Ineffective of OSH training

It is a common paradigm in workplaces, or at least it is expected, that new worker get some kind of training in occupational safety and health.  The aim is make the worker aware of the potential risks involved in the work in order to perform the work safely. For the younger workers, who are more vulnerable to accidents due to lack of experience, the need for training is more pronounced. But, how much is learnt in the workplace training?

It is reported in earlier research work that, most training approaches aim at improving OSH among young workers are teaching-based paradigms using lectures, awareness campaigns, and behavioral modeling rather than learning-based-paradigms such as situated learning, community of practice. Teaching-based methods are mostly are disconnected from the work context.

According to  Laberge et al (2014): “Learning in a work situation involves facing diverse dynamic and iterative daily events. An actual work situation is often changing and unforeseeable and requires the development of nuanced approaches.” New workers may experience diverse operational scenarios during the production process variation.

Laberge and Co. add, “With respect to OHS rules, the goal of strictly following rules was sometimes utopian. Both apprentices and experienced workers related situations where a rule had been adapted in order to be able to do a task properly and safely. Generally, experienced workers were able to develop proper strategies to negotiate production and safety, but these adaptions were not always obvious for young workers.”

Workers face a number of practical challenges that affect how OSH learning takes places. And with teaching as the point of departure, learning becomes arbitrary, each new worker developing own learning pattern, taking shortcuts here and there, resulting in learning distant from the original thought.

Read more: