Online vs. Conventional

Safety Training Approaches

Key Takeaways

While ample published research establishes that online education courses can be effective, the intended purpose and expected outcomes of safety training are different than for academic educational courses.

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By H.E. "Trey" Greene and Cheryl L. (Cheri) Marcham

With safety training, it is not enough to simply provide the employee with training; the employer must also show that employees can demonstrate competency by transferring the knowledge and skills acquired in training and performing the job safely.

In many cases, online safety courses can be more efficient, consistent and cost effective. However, OSH professionals should selectively apply e-learning and understand when face-to-face training provides a better option.

About the Authors

H.E. “Trey” Greene has more than 30 years’ experience overseeing the design, development and deployment of targeted, need-specific environmental, health and safety training for public- and private-sector organizations. In the 80s, as a consulting engineer, he performed health and safety planning, training and certification services for field workers at many uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in the U.S. In the 90s, as a faculty director of the Institute for Environmental Management at University of Oklahoma, he was instrumental to the design and delivery of EHS training continuums in various fields. As managing partner for GBK Partnership, Greene oversaw the deployment of more than 500 federal EHS training contracts, ranging from $10,000 to $3 million, delivered in 18 countries and eight languages. In 2007, Greene and his wife Jill founded SafetySkills. com, a provider of e-learning solutions for EHS training to thousands of employers worldwide.
Cheryl L. (Cheri) Marcham, Ph.D., CSP, CIH, CHMM, FAIHA, is an assistant professor and program chair for the M.S. in Occupational Safety Management in the College of Aeronautics Worldwide Online Campus for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Prior to this, she was the environmental health and safety officer for a major university for more than 26 years. Marcham holds a B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. She has served on the board of directors of AIHA and BCSP, and has served on the ASSP Educational Standards Committee. Marcham is a professional member of the Oklahoma City Chapter.
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