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While OSHA tells you what the content of safety training should be, they don't tell you how to conduct training or where. The location of your training session can be a critical component in how effective your training is. In today's Advisor, we'll take a brief look at the importance of location.

There are so many things to consider when preparing your overall training program, as well as each individual training session, that you may take the location for granted. It's not that the issue is very complicated, but you should take a few minutes to ask yourself where would be the best place to hold your safety training.

Work Area

This is the best place for toolbox talks, demonstrations, and hands-on training.

Upside: You have at hand all the materials and equipment you need for the session.

Downside: There may be noise and distractions if others are working in or passing through the area. To solve this problem, find a spot where trainees are blocked off as much as possible from activity around them, or set up temporary screens.

Classroom Setting

This is the best choice when you are giving a lecture or trying to transfer information, such as new safety rules or regulatory requirement. It's also an obvious choice when you're showing a video or doing computer-based training.

Upside: Classroom training removes employees from the distractions of the work area so that they can more easily assimilate new information.

Downside: Because classroom training removes employees from the work area, it can make training abstract and more difficult to transfer to the job. To solve this problem, provide handouts to remind employees of what they learned and how to apply it to their jobs.

Why It Matters

  • Learning isn't done in a vacuum, so the learning environment matters.
  • You don't want anything to distract from the training subject matter and a bad location might do that.
  • The most effective training session gets everything right, from choice of training method to choice of location, so it's important to choose your location well.