What you should consider when choosing a health and safety training course

Instructor at the front of a classroom with a group of learners paying attentionLet’s face it. Employee health and safety training isn’t always the most exciting, and there are several reasons why. It may not be relevant to the employee, it could be poorly designed and developed, or the instructor may not be the most effective.

Regardless, health and safety training is an investment for your business that has been found to positively change behaviours and promote safer work practices [Robson, 2012]. So, you want to ensure that the information provided is understood and remembered by employees, and more importantly, it is used in the work they perform to help reduce the risk of incidents.

Here are just some things your company should consider when selecting a health and safety training course.

Analyze what workers need to know before training. Then search for training that covers these issues

Often training contains a lot of information that does not apply to employees. For example, consider a new ventilation system that has been installed in your weld shop. Is it important for the employees in your cafeteria to know about this? Probably not. But for the employees who will be using the ventilation system, it’s probably essential that training include the hazards of welding fume, why the ventilation system was installed, how to inspect the system and how to operate it—turn it on and off. The health and safety training you select should be relevant to employees’ needs.

Consider the best way to deliver training: in-person, live streaming, or computer-automated

Some employees may need extra support during training, so training led by a live instructor is probably better so any questions can be answered on the spot. Live streaming or “virtual training” through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meets may also be more appropriate for employees scattered across the province or country.

In other cases, employees’ schedules may be difficult to align, so eLearning (computer-automated or on-demand) may be more appropriate so learners can start and stop the training as they wish. Various methods exist to deliver training, and your company should consider the pros and cons of each.

Look for training that includes pop quizzes frequently throughout the course, not just at the end.

Testing workers throughout the course, instead of waiting until the very end to test their knowledge, helps them remember concepts better [Pound, 2021]. There should be pop quizzes or “knowledge checks” sprinkled in after each module in a course.

Leverage the employee’s knowledge.

Training should allow employees to participate and offer their own opinions and experiences to others in the classroom. The instructor should be there to guide the conversation and act as a technical supporter.

Need Help?

Call WorkBright™ to learn how we can help your business develop and deliver customized health and safety training. Together, we will enhance your employees’ knowledge and reduce the risk of incidents in your business.


Martin, G. (2016). “Trainer Attributes as Drivers of Training Effectiveness.” Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 48, no. 7, Sep. 2016, pp. 367-373. 10.1108/ICT-02-2016-0013

Pound, Melissa. “Hard Isn’t Bad—the Science of Desirable Difficulties.”, Institute for Performance and Learning, 18 Oct. 2021, https://performanceandlearning.ca/blogpost/1880447/381614/Hard-isn-t-Bad-the-Science-of-Desirable-Difficulties.

Robson, Lynda, et al. “A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Occupational Health and Safety Training.” Scand J Work Environ Health, vol. 38, no. 3, 1 Nov. 2011, pp. 193–208., https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3259.

Zepeda, C. D., Martin, R. S. & Butler, A. C. (2020). “Motivational Strategies to Engage Learners in Desirable Difficulties.” Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, vol. 9, no. 4, Dec. 2020, pp. 464-470., 10.1016/j.jarmac.2020.08.007