Yeah, yeah, yeah: The perils of safety refresher training

by on December 13, 2012 · 1 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

A worker was recently killed in a confined space – suffocated by leaking argon.

He didn’t read or write English well, and had been hired four separate times. Each time, he was trained the same way – a video, a supervisor read to him from a manual, and he was given an oral quiz.

The fourth time, he was annoyed. He’d heard it all before. Every time she asked a question, he said, “I answered that the last time.”

So he wasn’t listening when he was told that feeling sleepy was a sign that argon was filling a confined space. One day, he kept trying to work through his fatigue, collapsed. and suffocated.

Take home: Never accept “yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it before” as an answer. If workers have time away from a dangerous task, they have forgotten something. Worse, they probably don’t realize it.

Suggestion: If you’re getting pushback during refresher training, get tough with questions. The same-old quiz they took the first time won’t do. Ask workers to identify the leading hazards – when they can’t, they’re more likely to listen to the refresher course.

If they can, ask them to assist in the training and share their own stories. Key: Get them involved, one way or the other.

Cite: Sec’y of Labor v. Trinity Yachts.

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1 Comment on This Post

  1. MunrosSafetyApparel
    December 28, 2012 - 3:32 am

    Refresher courses on training and safety procedures should be enforced for both employees and management staff. Even if there haven’t been any new hires, employees can sometimes move across departments, new equipment gets installed, and safety codes can be updated which is why refresher courses are the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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