Safety First: 7 Tips To Use Simulations For Health And Safety Online Training
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How To Use Simulations For Health And Safety Online Training

Health and safety online training reduces workplace injuries and ensures the well-being of your customers and clients. But how do you impart real-world experience so that employees are ready for every eventuality? One highly effective solution is simulation-based online training. Simulations offer employees the chance to apply their knowledge, develop skills, and reduce the learning curve. Your staff can hone their decision-making abilities and learn how to perform under pressure. Here are 7 top tips for using simulations in your health and safety online training.

1. Define Your Learning Goals And Objectives

Without setting goals, it would be impossible to determine the effectiveness of any online training simulation. Therefore, the first step is defining the learning objectives and desired outcomes of the online training activity. You must determine how each health and safety simulation supports skills and bridges gaps in order to achieve results. What do employees need to accomplish by the end of the online training scenario, and how does that tie into real-world applications? For example, they must be able to safely handle the product to reduce cross-contamination.

2. Prepare Employees Beforehand

Employees must know exactly what they need to achieve and which tools are available to them. First, you should provide clear instructions on how to complete the health and safety simulation, such as how to access the platform and use the navigation controls. This helps calm their worries so that they can focus on the task at hand. Regarding online instructors and facilitators, they need to have all the resources they need to provide support. For example, a detailed overview of the skills and procedures covered in the health and safety simulation. In addition, encourage them to carry out a trial run of the online training activity before assigning it to employees. This gives them the opportunity to explore the health and safety simulation firsthand in order to identify potential obstacles and recommend supplemental online training resources.

3. Pick The Right Simulation Software

There are a variety of authoring platforms available. However, there may only be a handful that fall within your corporate eLearning budget and have the essential features. Higher-end authoring platforms come equipped with rich multimedia, themes, and characters. If you opt for more basic software, you may have to source your media through royalty free image and audio sites. You must also consider the nature of the health and safety simulation itself. For example, the media you'll use and the complexity of the task.

4. Use Simulations Sparingly

Simulations are all about placement and timing. You shouldn't flood your online training course with simulations simply to build real-world experience. Use them sparingly in order to make them more memorable and powerful. Introducing simulations too early or too late in your health and safety online training will drastically water down the effect. Employees must have two essential elements before you introduce the online training activity: The first is pre-existing knowledge. The second is awareness of relevancy. They have to know which information and skills to apply and how the health and safety simulation ties into the real world. Otherwise, they'll lack motivation and meaning, which are prerequisites for any online training experience. Using simulations sparingly also allows you to condense your health and safety online training course and make it easier to digest instead of forcing employees to contend with cognitive overload.

5. Mimic Real-World Conditions

Timescale is another important factor that must not be overlooked when using simulations for your health and safety online training. Often, the best approach is to keep it real. In real time, that is. For instance, you’re using a health and safety simulation to prevent fire outbreaks in the workplace. Thus, you need to determine the average time required to react in that situation. This helps to enhance the benefits of the health and safety simulation, as employees are able to experience the emotions associated with the event. In this case, the stress and pressure of having to extinguish flames before they spread. In addition, you get to see how employees perform in real-world environments, then recommend suitable online training tools. For example, online training tutorials or serious games that build vital skills.

6. Pair Simulations With Social Learning

Simulation-based online training is a very active instructional method. In contrast to traditional learning methods, simulations are highly inquiry-based. This means that your corporate learners learn by gathering real data and examining all aspects of the situation. You can compound these benefits by offering social learning opportunities. For example, creating group-based simulations that are pairing with online discussions. Employees can see how their peers reacted in the same situation, which allows them to identify personal strengths and weaknesses.

7. Follow-Up And Provide Feedback

Let your employees analyze their decisions and behaviors by asking them questions after the fact, such as which aspects of the health and safety simulation they struggled with, or how they feel they can improve. This prompts them to reflect on their overall performance and seek out additional resources, if necessary. You might even consider hosting a webinar after more involved or extensive simulations, such as health and safety online training activities that need a week to complete in real time. These events give employees the ability to share ideas and ask questions right away. Additionally, take a closer look at your LMS reports to identify patterns. For example, 50% of your employees have an issue with a particular task-based simulation. This indicates that they may not have the required knowledge or skills, or that you need to improve the design of the health and safety simulation to make it more clear and effective.

Using health and safety simulations can help your employees improve understanding and build practical experience, which can make the difference between life and death in dangerous work environments. You can determine the effectiveness of your simulation strategy by trying small exercises to see how corporate learners respond, then following up with focus groups to get valuable feedback.

Do your employees dread compliance online training courses? Read the article 8 Secrets To Spark Excitement In Compliance Online Training to discover how to spark excitement and engagement in your compliance online training program.

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