How to follow up? 5 ways to effectively remind workers

by on July 3, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

In recent posts, we talked about the importance of effective safety training.

In addition to testing, spot inspections, and toolbox talks, you may find the following ideas effective:

1. Home mailers
Some companies follow up with a home mailing covering the key points of safety discussions. Consider a tailored safety message, such as, “We want to see you’re home safe in the future, too. Here’s a review of the lockout discussions.”

Personalized letters work best, So, ideally, you and the supervisor should sign the letter. You can work with them on the message, if supervisors balk at writing individual letters. However, some supervisors may appreciate the personal touch and buy in.

Key: The more individually tailored, the less like junk mail it will appear to be, and thus the more likely to be read – and appreciated.

2. Questions from management
Some companies give senior managers 3×5 cards with safety questions on them, such as, “Where’s the nearest eyewash station?” or “What’s the correct shutdown procedure for this machine?”

The exec stops at specific points on a tour and asks an operator one of the questions. With card in hand, senior execs can ask the right questions, and your workers get a reminder – plus the reward of showing off their knowledge.

3. Printed notes and charts
Many supervisors and safety directors give handouts at meetings.

Most are promptly lost – or in the “should review” pile. Handing out a new set of notes a week later can trigger re-interest – the worker may not have caught something the first time and was wondering.

Include a quiz to be handed back for best results. That will give the worker a good reason to review those notes again – and remember the training session.

4. Posters
Ah, safety posters. They are effective, at least for a while. Soon, as you know, they can fade into the background.

Changing the poster with the “topic of the month,” that is, in combination with other methods of follow up, will remind workers of the training and the safety behaviors expected of them.

You also have the option of “unveiling” the poster by having some follow up training in the room where it’s posted. Review what’s on the poster, so that when people see it again, they’ll remember your follow up talk, too.

5. Contests and rewards
You can post a “Question of the Week” and reward the first/all correct answers(s). If you’re not getting answers, you may need to promote the rewards.

Some options: Fishing stuff (even a fishing license), a gift card to an online store, a better parking space for a week, and posting the winner’s name under the next “Question of the Week.”

You can also have a “donning” contest a week after the meeting, and issue rewards to the winners.

Or “Quickest to spot what’s wrong” either with real-life props (such as a safety harness) or using photos in a follow up meeting. Something as simple as a piece of candy or bag of trail mix for the correct answer can make a good reward.

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