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Blended Learning or Classroom Training – Are Both Equally Effective?

3 Apr

Everyday, managers and supervisors make critical decisions when choosing their training materials. Choices are determined by a multitude of different elements including cost, consistency, and time efficiency. Upper management has to decide the who, what, where, when and how of adult educational training. For successful implementation of a training program, it is important to make sure your content fits your worker when choosing your training materials. Taking into consideration the age, learning level, skill and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprevious experience of your students can make all the difference in providing an effective program. Each dollar you spend in training should result in a positive reimbursement for production output and employee productivity.

A few months ago, HSI posted a question on their blog about blended learning and classroom training and whether or not they are both equally effective.  Summit has also been asked this question and has responded by offering both types of training services to offer convenient and effective training options.

What is blended learning?

The North American Council for Online Learning defines it this way:

“Blended learning means many things to many people, even within our relatively small online learning community. It is referred to as both blended and hybrid learning, with little or no difference in the meaning of the terms among most educators. In general terms, blended learning combines online delivery of educational content with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction to personalize learning, allow thoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to student across a diverse group of learners.”

For HSI, ASHI & MEDIC First Aid’s blended learning courses, as well as Summit’s blending learning options, combine the best elements of online training with Instructor-led in-class skills sessions.

Blended learning is the perfect training solution for:

  • Students who want the convenience of learning online
  • Employers who need to minimize employee time away from the work station
  • Training Centers seeking additional revenue by increasing student volume

Read the full Blog post from HSI here >>

Good training content is a very important asset regarding workplace safety; it affects a multitude of different elements including cost, consistency, and time efficiency. More importantly, the elements of understanding how a worker learns and quality course content are essential in your training choice. Apply adult learning studies when reviewing training programs to purchase, taking into consideration the age, learning level, skill and previous experience of your students. Understand that it is important to make sure your content fits your worker when choosing your training materials. Bottom line: make sure you evaluate your training content in depth before purchasing.  The difference between a good training program and a mediocre training program can be the difference between a worker getting home to his family and a fatal injury.

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Safety Infographic: Our Safety in Their Hands

7 Dec

Please check out this infographic, courtesy of Compliance and Safety, on safety in the workplace and the companies responsible for helping to keep you safe on the job.


Featured By: Compliance and Safety OSHA Safety Training

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Ways to Boost Workplace Activity

3 Dec

Winter is here… and we all know that during this time of the year the days get shorter and colder, making it difficult at times to be

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfocused at work.  Still, there are some qualities that almost all productive and up-beat workplaces share.  Here are 10 factors that research suggests have the biggest influence on job satisfaction that are based off of motivation and dedication, daily schedule, and office setup.  Check them out:

1. Get engaged. Employees who are actively involved, dedicated, and personally invested in a company produce far better work than those who feel disconnected and left out.  Performance evaluation and recognition programs, benefits packages, education, and social support help foster engagement, such as office break rooms and happy hours.

2. Face the challenge. We reach our max motivation when we engage in activities that are difficult but not insurmountable, like pulling together a presentation after doing months of research.

3. Micro vs Macro managing. Beware of micromanaging supervisors and authoritarian bosses who don’t give workers much choice on the job. They tend to lower everyone’s morale, well-being, and motivation to put in extra effort. On the other hand, bosses who make employees feel competent and cared for boost satisfaction, productivity, and company loyalty even further.

4. Be flexible. Less rigid work schedules help retain team members — especially workers who prefer to hold down a job and have adequate time to spend with family. Workers who can produce on their own clocks and outside the office also tend to be more efficient and call in sick less often than their office-bound counterparts.

5. Go for a walk. Employees who take part in physical activity tend to be more engaged and energetic on the job than those who stay in their their chairs. Getting a move on throughout the workday improves overall cardiovascular health, provides a healthy distraction from stressful office situations, and can even enhance workers’ capacity to tolerate physiological stress.

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6. Go places. Long commute times make almost half of Americans less satisfied with their destinations and make for a more stressful time spent in transit. While bosses may not be able to influence traffic, some can provide commuter’s compensation.

