Simple Tips on How to Improve Your Safety Inductions

Improving by Comparing Effective Safety Inductions and Traditional Safety Inductions

I continually get emails and calls about the dreadful state of inductions in various industries, despite the wealth of expertise about in instructional design and education. Unfortunately a Cert IV in training is not preparation for effective teaching and learning but pretty much a ticket to train. Training is not education and learning.

It is simply amazing that the training sector ask fully qualified teachers with years of experience to do a qualification that is more about the indoctrination of boring than learning interactivity and engagement. If a training qualification was so effective, how come all the inductions I have experienced in industry are so bad?

So in the interests of helping people improve their inductions I offer the following comparative list. If you need help in improving your inductions then seek expert support, you don’t try to fly the plane you travel in, why do you think you know how to design learning and inductions with a Cert IV in WHS?

Effective Inductions


Traditional Induction

  • Be well prepared and well designed
  • Grab whoever can do it 15 minutes before presentation
  • Consultation on design with graphic designers, instructional designers and educators
  • Get the safety crusader to design it under the principle of ‘cover your arse and teach everything’
  • Consult and read a book on learning and presentation skills, there are plenty on the market
  • Believe that a qualification in safety, engineering or project management ensures expertise in teaching and learning
  • Inform participants the purpose of the induction is learning and application
  • Tell participants this is arse covering, when you know the induction is not a defence in court
  • Don’t start with anything to do with regulations, the Act or standards
  • Start with regulations, the Act or standard
  • Don’t use presenters who are safety crusaders
  • Use presenters who are safety crusaders. Crusade on your own skills and abilities
  • Use presenters who are people focused not product or content focused. Focus on key principles.
  • Focus on content not relationships
  • Do a walk around and consult about induction room design. Make sure you consult about semiotics with an expert and ensure signs and words are meaningful
  • Shove everyone in a poorly designed classroom, put up the usual meaningless mottos and slogans, cheap posters and ‘zero harm’ nonsense
  • Use case studies from life that connect with participants
  • Use case studies of accidents and gory pictures
  • Focus on perceptions, motivation, decision making, trade offs in risk and the principle of ownership
  • Focus on rules, control, fear, policing, fines, punishment and law
  • Ask open questions and seek engagement
  • Ask rhetorical question the presenter answers themselves
  • Use white boards, mind mapping and groups
  • Use rote learning techniques and ‘parrot’ training strategies
  • Get participation early, focus on activity
  • Stand and lecture and talk to slides
  • Make the induction manual interesting (use an graphic designer) and activity focused
  • Bombard the participant with a rule book-like document full of text and rules. Lazily duplicate the presentation slides as a manual
  • Invite stories and use multimedia
  • Tell war or personal stories
  • Make sections of the induction short (40 minutes) with breaks for coffee, tea and biscuits
  • Sit people in a classroom for hours
  • Use graphics rather than text as much as possible. Prepare by taking pictures and video of what you want them to know.
  • Bombard participants with text and Powerpoint slides
  • Use hands on or experiential learning strategies as much as possible
  • Rely on Powerpoint slides to deliver the induction
  • If using Powerpoint and text, have less than 10 words per slide and accompany all text with pictures not clip art
  • Have more than more than 50 words per slide. If you can, use cheap clip art.
  • Use concepts that have lasting effect through engagement and thinking
  • Use emotional videos like Remember Charlie, that have a shelf life of 3 months and no lasting effect
  • Establish understanding verbally and by observation,
  • Sign off the induction with a comprehension test (that are mostly fake anyway)
  • Finish early
  • Finish late and run over time
  • Deal with mistakes on site as learning and conversation opportunities
  • Punish people on site with re-induction for misdemeanours
Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long

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Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

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