We’re all too familiar with the safety trainings businesses across the United States require employees to take annually. They can range from workplace bullying and safety to active shooter trainings to cybersecurity to sexual harassment. Although they’re all important and necessary trainings, they may not be a priority during a busy work day and can be considered relatively boring. As an employer, you are responsible for the health and safety of your workforce which means you must provide information, instruction, and training to guarantee everybody stays safe.
The Importance of Workplace Safety Training
Depending on what kind of company you work for there could be many more required trainings necessary to ensure employee safety. For example, the construction industry has OSHA required trainings that must be upheld, as workers are exposed to more safety and health risks on the job when compared to the risks you may see at a corporate desk job.
Hazards are unescapable to all industries, which is why it’s essential for any organization to make provisions for safety trainings and update safety programs on a regular basis. The main goal of safety training is to keep employees safe from injury, illness, or death.
There are many other benefits of workplace safety trainings, which include the following from Tutorials Point:
- Educate employees on the basics of health and safety
- Increased focus by employees on their tasks
- Increased job pleasure and confidence among employees
- Increased employee inspiration
- Increased effectiveness in processes, deriving in financial gain
- Increased ability to adopt new skills and methods
- Increased change in scheme and products
- Decrease in employee turnover
- Increase company image, e.g., conducting ethics training
- Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training.
- Increased productivity and satisfaction among personnel by keeping the workplace safe
Workplace Safety Training and Gamification
Although the benefits are clearly noted above, workplace safety trainings can often be quite lengthy and dull to get through. This is where gamification come in. Insured Solutions Inc. explains, “Gamification is the concept of motivating employees or making learning more fun by turning it into a game.” Taking the sometimes-boring workplace safety trainings and turning them into more of a game can make it fun for employees to get through the mandatory tests and quizzes while still learning and staying up-to-date on workplace safety.
There are some simple ways to gamify workplace safety. Below are a few examples your company could implement:
- Creating a Points System
Although this is a simple resolution, it’s one that works. Creating a points system means awarding employees with points when they do things in a certain way. Applying this to workplace safety could include offering workers points for completing safety trainings, reviewing workplace safety standards, and participating in workplace safety evaluations.
- Team Based Performance
Encouraging your team to reach a certain number of days without a safety hazard or incident is a good way to get everybody involved in workplace safety together. To gamify, Insured Solutions Inc. recommends having your team compete against their last performances, or earn badges for milestones along the way.
- Tracking Goals
Every business has certain safety goals and gamification can help you reach them. For example, consider creating safety targets as opposed to sales targets which can be rewarded within your game.
- Rewarding Safety Education
Online workplace safety quizzes and evaluations can be tedious, but gamifying them by allowing employees to win tokens to apply or redeem for a prize is a good way to ensure your employees are making an effort to learn about workplace safety.
Gamification can be successfully implemented in the workplace by rewarding employees for educating themselves on safety hazards as well as preventing safety incidents.
Technology is continually changing and improving as time moves forward. Simcoach Games is a company that is gamifying workplace trainings for companies in the manufacturing and construction fields. With many workplace injuries occurring in these industries due to the higher risks employees face, this company has come up with easy games to help those individuals prepare for the hazards they could encounter.
Enhesa explains one of the games, Harness Hero, was designed to reduce the significant number of construction injuries and deaths that are caused by falls. “The game is designed with short lengths of play, a series of challenges, and best of all for employers, tests to see if the player is learning. At the end of each mission, after the player has inspected the digitized equipment for flaws, the digital worker is pushed off a digital building. If the player did well, the digital worker is saved. If not…well, this is the great thing about digitizing occupational health and safety training: while the player gets to test themselves on their real life-saving knowledge with real scenarios presented to them, there is no risk of bodily harm.”
Making mistakes in a virtual place can help employees understand how important the safety procedures are in protecting them day-to-day. Employers also have the ability to track the progress of their employees as they learn and practice safety procedures, and address those who are not advancing to moderate safety concerns before they move from the digital space to the workplace.
Workplace Safety Technology
Mass notification systems and anonymous tip software are two other technologies that can improve workplace safety in case of an emergency. Sending out alerts to employees including incident updates and instructions on how to respond to an emergency helps workers stay informed and up-to-date on workplace safety procedures. Employees can utilize anonymous tip software to inform others of safety hazards or coworkers who may be a safety hazard themselves.
Communication is key in case of an emergency, and key to keeping employees safe. Check out our 2019 report below to learn how companies are preparing for workplace safety with technology.