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By: Stacey Godbold

A Blended Learning Approach to Safety Training

Blended learning combines in-person training and virtual training. In the safety industry, companies are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of conducting parts of their safety courses with an instructor (who is physically with the participants), while simultaneously offering several digital training modules on the same subject.

In my professional opinion, some aspects of safety training just need to be done in a traditional classroom setting. For example, the following safety topics aren’t entirely theoretical and shouldn’t be taught solely online: 

  • HAZWOPER training. (HAZWOPER is an acronym that stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.)  
  • CPR training. (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training.)
  • AED training. (Automated External Defibrillator training.)

Here’s why: 

  • With HAZWOPER training, nothing compares to actually trying to put on a hazmat suit. (Trust me, the first time you do it, it’s tricky.)   
  • With CPR training, nothing compares to actually pressing your hands down on a training manikin’s chest when simulating saving their life.  
  • With AED training, nothing compares to actually touching the defibrillator training kit to get a feel for the buttons, switches, electrodes (pads), etc.

But! Not all HAZWOPER, CPR, and AED training needs to be conducted in-person. Parts of these topics can certainly be taught effectively via: 

  • Live webinars 
  • Videos 
  • Online quizzes, tests, etc. 
  • Reading materials

In a recent episode of my podcast, “The Safety Pro Round Table,” I talked about the challenges and benefits of blended learning in the safety industry with the following two fantastic guests: 

  • Apolonia Rockwell, CEO and Founder of True Safety Services 
  • Drew Hinton, CEO and Founder of Arrow Safety

Apolonia, Drew, and I really get into the nitty-gritty of what kinds of blended learning approaches work, and which don’t. Check out our conversational deep-dive and let me know what you think!

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