How to Ensure Safety and Reliability on The Factory Floor after Time Off

How to Ensure Safety and Reliability on The Factory Floor after Time Off

There’s no doubt that as we weather through this crisis, the thought of getting back to normal life is appealing. We all want to be able to go back to work and be productive, to connect with our friends and families, and to freely navigate the world as before. 

It’s possible that on the other side of this crisis is not the old state of normal which we are all used to, but some kind of new normal. What that looks like, no one yet knows, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for all possibilities, and to use this time to maintain as much normalcy as we can. 

For many, returning to the factory floor after an extended period of leave can bring complexities that should be taken into consideration. Namely, how to ensure that skills don’t get rusty on a period of leave, and how to ensure safety on the factory floor. 

There’s also the situation which many companies such as HEB Grocery, and General Mills are facing, which is that production has in fact increased dramatically, while administrative functions have reduced, and as a result these companies have started pulling workers out of administration jobs and onto the factory floor to keep up with demand.

Let’s explore some measures that can be taken to help with safety as labor is shifted or returned to work.

  1. Checklists: To make sure existing staff have prepared for new people to come back, create checklists to make sure everything from clean up, to documenting changes over the last few weeks, to supplies, safety gear, etc. are in place. Also ensure that returning employees have a safety check list that must be completed before returning to work.
  2. Routine: Quickly establish a routine for both new and existing employees. Routines are important in establishing a good working environment, so it’s important to make sure that everyone gets into a routine right away. Strictly schedule work, break, maintenance, and training time for everyone.
  3. Assess: Before anyone touches machinery or equipment, make sure you have a way to assess their ability to perform different tasks and recall and employ important health and safety regulation.
    1. Use paper based questionnaires for general safety regulation.
    2. Create a mini refresher course in your learning management system and have staff complete a quiz.
    3. Deploy simulation based training like the Simutech Training System to assess staff’s ability to troubleshoot and perform maintenance tasks while following safety guidelines.
  4. Correct: If you notice any deficiencies in the assessments or in the checklists, make sure you have a plan in place to address the issues. For example, if you observe that staff being assessed using the Simutech Training System are not performing the required Lockout/Tagout/Verify Dead process, then make sure you schedule time for them to practice troubleshooting in a virtual environment until they gain those skills. Similarly, if you observe from the course you prepare that they are not aware of basic regulation or causes of issues such as Arc Flash or Shock hazards, then quickly – if you do not have it already – deploy online training that addresses these issues.

Staff health and safety is always top of mind, the great news is that there are several ways we can ensure that they have a productive and happy experience when they get back to work.

What are you doing at your plant to make sure that staff is ready to go back? Share your ideas here.

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3 Tips to Keep your Mind Occupied and Active During Physical Isolation

3 Tips to Keep your Mind Occupied and Active During Physical Isolation

While all of us begin to take the necessary measures to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, it may feel daunting to be staring down weeks, if not months, of isolation in our homes, on our own, or even with our families. 

A study published recently in The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal, suggested that quarantine conditions for long periods of time can have adverse effects on the mental health of those in isolation. In the aftermath of the SARS outbreak, symptoms of PTSD and depression were found in roughly 30% of people who were under quarantine.

It’s more important now than ever to take care of our health and our minds while we weather this storm. Psychologists around the globe have recommended that we stay in touch with our friends and families virtually as much as we can, that we limit our news intake, and keep our minds busy and active as much as possible. 

To help keep away the quarantine blues, we’ve put together a few tips to keep your mind occupied and active during physical isolation. 

1. Learn Something New

Have you always wanted to know a new craft? Do you have a musical instrument collecting dust somewhere in your house? Always been curious about a topic you know nothing about?

There’s no better time to try out a new skill, brush up on an old one, or learn about an interesting topic. While some of our favourite activities may have been postponed for now, it’s the perfect time to explore new hobbies, interact with new online communities and pass the time with learning. 

2. Problem-solve

A good way to fight the feelings of helplessness that may come with the added stress of a crisis like this, is to pick a problem that we can solve and work on it. 

That leaky faucet that you’ve been meaning to figure out for weeks now? Why not give it a try! Putting your brain to work on solving small problems around the house, or even something like a crossword, a word search, or a puzzle board, can keep your mind active and engaged in challenging tasks. 

3. Have some fun!

Don’t feel bad about needing to inject a little more fun into your daily routine than usual. Now is the time more than ever to crack out the board games, card decks, and game consoles. Set up a virtual social night with your friends, organize watching a movie remotely with a group, or let out your creative side.

