In this article we will be considering ” How to measure the effectiveness of health and safety training ”
Measuring the effectiveness of Health and Safety training will not only will allow us to see areas where the training needs to be improved, it will also provide insight on ways to improve it as well.
Different organisation measure the effectiveness of the health and safety training provided differently based on the type and objectives of the training.
Typically, the effectiveness of the majority of health and safety training will be measured through monitoring the performance of workers after the training and comparing it with measurements taken beforehand. These measures can be issues arising over a certain period of time such as the number of accidents, employee sickness absence and evaluation forms which record the thoughts and feelings of the workforce.
Before any training can be properly evaluated, training outcomes must be identified before the commencement of the training. These training outcomes will be kept in mind throughout the whole training process. This will keep the trainer on track and also help him/her develop a criteria for measuring the effectiveness of the training.
Example of training outcomes are:
- Employee satisfaction with the training experience
- Safety training aligned with the goals of the business
- Knowledge, skills and practices learnt and applied to the work environment by employees
- Change in the behaviour of employees to improve safety within the workplace
- Reduced number of injuries and accidents on the job
- Measuring Return on Investment (ROI)
There are different ways/methods that could be used to measure the effectiveness of Health and Safety Training, they include:
1. Using reaction surveys
Most of us are familiar with perception or reaction surveys typically given at the end of a class. These are also known as level-one evaluations by most trainers.
Here participant are evaluated based on their perception. Often administered at the end of a program – a questionnaire. They typically ask questions such as: Was the training effective? Was the instructor knowledgeable? Were the handouts appropriate? Was the room comfortable?
The knowledge of your workers are tested before and after the safety training. This can help gauge how much was learnt as a result of safety training. Testing also provides information on strengths and weaknesses of the certain topics within the presentation.
3. Measure performance improvement:
This is achieved through analysis of your accident records.
4. The Kirkpatrick model
This method has been used for 60 years and has a four step approach to evaluating:
- Reaction – How employees respond to safety training
- Learning – What employees learn and what skills they acquire from the training
- Behaviour – Whether employees have changed their behaviour and applied what they have learnt on-the-job
- Results – Measuring actual results to see whether the safety training program has been worthwhile
5. The Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model (LTEM) by Dr. Will Thalheimer
LTEM has eight levels of evaluation. The levels are;
Attendance: This notes whether an employee has signed up, attended or completed the safety training program.
Activity: Here, learner activity is measured in three ways
It is important to note that the presence of these three factors does not necessarily equal learning. Employees may be attentive, interested and participate, but this does not mean they are effectively learning nor that they are learning the right thing.
Learner Perceptions: This is gotten through feedback. This can help employees judge their own level of learning and can provide information to assessors on what areas of training need to be improved. However when looking at the perceptions of learners we need to be targeting the right things. Instead of simply measuring learner satisfaction, it is better to measure comprehension, realistic practice and learners motivation to apply what they have learnt to their everyday.
Knowledge: This is about testing employee’s recitation and retention of knowledge. For learning to be effective, knowledge must be retained over an extended period.
Decision making competence: Testing the ability of employees to make decisions given a realistic situation.
Task competence: Testing whether employees can make decisions and perform relevant actions. This is more of a practical approach and is essential in safety training so that employees feel confident enough to apply what they have learnt when placed under pressure.
Transfer: This step aims to show whether employees are able to transfer what they have learnt into their actual work environment. If something does go wrong, employees will respond accordingly, using skills acquired in safety training.
Effects of transfer: This looks at how the transfer of what has been learnt effects the business, employees and others. The effect of improving safety training should be a reduction in workplace accidents and injuries.
6. The Bersin Impact Measurement Framework
This model takes a different approach than the LTEM. Instead of levels of evaluation, it looks at measurement areas and the questions they should answer. By assessing each of these areas and asking the relevant questions, you should be able to measure the job impact, business impact and ROI of your safety training.
- What is the completion rate of your safety training program?
- Who is it that you are planning to train?
- What are the obstacles preventing employees from adopting the safety training?
- How useful is the safety training to employees— can it actually be utilised in their work environment?
- Did the safety training program satisfy the needs of employees?
Efficiency (financial measures)
- Was the safety training built and delivered in a cost-effective way?
- How does the cost per employee and per hour compare to other safety programs?
Alignment with business objectives
- Were the safety priorities of the business defined?
- Do the objectives align with the safety problems of the business?
Attainment of customer objectives – the measurement of customer satisfaction
- Did your training program meet safety and budgetary objectives?
- How well do you feel you have obtained your stated goals?
- How well did employees like the content, delivery and experience of the safety training?
- How do these satisfaction measures compare to existing skills, motivation and attitude?
- How well did the desired learning on safety take place?
- Does the learning reflect the problems in safety for the business?
- Is the safety learning relevant?
- How well are individuals meeting performance of objectives?
- Have employees improved their performance?
- How is the performance of the business affected by the safety program? — Ideally, injuries and accidents will be decreased as a result of effective safety training.
As stated earlier, different organizations adopt different evaluation method based on the type of training and what they tend to achieve.
As a Trainer, Manager or Employer, which of these methods have you made use of and which do you believe is best for you?
You can share your thought using the comment box.
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