Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dialogue Makes Safety Training More Effective

Using training to get action ...

"Of all the critical components of safety training, Tulane University professor Michael Burke believes dialogue often is the one that's overlooked.

Burke, speaking on Capitol Hill as part of an Oct. 5 congressional briefing that examined strategies to improve workplace safety, emphasized that as "more-engaging" forms of workplace safety training are gaining in popularity, dialogue needs to be incorporated to "enhance the quality of worker reflection."

"As training becomes more engaging, dialogue with others is posited to engender more 'action-focused reflection,' and consequently, greater knowledge acquisition, improved performance and reduced accidents, illnesses, and injuries," explained Burke, who has conducted programs to research the efficacy of worker safety and health training.

According to Burke, "action-focused reflection" is central to learning, as it achieves the following learning objectives:

Immerses trainees in a situation for which they have a past, present and future orientation;
Forces trainees to infer causal and conditional relations between events and activities;
Leads to the development of strategies for handling future events; and
Initiates and promotes self-regulatory activities such as confidence for dealing with unforeseen events.

"Learning is a social process and feedback has always been considered important in the development of action-based knowledge and skills," Burke said. "More recently, in contrast to feedback, dialogue has received attention in safety and health skill development."    (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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