Canadian Occupational Safety

July/August 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 31 29 says that "they really need to want to be there. It is obvious when someone is going through the motions, it sends the wrong message. They need to be effective communicators and determine if the other person understood what you said." Training programs and educational courses need to be able to adapt to their learners, says Blunt. "This 'one size fits all' is problematic if you want everyone to learn." 3. Vary means of delivery As Jones says, there need to be different components and ways of delivering the material. A good training program should also involve several styles of training delivery (lecture style, group discussion, group interaction, etc.), says Rebbitt. "A good training program produces the desired result," he says. "That means that people who have completed the training program have learned the new skill or retain the knowledge even at a later time and are able to complete the task or tasks associated with the training competently." 4. Do not forget followup It is important that, after all this effort is put into teaching, the learner has fully understood the course material. This 1. Establish the basics Above all else, "the basics remain," Jones says, and those wishing to create a program should ensure that "proper learning outcomes are established to be sure everyone knows what we are trying to achieve and then a series of directed, self-directed and group activities to allow for exposure to the material; analysis of significance and incorporation with learners' existing knowledge and understanding." These really are the basics, and we will cover them further down. Additionally, he says, we need to recognize that we will always have learners with different learning styles (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) and need to be sure that we offer the content multiple times and in different ways appropriate for each learner style. 2. Identify the learner's needs Indeed, for any kind of educational program, it is key to understand what the learner expects and what the learner needs to take away from the course. Dave Rebbitt, president of Calgary- based Rarebit Consulting, says the "key features of a good training program are based on the overall training process. The training program should clearly identify the training needs or what needs to be trained. This often involves conducting an assessment to understand what it is people must know or must be able to do when they complete the training program." This, he says, helps keep the training program focused. Blunt says that, "either way you look at it, you've got to have clear-focused objectives that are measurable." You also need to have a good trainer, she says. On the learner side of things, Blunt "It's definitely an important thing; there should be some kind of practical aspect to anything that's over a job that you're physically going to do." Leigh Ann Blunt, school chair and safety professor with the University of Central Missouri means, says Rebbitt, that training programs should follow up to gauge whether people are actually applying their new skills or knowledge effectively. "Any good training program always includes some kind of knowledge check and skill check. For example, someone who is taking a simple course on something like hazard assessments should be able to demonstrate they can actually produce a hazard assessment at the end of the course. This is to demonstrate that they have retained and can apply the knowledge," says Rebbitt. "When it's specific training, they need to be able to demonstrate and articulate what it was they learned," says Blunt. 5. Keep up with changes Although Jones says there have not necessarily been any legislative changes that would have a major impact on training, "there are many OHS legislative jurisdictions in Canada, one for every province and territory and one federal framework. There are changes happening all the time… The OHS safety certifying bodies do have an impact on what universities teach." As well as being the president of Rarebit Consulting, Rebbitt also develops and instructs courses at the University of Alberta OHS program. Rebbitt concurs with Jones and says that "there haven't really been any recent training developments." But, he says, "There have been some legislative changes in Alberta and B.C. over the past few years that require health and safety committee or representative training." Jones, who provides program design and instructional support to the University of New Brunswick's OH&S certificate and diploma programs, says the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) has announced a change in its exam blueprint so that it can align with the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations. If all goes to plan, BCRSP plans to administer the first exam developed from this new blueprint in February 2021. "BCRSP is working on a training standard for health and safety practitioners," says Rebbitt. "A completed educational standard would be used to certify the current educational programs in Canada for recognition by BCRSP." "We are careful to make sure that a course is current," says Blunt. She adds that they struggle to have textbooks that are current, for example, and are careful to supplement using daily true-time information. You have to be ready for when things change, she says, and you have to pay attention and have opportunities for individuals in the safety and health arena that fundamentally allow them to look at the broader picture. "More and more, we are seeing companies [that] are requiring degreed individuals," says Blunt. "I think that trend is going to continue — especially with what is going on right now [COVID-19]. You've got to have certified,

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Occupational Safety - July/August 2020