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October 2017
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TD Magazine
TD Pros See Safety Training as More Than Compliance

Every job has its exciting moments, but most also include at least a few tasks that are important but not flashy. For some talent development professionals, safety training falls into this category.

While it doesn't always receive a lot of attention, it's one of the most ubiquitous types of training around: According to a recent study from Safety+Health magazine, 99 percent of companies offer at least some type of safety training to their full-time employees, 61 percent offer it to part-time employees, and 57 percent even offer it to temporary workers.

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And at most companies, this involves more than just doing enough to meet compliance standards.

When asked about their top three reasons for conducting worker safety training, only 50 percent of people included "to be in compliance" as one of their selections. Instead, 97 percent included "to reduce injuries and illnesses" as a top reason, while 77 percent said they conduct safety training "to prevent complacency" and 57 percent said they did so "to go beyond compliance." These responses indicate that talent development sees effective safety training as doing more than the bare minimum.

However, that doesn't mean the profession finds it easy. In the open-ended answer section, respondents cited several challenges to delivering effective safety training, which fell into five broad groups:

  • keeping safety top of mind among workers
  • dealing with budget constraints
  • delivering training to different generations of workers
  • finding appropriate times to conduct training
  • keeping training fresh.
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About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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