A resource for manufacturing safety and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Welcome back, Troubleshooters! We’re nearing the end of our series on what to look for in a training solution. By now, you should be getting a pretty good idea of the criteria to consider when you’re trying to decide on a training solution and prioritizing manufacturing safety for your organization.

In case you missed it…

For anyone just joining us, we started with a list of the Top 11 criteria to use when evaluating a potential training solution. Then, we began looking at each of those criteria one at a time: value of a training system, professional development opportunities, ease of implementation and access, proven track record, completeness, scalability of your training system, varying degrees of difficulty and ease of procurement. (If you’re just tuning in now, you can find Part 1 “What to look for in a training system” of the series here.)

Today, in Part 8, we’re talking about focus on manufacturing safety.

Top 4 high-risk industries with workplace manufacturing safety concerns

Today’s topic, manufacturing safety, is particularly important for the industrial setting. While “white collar” jobs can definitely lead to certain injuries such as back, neck, and repetitive strain injuries from computer and phone use, they are not usually the sort of catastrophic, life-altering or fatal injuries that can occur in industrial workplaces.

Can you guess what are the top four industries with workplace safety concerns? Not too surprisingly, they are:

  1. Construction
  2. Mining
  3. Health services
  4. Manufacturing

Manufacturing safety is critical

As you probably know, at Simutech Multimedia we provide a training solution that teaches the skill of electrical troubleshooting to maintenance professionals in the manufacturing industry. Over the past couple of months in this blog space, we’ve been discussing the Top 11 things to look for in a training solution, and most of these criteria can be applied to training programs for any industry. This particular topic, safety, is especially relevant to those industries listed above.

Workers in all of these industries (and others) face many potential dangers. Whether you are trying to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, seeking ISO-9001 certification, or just trying to create a culture of safety in the workplace, employee training is an excellent place to start.

All industrial workers face dangers, but data shows that new workers are at even higher risk than others. A 2007 study found that only one out of five new workers in Canada received safety training, yet a 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that a third of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were suffered by workers with less than one year of experience on the job. That’s why it’s so important that new recruits undergo thorough training with a strong focus on safety.

A focus on safety

So, when you’re evaluating a potential training program for the industrial setting, be sure to find out how seriously it takes the question of worker safety. Check to see if it’s incorporated into each lesson and practice task.

Let’s use the example of lockout/tagout of a circuit. According to the latest data published by OSHA, lockout/tagout violations ranked 5th out of the top 10 cited violations in the year 2014, with about 2,704 violations being cited in the US that year. OSHA describes “serious violations” involving lockout/tagout as situations that have a high probability of harming an employee or leading to an employee death. Employers are responsible for recognizing and correcting these situations, which may include missing guarding, damaged lockout devices, or simply improper organizational lockout procedures. OSHA can fine employers they consider serious violators up to $70,000.

Does your potential training solution address this issue on a recurring basis? Be sure to ask.

For example, Simutech Multimedia modules continually reinforce this basic but incredibly important topic. In every exercise, locking out or tagging out is the first thing the student has to do. That way, it becomes second nature and the trainee develops a sort of muscle memory for locking out or tagging out a circuit before doing the work.

In fact, safety training is integrated into all aspects of our industrial electrical troubleshooting skills development training. Not just for lockout/tagout, but for other shock hazards and flash hazards as well.

Simulation training is safe and effective

Another item for your checklist is whether a potential training solution use simulation. Training solutions that use computer simulation are particularly effective for teaching new recruits because while they recreate the work environment very realistically and allow the student to work hands-on, they also are 100% safe. Trainees are free to make mistakes (which is how we learn) without fear of injury or death.

That’s all for this topic, Troubleshooters. See you again next week when we look at the 10th item on our Top 11 list: measurability. Have a great week!

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