector of the utility workforce moving toward retirement, safety training is a substantial portion of onboarding new hires. In addition, it is still imperative to ensure more senior workers remain current and in compliance. With an array of demographics represented in your staff, aiming to reach all learning styles is a commendable goal.

So how can you decide which delivery method is optimal for your company safety program?

Delivering Safety Training to Employees

The good news is that adults are voluntary learners who tend to acquire new information and skills quickly. Not only are they self-motivated, but they anticipate learning facts that they can apply to their lives right away.

When employees are actively engaged and are learning both skills and knowledge, they learn even more effectively. Sharing their personal experiences and interacting with trainers and one another further improves their ability to absorb what they learn.

Be sure to perform a needs assessment before planning or implementing a safety program for your organization. Learning more about your workforce’s current knowledge and experience, as well as predominant learning styles, will go a long way toward creating a fruitful training program.

The Four Characteristics of a First-Rate Company Safety Program

According to OSHA, safety programs should have four characteristics. Ensuring that your utility company safety program includes all these features will increase the likelihood of success.

  1. Accuracy: A safety program should provide information that meets regulatory standards. It should be developed and provided by subject experts. Training should be facilitated by experienced individuals on a trusted platform and updated as needed.
  2. Credibility: Safety program facilitators and content creators should have quantifiable experience in a health- or safety-related field as well as in training adults.
  3. Clarity: Safety training programs should be understandable and applicable to the learner. Materials used in a safety program should match the language and grammar used by employees. In addition, instruction should be available in other languages for employees who find English difficult to speak or comprehend. In the same vein, accommodations should be made for trainees with literacy deficits.
  4. Practicality: The information delivered in a utility company safety program should be easily transferred to work duties. Employees should view the training as immediately beneficial to their current positions and duties.

Offer Multiple Delivery Methods

Just as there are numerous learning styles, there are several ways to deliver training materials to your workforce, as well. Providing as many methods as possible will confirm that all employees obtain the best possible instruction from a training program, no matter what learning styles, language barriers, or other issues are involved. Each delivery method has unique advantages to both employers and those being trained.

Allow employees to access self-directed training via an LMS. E-learning via a learning management system has plenty of benefits.

  • Workers can train around their schedules and at their own pace.
  • Self-directed learning can decrease expenses by reducing the need for on-site trainers and training spaces.
  • All staff will receive consistent education, even at different locations.

A lecture-style delivery method can be valuable when a large group requires a minor amount of training in a limited window of time. To best utilize this training style, hold instructor-led training in a classroom setting. Consider projecting lessons onto a screen or walking through implement- or device-based training together.

In addition, offer brief training at the start of the day for specific needs, such as an overview of a new tool, regulation, or client needs. This could include on-the-job or field-based demos, as well. Hold regular training and include refresher training days to ensure everyone in your workforce is consistently current on compliance. Including advanced courses could also be beneficial, especially for long-standing employees and those who are looking to move up in the ranks.

Selecting a Platform

Putting several delivery methods into place is risky. If you attempt to present a safety program to some of your staff from a book, others in a presentation, and the rest in an online guide, the chances of inconsistency are high. It also limits your ability to reliably track compliance or certification dates.

Choosing a comprehensive learning management system enables you to deliver your company safety program to all your workers consistently while still employing multiple delivery methods. Using a robust LMS, you have all the features available to create a user-friendly for learners at every level; it will even be easy to manage for those in your workforce who might be less tech-savvy.

An LMS can also be cost-effective for businesses of all sizes. A full-function system could reduce the costs associated with managing and delivering training content, optimizing the usage of learning resources. Because a powerful LMS distributes targeted learning promptly across all departments and locations within an organization, it can save on travel and other expenses associated with different delivery methods.

At WestNet Learning, we provide an inclusive and powerful platform with painless integration; you can put your safety program in place without dumping even more work on an already overextended staff.

WestNet’s all-in-one LMS solution provides consistent training across all locations with the ability to fully customize courses, track certification, and recertification dates or timelines, and ensure that all employees are in compliance in a timely manner.

WestNet Learning believes effective company safety programs can not only increase employee safety but that they could potentially improve productivity and give companies a competitive market advantage, as well. WestNet’s learning management system even has the ability to integrate with most existing platforms, which is a rare advantage that could save your company both time and money.

If you’d like to learn more about how an LMS could be the ideal delivery method for your utility company safety program, reach out today to schedule a 1-on-1 employee training strategy session.