Are You Making These 4 EHS Training Mistakes?

Are You Making These 4 Mistakes with Your EHS Training?

You’re running an EHS training program, but is it really effective? And compliant? Find out if you’re making these 4 common mistakes with your EH&S training.

By Cory Sander

As an EHS manager, you’re no stranger to the challenges of EHS training management: identifying, scheduling, tracking, documenting and more. It’s a long task list, so it’s no wonder that your environmental, health and safety training program might not always go as smoothly as you’d like. To help you stay on track, we’ve outlined four common mistakes you might be making with your EHS training.

  1. A sign-in sheet is the only way you’re tracking training.

Recording who attends your next EHS safety training is a must, so we’re going to assume you’re using a basic sign-in sheet as a log. But what happens after the class? Or a series of classes? It’s a good best practice to transfer all those names and the corresponding attendance data into a master Excel spreadsheet.

Then you can see that Jane made it to personal protective equipment training but missed the hazardous waste session. And that Dave seems to have missed every staff development class this year. A central log (backed up by those sign-in sheets) gives you an at-a-glance view of who’s trained and who isn’t.

  1. You don’t follow up with people who missed training.

If you’re managing training for a large group of people, it’s inevitable that someone’s going to be out when you do that session on Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC). Maybe Bob was out sick, on vacation or at an industry event.

The important thing is following up and training anyone who didn’t make the original session. Schedule a make-up class, conduct a one-on-one session or find an online resource for completing the missed training. If you’re training a large group of people, it’s a good idea to offer two different dates, so you catch most people without special sessions.

  1. There’s no record of what exactly people were trained on.

OK, you held your annual hazardous waste training, but what exactly did everyone learn? It’s crucial to keep the actual training material on file, so you can prove that you trained staff on everything that’s required. If you’re doing the training in-house, this is as simple as filing a copy of the EHS PowerPoint presentation and any handouts.

An outside training firm makes this trickier. The company may not want to hand over editable training materials, but you can ask for a non-editable PDF or an outline of what the training covered along with any materials given to your staff. Otherwise, you’ll have no documentation to prove the training checked all the required boxes.

  1. Your training program hasn’t kept up with changes—either regulatory or internal.

Here’s a pretty typical scenario for how companies develop training programs. You were audited five years ago and discovered you didn’t have required asbestos awareness training. This kicked off an internal process to start from scratch and identify all training needs. Then you repeated the same program year after year.

The problem? A regulatory requirement may have changed or even more likely, there’s a change at your facility. If there’s a new hazardous waste, for example, you’ll need to change your training material to include that particular material. A good best practice: Do a routine review of your EHS training courses annually to make sure you’re identifying and meeting all requirements.

Do any of these common EHS training mistakes sound familiar? If you’re struggling to organize, track and document employee training, we can help. Contact us today!