In the workplace, trainings are sometimes thought of as a regular event that employees are required to attend. Too often, many of these trainings become monotonous and repetitive, leading the audience to become despondent and uninterested in the topic being presented.
In the case of lockout/tagout, even one audience member’s inattention can be potentially fatal. Especially with authorized employee training, attention and just as importantly, engagement is key. Here are some tips and tricks to capture their attention and engage authorized employees during a lockout/tagout training session:
- Begin by having the speaker tell a personal story of an incident that could have been prevented by properly following a lockout/tagout procedure. Go around the room and have each employee tell a similar story from their experience. This will engage the audience and allow them to think about the consequence of failing to properly lockout a piece of equipment.
- If all employees have given a personal story, the presenter can choose one or two of the most interesting stories and break down the cause of the incident. Although the obvious reasons may be a lack of proper lockout/tagout, probe the audience to think about outside causes. Was the employee being careless or were they distracted? What forms of energy did the employee not take into consideration? Was this the first time the employee had shown this type of behavior, etc. Then analyze common practices in the local facility. Do not call employees out on bad habits, but rather discuss in general terms what could be done better.
- Ask questions. If the presenter is presenting from a power point, systematically ask questions before the answers are displayed. When an employee provides an answer have a short discussion on the response and how it affects the authorized employee when locking out a machine. The audience will have to think through the lockout process and decide if the response is appropriate.
- In a more intimate setting of authorized employees, it is beneficial to take a more hands on approach. A technique that truly engages the audiences is taking the authorized employees to lockout a local piece of machinery. Go through each step of the lockout process and discuss why and when the piece of equipment should be locked out.
- If the training has a larger group of authorized employees, a possible method to engage the audience is to walk through common types of lock out devices and when they should be used. Choose machinery common to the facility and discuss the process of how they should be locked out with the devices at hand.
- If the authorized employees are training for the first time or annually, have the employees take a short quiz over what the presentation has discussed. Inform the employees that the quiz is mandatory. This will give reason for the audience to pay attention and apply what they know at the end of the presentation.
- Provide incentive for the authorized employees to engage and finish the training. At the end of each presentation, if the authorized employees have been active or passed a quiz, provide them with a certificate of completion. This will boost morale and give them a small incentive to be authorized lockout/tagout technicians.
Knowing that CFR1910.147(c)(6) requires training annually, it requires very little additional effort to take the extra steps noted above to be sure the trainings you provide are effective and engage the audience in order to prevent accidents and improve morale. When employees are engaged, they are more cognizant of safety.
Training is important, but not the only component to lockout/tagout.
The five components needed for a lockout/tagout program that will help prevent lockout/tagout related accidents and citations from OSHA are below:
1. Machine specific lockout-tagout procedures (graphical picture based procedures are industry best practice)
2. Annual auditing of each procedure as well as each authorized employee to verify accuracy and comprehension (at least a 12 month cycle)
3. Training for Authorized and Affected employees (must be provided to each employee prior to utilizing a lock)
4. Corporate policy to provide company stances on enforcement and program maintenance (put your authorized employee list here, not your procedures)
5. Locks, tags, and devices (to get a list of the best of the best, check back with ESC frequently for non-biased recommendations)
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Download a Free PDF Presentation to use for your next authorized employee training here.