At Simutech Multimedia, our e-learning software is a great way to learn a new skill, and problem-solve, all while having fun. The simulation-based training courses are educational, challenging, and enjoyable. That’s why, as part of our effort to help companies and individuals get through this time of crisis, from now until April 30th you can access a trial of the first three courses of the new 3D Simutech Training System at no charge.

To claim this offer, visit learn.simutechmultimedia.com/redeem and use the code “learnfromhome” when you register.

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How to Train the Trainers in Your Organization

How to Train the Trainers in Your Organization

Skilled manufacturing workers are getting harder to find. In one study, Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projected American manufacturers will need to fill 3.5 million jobs by 2025, but they predict 2 million spots will go unfilled due to a lack of skilled manufacturing workers.

With so many manufacturing jobs requiring digital skills, it’s up to manufacturing trainers to find new ways to train their employees for the jobs of the future. An effective way to ensure learners get the best training is to have what we call a “train the trainer” process. This process gives those who deliver training all the tools and resources needed to implement effective training programs. In this article, we cover some of the best practices to consider when training your trainers.

The goal of training the trainer model

Using a train the trainer model within your manufacturing facility enables your training instructors to present information, respond to participants, and reinforce learning effectively. The main goal of this model is to make sure your trainers can:

  • Direct participants to supplementary resources and reference materials. 
  • Lead discussions. 
  • Listen effectively. 
  • Make accurate observations. 
  • Help participants link the training to their jobs. 

Effective training not only leads to better work performance but also fewer workplace accidents and higher employee retention. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. 

Developing your training model 

For trainers, the first step to training learners should be to understand the principles and delivery techniques behind adult learning. This includes understanding how adults learn and remember, processing and facilitation techniques, classroom set-up and management, and handling difficult participant situations.

Learning how to deliver training material online is another essential skill for trainers. As many businesses move their training to online platforms, trainers need to be able to apply many of the same techniques they would use in in-person workshops to online settings. Using an online training platform like Simutech Multimedia, this process becomes a lot easier as our software has many tools built-in to monitor student performance, and track knowledge retention over time. 

How to select the right trainers

Another key component of a training program is finding the right person to deliver training to the trainers. Ideally, you should find someone who has several years of experience in training a similar group of workers. In addition, the person or people you select to train the trainers should have:

  • An advanced skill level in training and facilitation skills and engagement of adult learners.
  • Success in the field and champions for the topic area.
  • Completion of the entire training workshop.

Your “train the trainer” efforts will be successful with the right training development partner. Simutech Multimedia’s training software has helped manufacturers train their staff on electrical troubleshooting best practices for over 25 years. Contact us today for a free demo.

 

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Webinar: Tools and Strategies to Train Online

Webinar: Tools and Strategies to Train Online

With so many companies and schools looking to shift training online, we wanted to share tools, advice and best practices on how to structure your training.

We are glad to announce Steven Sears, Training Manager for Fiat-Chrysler as an invited panelist:

Join us to learn about:

  • Tools available for online learning
  • Best practices for online training
  • Empowering your workforce to train remotely
  • Making sure staff is ready to come back to work
  • And more!
We’ll be starting at 2 PM EST / 11 AM PST on April 9th, 2020 — hope you can join us. Spots are limited!

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How our customers are helping in the fight against Covid-19

How our customers are helping in the fight against Covid-19

During his remarks on Sunday March 29th, 2020, President Trump mentioned a few companies that have joined the fight against Covid-19 https://youtu.be/uzLltEvTRVE?t=2440 His remarks in previous days similarly mentioned companies that have joined the effort to supply medical equipment, masks, etc. We thank these companies and the many others not mentioned so far for making a difference

I was proud to know that 60% of the companies mentioned so far by the President use Simutech’s Training System to train maintenance personnel to keep the lines moving and the buildings operational. While we are not directly involved in the fight, we are proud to be partnered with these great companies.

We want to pay it forward and join the fight, to all the companies involved in the effort to supply hospitals with product they need, please contact us at [email protected] and we will make our training system available to your teams at no cost while the Covid-19 fight is on. Hopefully this will help your teams troubleshoot faster, reduce stress, and insure minimal interruptions in the supply chain.

We thank you for your effort and hope to hear from you.

– Samer Forzley

CEO, Simutech Multimedia

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