In The Line Of Fire

Blended Learning For Safety In The Workplace
Summary: Line-of-fire safety training is a common subject when learning about the hazards of dangerous work. Injuries can occur when the path of a moving object or the release of stored energy comes in contact with a person. A blended-learning training approach on this topic can keep your employees aware.

Staying Out Of Harm's Way

Operating safely in compliance with regulations is one of the core values of most American manufacturing businesses. To keep their teams safe, those in this industry train, observe, and avoid line-of-fire-related hazards in the workplace. Simply put, it means to stay out of the path of a moving object. Safety professionals take this subject seriously. They do what they can to keep employees from being struck, pinched, pierced, caught, or crushed between moving objects.

Adding an eclectic, blended-learning approach to this (and other safety-related subjects) might help inspire a renewed awareness and improved safety record.


Line-Of-Fire Threats In The Workplace

Employees and vendors need to realize workplace scenarios that can be dangerous. The list below takes into account just some of the optimal practices:

  • Stay focused when using machinery
  • Don't walk under a suspended load
  • Use caution near heated fluids
  • Exercise care around stacks of material and loaded supplies that could shift
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Don't stand between a vehicle and a fixed object
  • Be careful of stored energy
  • Avoid objects under tension
  • Steer clear of moving objects
  • Understand dangerous gases under pressure

Because line-of-fire threats exist, trainers work hard educating their learners on laws, regulations, best-case practices, and company policies on safety-related job responsibilities.

Safety Training And Blended Learning

Adding creative, blended learning to your safety training is helpful to employees who expect to hear from you on this subject every year. And realizing how serious it is may help protect people from accidents and injury.

Because this type of training can be tedious, coming up with creative ways to teach it could be the key to your success in delivering a message that may resonate with employees. It's serious business keeping employees out of harm's way. Here are ways to make your compliance training relevant and more engaging by turning your old presentations into 6 blended-learning activities:

  1. Skip the lecture and do a photo review: Many people are visual learners who benefit from looking at photographs. They can identify potential hazards from studying a picture and then later avoid unsafe scenarios in the workplace.
  2. Convert mundane PowerPoint slides with bulleted lists into short, narrated videos: Camtasia and other video-making software solutions are a great way to convert slide decks into narrated stories with music. In addition, several vendors offer stock footage, animated backgrounds, After Effects templates, music, and other resources that will put you at the forefront of your instructional design. So get creative and try something new.
  3. Design question and answer breakout sessions: You can get employees thinking about their work and identifying hazards by answering a few simple questions. Then, their small breakout session group can return and report their recommendations to the larger group in class. Subject matter experts can then work together with learners on making your company a safer place to work after looking at employee-recommended solutions.
  4. Use infographics to convey procedures: We all recognize certain signs and symbols; they've become somewhat of a universal language in learning and development. Along with other visual teaching techniques, infographics often convey a message that learners may more easily remember.
  5. Try a notetaking activity: Writing something on paper is a very underrated, yet powerful activity that many feel is old-fashioned. I often organize my class activities into small participant guides with notetaking sections. These printed materials combined with learner notes become a powerful companion piece that extends learner retention time long after the class is over.
  6. Turn your training plan into an action plan with goal setting: Making progress with your training can be as simple as setting actionable improvement goals during each training session. Learners attend a class to discover things that should result in doing something. If trainers, subject matter experts, and employees leave each training session with measurable action items, your efforts will likely succeed by keeping them safe.

Comparing Safety Training To The Aggregation Of Marginal Gains

Britsh cycling legend, Dave Brailsford, forever set competitive bicycling on a new trajectory by making slight adjustments and improvements to training his athletes. His team of world champions would forever change the sport by making minor improvements daily. He suggested that if you can get 1% better each day for one year, you'll end up 37 times better by the end of that year.

Eugene Onischenko/

In cycling, Sir Brailsford relied on the constant pursuit of making minor adjustments that eventually added significant increases in his team's success. Likewise, safety professionals in the manufacturing business depend on the skills and aptitude of their crews. If you are involved in instructor-led, line-of-fire safety training, consider adding minor, creative, blended-learning adjustments to your training that add up over time. Also, ensure that you scrutinize your teaching materials with a subject-matter expert to verify that you are teaching the correct information. Your efforts may help protect employees from accidents and injury.