manager and may only take minutes, while training is generally much more intense, is delivered by an experienced safety trainer-employee of the firm and is most likely delivered on a regularly scheduled day of the week or month. Safety training topics are planned well in advance of the training date and are related to safety and health hazards and risks during the current season—those that have been identi- fied by management with input from insurers and employee safety commit- tees. Training will also review recorded “close call” incidents.

SAFETY EDUCATION Perhaps the most important information transfer component that closes the loop is safety educating. Our goal throughout this process is to provide reminders and warnings about safe work habits (briefings), provide interactive sessions on enhanced safety knowledge and safe workplace behaviors (training), and to ensure the knowledge is retained and the safe behaviors are adopted (educating).

SAFETY PROGRAM EVALUATION There are several important means for determining if the information transfer cycle (briefing-training-educating) has been or is effective at your firm. We refer to this step as the safety program evaluation. First, it is important that all briefing and training activities are documented. Every employee exposed to safety briefings and trainings should be confirmed with their name and date, with the safety and/or health topic noted. To measure effectiveness during training sessions, allow a minute or two to collect pre-training awareness and knowledge levels, then do the same after the training. This is referred to as pre- and post-testing. Use the increased knowledge and skills gain at the end of the session to determine if additional training is needed for all or some selected workers. At lawn and landscape work sites, observations of workers doing their work can be conducted to determine if critical safety recommendations are being followed post-training. For

example, you may have recently trained employees on hearing conservation best practices and the importance of proper ear plug selection and ear inser- tion procedures. Upon observation of several work sites, you notice that no hearing protection is being used and that ear plugs and ear muffs are not being properly worn. After observing the post-training failure, you will likely schedule more training or deal with the PPE violation one-on-one with the employee.

Remember these two important points when compiling your safety programs:  Briefing, training and educating encompass a complete package that will afford your firm a legitimate opportunity at reducing safety and health workplace risks.

 Provide safety and health informa- tion in a language that your employ- ees can understand. TLP

The author is safety advisor for the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

National Association of Landscape Professionals 35

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