7. Keep noise to a minimum, if possible. Loud noise raises our levels of epinephrine, a hormone involved in our body’s fight-or-flight response, even if we don’t feel bothered by it. Too-chatty coworkers, keyboard clatter, copy machines, phones, outside disruptions and other problematic sounds also make us more inclined to sit in rigid positions. Smart strategies to cut noise include carpeting, lining walls with sound-absorbent material, soaking up street sounds with thick curtains, and white noise machines.

8. Put some players in the atmosphere. Since a chilly office can literally make us perceive our work-space as less friendly, keeping the temperature between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit works best to keep employees comfortable.  Some greenery might help as well.

9. Tailor your furniture. Make sure to use ergonomically correct office furniture, such as adjustable chairs and desks, which shift where our weight is stacked and keeps joints from getting overloaded. Or try standing at the desk for a cumulative two hours throughout the workday — employees who do this report feeling more energetic and less depleted by office closing time.

10. Improve space for interaction. Office setups that encourage face-to-face communication, like open-plan work-spaces  boost employee satisfaction, where as cubicles with high walls have the worst influence on employee’s smile rates, since they increase isolation.

Read the full article >>

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MIOSHA Proceeds to Change Over 600 Rules

21 Nov

Picture from MIOSHA.gov

According Safety & Health magazine, MIOSHA will begin to move forward on changes to more than 600 rules unique to its State Plan program. It is also stated that the public will have a very limited amount of time to make comments on any/all of the proposals.

The article continues to say, “According to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, no public hearings on the rule changes are required, and the public has 21 days to review and comment on the changes after the drafts are published. The changes will be certified 35 days after publication.

‘This process is happening very rapidly, and it is incumbent upon interested parties to pay close attention in order to stay informed,’ MIOSHA said in a recent email update. The changes were prompted by recommendations from the Office of Regulatory Reinvention in a report (.pdf file) released earlier this year. ORR was tasked with simplifying state rules by identifying those that exceed federal standards, and its report called for rescinding parts of – or entire – rules. Some state officials claim the move will reduce business burdens.

State-run OSHA programs must meet federal standards, but can exceed them. The rules being eliminated are specific to Michigan”. For more information on this topic and to follow the next steps in this process please visit MIOSHA’s webpage.

Source:

Safety & Health Magazine, NSC. http://www.nsc.org/safetyhealth/Pages/MIOSHA-moving-forward-on-rule-changes-very-rapidly.aspx#.UKzaT4fXaK0

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Have a Spooktacular Halloween!!

31 Oct

Halloween at Summit! 3 Blind Mice

It’s Halloween today, which means all the children in the neighborhood will stock up on candy for the year and get major sugar crashes by 9:00pm tonight!! Many of us will be joining our kids this evening for a night full of SPOOKTACULAR fun and LOTS of candy. While this is a night to enjoy with friends and family it is important to remember to be safe on “All Hollow’s Eve” too!

Take a peek at some of these Halloween Safety Tips:

According to the CDC there is a way to make the festivities fun and safe!

  • S- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
  • A- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • F- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • E- Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
  • H- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.

    Baby Pooky, Waldo, and Pirate Terry

    Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

  • A- Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
  • L- Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
  • L- Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearingdecorative contact lenses.
  • O- Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
  • W- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
  • E- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
  • E- Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
  • N- Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Snow White and a death knight from WoW!

I might also say to provide healthier snacks to those visiting your house this year… but that’s just  nonsense! Give the kiddies what they want, lots and lots of snickers, twizzlers, and peanut butter cups!

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Source:

http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/

Protect Yourself & Your Home with Firearms Safety

25 Oct

About a week ago, I attended my monthly West Michigan American Society of Safety Engineers meeting. The meeting took place at the Silver Bullet Firearms Indoor Range & Training Center located at 5121 S. Division Ave Wyoming, Michigan 49548. Kind of an interesting place to hold a safety meeting isn’t it? Well it turned out that the guys and gals over at Silver Bullet had boat loads of interesting safety info when it comes to firearms safety!!

Our trainer discussed everything from how to hold a gun, to protecting yourself at home from intruders. All of the information was presented to us according to the National Rifle Association of America’s rule book. Of course our trainer added some of his own stories and tips as well. It was one of our most engaging and entertaining safety meetings yet!

