Tech and Innovation: The Future Of Workplace Safety Training

Tech and Innovation: The Future Of Workplace Safety Training

Technological innovations are helping to make workplace training more accessible and less challenging for business owners and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

Safety training is required for all workplaces; however, effective safety training is a challenge for most. According to a recent survey, some of the biggest challenges in effective safety training involve scheduling time, verifying authenticity and determining retraining options. However, technological innovations are helping to make workplace training more accessible and less challenging for business owners and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

Workplace Safety Training Today

Workplace safety training is essential to providing employees with the necessary knowledge and resources to keep not only themselves but others safe on the job. In 2020, 924 workers in Canada died due to work-related causes (the latest year that data was available). Numerous others were injured or became ill in workplace-related incidents and accidents. Studies have shown that when employees receive effective safety training early and often, they are less likely to be injured on the job or to cause an injury to others.

Today, guidelines mandate that “Employers must ensure that employees have the necessary information, training and supervision to perform their jobs safely.” Ideally, this training applies not just to new hires, but to investing in retraining or refresher training for existing employees. Workplace safety and training should be an ongoing process that is completed regularly to keep all employees or team members up to date with the latest in safety practices. At a minimum training should be refreshed annually, beyond the required certifications and specializations (i.e. confined spaces certification, JHSC Certification, etc). 

Many companies do not provide training beyond onboarding or maintaining certifications due to the challenges related to the difficulty in scheduling, expenses related to training and finding the right training resources. Training can be costly for organizations, especially if they don’t know what to look for in a training program. Not training employees properly in safety management can be more costly. Technology is quickly improving the outlook of workplace safety training across North America.

OHS Training Tech and Innovation

When considering some of the biggest challenges facing organizations that seek to provide more occupational health and safety training, many of them can be directly addressed through technology innovations that are already being implemented in the industry. 

Innovations in AI

Over the past few years, AI usage and innovation have grown exponentially across every industry. From 2023 to 2030, AI is expected to achieve a 37.3 percent growth rate annually. AI’s strongest potential in safety training is related to personalizing education in relation to each individual employee and role. Everyone has different learning preferences, but it has historically been impossible to tailor training for each individual, due to the expense and time needed. 

However, AI is unlocking new opportunities in terms of personalization, using machine learning and predictive analytics to tailor learning programs to an individual’s style, pace and preferences. Custom learning is already being incorporated into some classrooms and, as it develops, will become more feasible for workplace safety training options. 

Innovations in AR and VR

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) tools are creating more accessible learning modules for safety training. One of the biggest challenges with safety training relates to both timing and finding trusted providers. Safety training, especially that required for specialized certifications, is often required to be in-person and completed within a certain time period. AR training modules address this challenge by allowing workers to experience a hands-on simulated environment without the need for concurrent training with other coworkers in person. 

With certain wearable tech, equipped with downloadable modules, companies are going to be able to equip their employees with more efficient and more common safety training over the next few years. These tools can also help employees assess unsafe situations in a controlled environment where they are not experiencing the situation themselves, which can further help their learning. While these innovations are slowly being introduced into safety training, it is likely to become more common as demand increases and costs decrease. 

Innovations In Learning Management Systems

Many training and teaching organizations use Learning Management Systems (LMS) to help manage their course delivery and tracking. As these systems expand and grow in features and availability, they are becoming more common in the OHS industry. Safety learning management systems are designed to bring digital learning content to individuals on the devices they use, usually offering independent timing options.

Some LMS systems are becoming so advanced that they integrate adaptive learning tools and compliance tracking options in the systems themselves, which helps to assist with individual learning and reporting on OSHA requirements. As the LMS market grows over the next few years, it will become less expensive and more efficient to offer employees specialized training options that can be tailored to fit employer and employee needs. If LMS, AR and AI tools can be integrated, the learning potential becomes even greater.

There are many challenges to getting all employees trained effectively. Working in workplace safety training boosts awareness of the challenges in getting both senior leadership and employees themselves to prioritize safety training. Innovations in technology related to AI, AR and LMS have huge potential to change the face of workplace safety training. These tools and other innovations in the industry should be tracked carefully over the coming years, as they will serve to make the job easier and, ultimately, make people safer.

Product Showcase

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3

  • Safety Knives

    The Safety Knife Company has developed a quality range of safety knives for all industries. Designed so that fingers cannot get to the blades, these knives will safely cut through cardboard, tape, strapping, shrink or plastic wrap or a variety of other packing materials. Because these knives have no exposed blades and only cut cardboard deep, they will not only protect employees against lacerations but they will also save product. The Metal Detectable versions have revolutionary metal detectable polypropylene knife bodies specifically for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This material can be detected and rejected by typical detection machines and is X-ray visible. 3

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    The SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit is a single-use spot test designed for use in screening for cannabis compounds in any sample type or on any surface. The test is capable of identifying the presumed presence of cannabinoids in very small quantities, with a level of detection as little as 6 μg in mass. Learn more about the SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit and the rest of SwabTek surface drug testing solutions through the webinar titled "Everything You Want To Know About Surface Testing" 3

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