How to Find Good, Reputable Safety Training
By now, you could probably wallpaper half your office with all the training postcards and fliers you receive in the mail. Your SPAM folder in your email is probably filled with them, too. How do you sort through all of this to find quality courses for your employees?
My advice? Don’t.
Let’s face it, the Yellow Pages method of finding a supplier has its place, but not for health and safety. Are we doing our employees any justice by getting them a training course from ABC Training simply because they came before XYZ Training in the book? Health and Safety is too important an issue to leave to chance, which is why I believe that the best way to go is through personal recommendation.
Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You work for GCs or have subcontractors. You belong to professional organizations with members of other similar companies. One way or another, you know a colleague who has needed safety training.
Find somebody you respect and ask who they have used. Ask them about the quality of training, but know what you’re looking for before you get your answer. Why are they making the recommendation?
- Is it because the trainers they send are always engaging and informative?
- Is it because they got their eight hours of training done in four?
- Is it because the students felt they took something away from the course?
- Is it because the instructor ran enough videos to allow for a good, solid nap?
If you’re not satisfied with the reasons, move on to the next person.
If you’re unable to find somebody you know personally, in this day and age, you also have the benefit of social media. If you are not a member of LinkedIn, join! Become a member of groups related to the field so that you can network with people in similar situations. Once you’re a member, you can post a question to the group, asking who they would recommend in your area. You’ll get recommendations and you’ll get volunteers. If you’re considering one of the volunteers, go back to their profile page and see if anybody has written any public recommendations. Don’t be afraid to contact those people directly to ask further questions.
And, remember the maxim, “You get what you pay for.” While there are many factors that could go into why one trainer may charge differently than another, there should be a general ballpark within which all of your quotes fall. While I’m not suggesting you off-handedly discard a seemingly low quote, I would question why it is so low. Perhaps there is good reason – such as because you found a trainer who is retired and isn’t looking to make a lot of money, but really enjoys teaching. If so, great! But, perhaps there isn’t a good reason. Perhaps there just isn’t any demand for this particular trainer, causing them to drop to ridiculously low prices just to get people to look their way. On the other hand, if class seems ridiculously overpriced, that’s most likely because it is. Unless somebody is telling you that that particular class is so amazing you can’t afford to not pay it, discard it and look at your next options.
Of course, if you’d rather go straight to the source, OSHA can help you out in certain situations. For OSHA courses, you can head over to
the OSHA Training Institute and utilize one of their education centers https://www.osha.gov/dte/edcenters/current_list.html . These centers are, according to
OSHA’s website, “a
national network of non-profit organizations authorized by OSHA to deliver occupational safety and health training to public and private sector
workers, supervisors, and employers on behalf of OSHA.” There are 41 of these centers throughout the country that have to adhere to strict standards
set forth by OSHA. You can contact your closest center directly
, or you can search for courses here
Online, the choice of providers has been made a bit easier. If you’re looking for an OSHA 10 or 30 hour course,
don’t just take the first person who
pops up on Google. Just a few years ago, online providers of the OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses began popping up everywhere. Concerned with their ability
to ensure the quality of the product, OSHA restricted authorization to just a handful of providers.
You can find these at https://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/training_providers.html .
Regardless of how you do your due diligence, do your due diligence. Find a provider that works with you and develop a relationship. Even then, continue to monitor the classes and get employee feedback. Trainers or training companies can go downhill for any number of reasons. Just because they’ve done well for a few years, doesn’t mean something can’t happen that would make the quality of the training suffer. Training is more than just a card for guys to stuff in their wallets, never to be seen again. Training is the first step in keeping your employees alive.