Sunday, July 5, 2015

Article on Weird Workplace Safety Videos

On July 2, 2015, The Atlantic published an interesting article entitled "In Praise of the Humble Workplace Safety Video" by Sophie Gilbert.

The full article can be accessed here

Ms. Gilbert stated in the article: "There are no statistics relating to whether safety videos actually decrease occurrences of injuries and fatalities in the workplace, but they definitely offer a healthy defense against one serious threat: lawsuits."

A 2006 study in the American Journal of Public Health entitled "Relative Effectiveness of Worker Safety and Health Training Methods" explained that video-based training is one of the least effective intervention methods to improve workers' knowledge of safety and health. Lectures and videos are passive methods that are commonly used in industry to present safety and health information, but were shown in this study to be the least engaging and least effective methods. More engaging methods, such as hands-on demonstrations and participatory discussions, were recommended.

NIOSH also discussed the effectiveness of safety training for workers in a blog post from January 29, 2010. The blog post explained: "In many cases, it was difficult or impossible to draw firm conclusions about the areas we examined due to the lack of quality research. There is a critical need for high quality, controlled studies of workplace health and safety training. That said, given that workplace education and training programs have a positive impact on health and safety behaviors, as we noted earlier in our discussion, and that training and education is a fundamental component of workplace safety and health protections, we recommend that workplaces continue to conduct education and training programs."

In 1999, NIOSH also released a document providing "A Model for Research on Training Effectiveness" that discusses what makes training effective, and explains the Training Intervention Effectiveness Research (TIER) model. The NIOSH document explains that:     

"[...] the most important goal of occupational safety and health training is the long-term reduction of injury and illness among workers. However, a longitudinal study does not meet the immediate evaluation needs of training interventions, and resources for such studies are not readily available. Therefore, occupational safety and health training research usually focuses on representative outcomes (e.g., workers’ statements of behavioral intent) that are believed to accurately project unrealized impacts. Representative outcomes include direct results (such as improved attitudes toward risk reduction and hazard control) and intermediate variables (such as changes in work practices among workers who have received training)."

More on safety training and videos later. Happy 4th of July weekend!