The Fundamental NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling:

  1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction: Only point at what you’re willing to kill.
  2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot: The trigger isn’t a handle where you hold the gun.
  3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use: Don’t give demonstrations with a loaded gun

For those of us that want to protect our homes and families using firearms check out some of their interesting tips below:

  • A shotgun is your best firearms to stop an intruder. Most handguns are not strong enough to make someone stop in their tracks.
  • If you expect someone in your home and you don’t have children, NEVER LEAVE YOUR BEDROOM. Close and lock the door and grab your shotgun. On average a SWAT team sends in 7 people to get 1 criminal… that means that if you go roaming around your house to find the intruder you will most like fail by about 700%…you would team of another 6 people to operate at a functioning level.
  • If you do have children you will have to leave the bedroom to get them. DO NOT CARRY A SHOTGUN. This is where you want to grab your handgun. Leave your shotgun with your wife waiting in the bedroom for back up. If you carrying a shotgun the intruder can very easily push it out of the way as you come around the corners of your home.
  • If you are alone, crouch beside or behind a dresser at ground level to get a good angle. Never take your eyes off the door.
  • Call 911 and LEAVE THE PHONE ON. 911 is your best witness. If in fact someone does come through the door and you do have to shoot and possibly kill them, in your defense the entire thing will be recorded and kept through the Emergency Response 911.
  • You and your wife need to have rehearsed statements. Shout as loud as you can “I HAVE A GUN. IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE MY PROPERTY IMMEDIATELY, I WILL NOT HESITATE TO USE MY FIREARM AGAINST YOU. 911 HAS BEEN CALLED AND THE POLICE ARE ON THEIR WAY” Keep repeating this as loud as you can for 911 and the intruder to hear.

I learned some very interesting and useful information on home safety using firearms that day. Please share this with loved ones that use fire arms as a means of protection. Your safety is always the most important.

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Let’s Hear Wedding Bells, NOT Sirens…

9 Oct

One and a half years ago, my now fiancé and soon-to-be husband proposed to me; this coming Sunday, October 14th 2012 he and I will take the very long and happy walk down the aisle together to become man and wife! As many of you safety pros out there know, we like to make sure we are not only safe on the job, but off the job as well, and that includes WEDDINGS. So, I thought this will probably be my only opportunity to write a blog concerning the safety and health of the bride and groom and their guests!!

Let’s Hear Wedding Bells, NOT Sirens…Tips for a Safe Wedding:

  1. Know Your Exits: In the event of an emergency such as the serious and deadly condition known as “cold feet”, recognize your exit strategy and prepare for what is to follow. (Your crazy EX-fiancé)
  2. Avoid Slips, Trips, and Falls: Take the trip down the aisle S-L-O-W-L-Y… with that big dress and those tall shoes, the risk for disaster is inevitable!
  3. Practice Fire Prevention: All of us love to cover the tables with hundreds of tea-light candles, because they are pretty, of course, but watch yourself… The amount of aerosol propellants in your hair that day could turn you into “the girl who is actually on fire”.
  4. Prepare with PPE: The bride in her big suit of white armor has various assets that need protecting. Bring your double-sided tape and safety pins for those just-in-case “OOPS” incidents! For the groom, maybe have some black steel toe patent leather Oxfords – for the “fun” dancing you’ll be doing with Aunt Suzie.
  5. Watch Out for Muscle Strains & Sprains: Of course we all have awesome dance moves that will be put to good use, but don’t over-do it with the Cha Cha Slide. And even if you do, a great Swedish couple’s massage should do the trick!

That’s it for me!! I plan to hopefully follow all of these this Sunday. For those Brides-2-Be out there, good luck and be safe and have a very happy wedding day!!

Construction Work Hurting Those in Their 40’s

19 Sep

What do you think about when you hear the words “construction worker”? The first thing that comes to my mind is strong. Other words that describe them, brave, determined, hardworking, and powerful. These men and women do things daily for 6 to 8 hours that would normally exhaust the average person in about 15 minutes. Is there a limit on how much these working men and women can take? How would it feel to wake up every single morning with aching muscles and joints?

