How to improve safety training for your field technicians
Safety training, drills, toolbox talks, OSHA VPP or SHARP initiatives, inspections and more. You have already invested a considerable amount of time and money in ensuring the safety of your field technicians and engineers. Yet, installation, maintenance and repair, and construction are still in the top 5 occupations with the largest number of workplace injuries that result in days off work, according to this year’s report from the National Safety Council.
This is not surprising given the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 1300 employee fatalities in construction, installation, maintenance and repair in 2017 alone, which on top of other preventable workplace injuries in these industries cost businesses almost $700 billion.
So how can you improve your safety training and embed it so deeply into your practices and procedures that it becomes second nature to your employees? What’s more, how can you do this when your field technicians and engineers are already working at capacity, with little time for classroom safety training?
Leveraging mobile technology
Technology has a big part to play in providing the solution. Mobile technology can enable your field technicians and engineers to train on the job. But it takes more than hardware.
It requires an accessible, user-friendly platform designed to make safety training more relatable and engaging. A way to transform out-of-the box safety training into an ongoing process where your employees’ approach to safety is verified day-to-day through the real-world tasks they complete.
That’s exactly what On.Board was built to do.
In this blog, we’ll examine how On.Board can reinforce your safety training, ensuring it becomes ingrained in your employees’ behavior across teams, units and locations.
How does On.Board embed safe practice?
Taking the classroom to the field
On.Board is a Cloud-based mobile platform for learning and coaching, which means wherever your field technicians and engineers are working, they can connect to their safety training through their mobile device.
By taking the classroom to the field, your safety training takes the next step from knowledge to application. It’s at this point that you can get a tangible read on whether all of your safety procedures have been fully understood and are being correctly implemented by your employees.
In practice, this verification is achieved through easy-to-build training activities, which are tailored to the tasks specific to your service.
When installing a new telecoms cable at a property, a training activity could:
- pose a series of questions regarding clearance, contact points, potential obstacles and compliance risks before installation begins, ensuring issues of safety are considered and addressed in advance
- prompt the engineer or technician to draw a diagram of the property to plan their approach, highlighting obstacles and compliance issues, and in doing so support their decision-making.
The completed activity can then be verified by a mentor or technical coach off-site or equally as easily by an on-site learning coach.
Think, do, review
Every training activity prompts your field technicians and engineers to verify what they are going to do before they do it. Posing a simple question through On.Board’s customizable forms triggers your employees to think about how they will approach the task at hand safely to deliver effective results. Upon completion of the task, they are once again prompted to consider what, if anything, they found challenging or problematic.
Instilling this process early on in the training of a field technician or engineer helps lay down a positive pattern of behavior that consistently factors in safety.
Time is often of the essence when your engineers and technicians are out in the field dealing with a day packed full of site visits and tasks to complete. Leveraging the multimedia power of digital devices during their on-the-job training can save them time and also provide valuable visual evidence to support their progress.
On.Board allows your field engineers and technicians to upload photos, such as before and after images of repairs or installations, as well as videos of their work.
A training activity could ask a technician or engineer to capture 3 photos, over the course of their training, of faulty or damaged cables or connectors. After they have repaired or replaced the cable or connector, they will then be prompted to upload photos as proof and briefly state what the problem was and how they resolved it.
Through On.Board’s Performance Hub, a technical coach or manager can verify, based on the visual evidence, if the repair was completed correctly and in line with current safety guidelines.
By providing timely digital feedback, technical coaches and managers can reinforce correct approaches and crucially pick up on errors promptly, reducing the chances of injury occurring should such lapses in safety go unnoticed for longer periods of time.
How will this benefit your organization?
Embedding safety into the training of your field technicians and engineers via On.Board won’t just improve the safety of your workforce and customers, with the knock-on effect of reducing workplace injury and fatality rates. The effects permeate much further than that.
With safety more deeply ingrained into your company culture, workforce morale will get a boost, as your team experience fewer injuries and are connected to a supportive network that is in place from day one of their training through On.Board’s Performance Hub.
Not only that, improved compliance with legal and industry standards, thanks to greater adherence to safety procedures, will benefit your bottom line too.
To see for yourself how On.Board can make safety second nature to your field technicians and engineers, request your free demo here.