A recent article in Safety & Health Magazine has sparked my attention on this matter…the article “Taking a Toll” by, Ashley Johnson talks all about this issue and what safety professionals have to do to correct it. Johnson discusses how the average construction work is in their 40s. Many of them are waking up saying “I’m just too old for this now”. People are not meant to work like that every day of their lives. Our bodies and musculoskeletal system are not made to endure that kind of physical labor.

So what’s the problem here? Baby boomers make up about 40% of the construction workforce. Many of them are retiring early because of the physical tiredness and leaving contractors without their most experienced and skilled laborers… What does this mean for them? They are going to have to spend a lot more time training inexperienced young blood for these jobs. This could mean more dollars spent on training and possibly more injuries and illnesses due to a lack of knowledge and experience.

Is there a solution? I hope so! Employers may not be able to fix all the bumps and bruises but they can help encourage a smarter and safer working environment. This could mean working more as a team. When lifting and moving various materials ask a co-worker for help. Encourage tag teaming various projects. Management could also introduce more pieces of equipment that take the laborer out of the labor. They could use a buggy to move materials instead of trying to move them on their own. As Johnson stated, “Encourage your workers to work smarter, not harder”.

For more information on this topic check out the article in the Safety & Health Magazine! If you’re looking for help with your Ergo program check out Summit’s Industrial Ergonomics program that teaches your workers what musculoskeletal disorders are, how to reduce exposure, and how to recognize risk factors and prevent injury. Take a look here!

Source:

Johnson, Ashley. “Taking a Toll”. Safety & Health Magazine. September 2012. Vol. 186. No. 3. www.sh.nsc.org

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Things are Looking Good for Safety Professionals!

9 Aug

While reading Safety & Health Magazine I came across a very important article titled, “2012 Job Outlook”, written by Ashley Johnson. As a young safety professional I always find this information to be extremely important. It is critical to know where you stand in the job market and how your profession is holding up out there in such a tough economy.

According to Johnson, “If current trends hold steady, the number of occupational safety and health jobs will outpace the number of trained professionals to fill them.” I don’t think it gets much better than that for all us safety professionals out there. One of the top things that employers are looking for from their new safety graduates is LEADERSHIP and COMMUNICATION. A survey was conducted in May and was sent to 14,950 subscribers, of those 1,292 responded. Within that survey the respondents were asked to rank nine skills that safety professional need in addition to industry specific skills, leadership and communication topped the charts. Good to know for us newbies in the field.

Of course that’s not the only good news to note, 90% of respondents consider their job “very stable” or “relatively stable”. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that jobs for occupational safety and health specialists will grow at 9% through 2020.

A couple tips that Johnson noted for those trying to get a job right now are:

  1. Safety leaders need to be able to speak the language of upper management and relate to workers
  2. Safety professionals facing job insecurity say gaining additional skills and certifications may improve their odds of getting a new job
  3. Safety leaders must gain the trust of their employees and then motivate them to move in the direction that is necessary

For more information on this topic check out the article is Safety & Health magazine!

Source:

Johnson, Ashley. “2012 Job Outlook”. Safety & Health Magazine. August 2012. Www.Sh.nsc.org.

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Put a STOP to Workplace Violence

2 Aug

The workplace should be a place where all employees come to work in an environment that is free from hazards or harm… right? Sometimes it is easier to notice a blocked exit than it is to notice someone suffering from workplace violence. As an employer, it is important that you recognize these “hazards” as well.

OSHA states that workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. One of the most shocking statistics that I have come across is that homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides. It is said that nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported.

What can you do to STOP Workplace Violence?

S: See the Risk Factors: In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. Examples (Crying, sulking or temper tantrums, Excessive absenteeism or lateness, Disregard for the health and safety of others and, Disrespect for authority)

T: Train Your Employees: It is critical to ensure that all workers know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly. In addition, OSHA encourages employers to develop additional methods as necessary to protect employees in high risk industries.

O: Offer Zero Tolerance: One of the best protections employers can offer their workers is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.

P: Produce a Prevention Program: OSHA believes that a well written and implemented Workplace Violence Prevention Program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls and training can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and Federal workplaces.

For more information check out OSHA’s webpage!

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