Home' Inclean NZ : INCLEAN NZ Aug 2017 Contents 34 INCLEANNZ August 2017
Adult learning should begin with a basic
understanding of how adults learn -- trainers
may have an extensive knowledge of the
training content yet no concept of how to
effectively deliver the content. The literature
often presents fve fundamental adult
learning theories that are covered below.
• Sensory stimulation theory: Aim to
involve all the senses in the training via use
of various media and a variety of techniques.
• Cognitive theory: Aim to include hands
on problem solving activities.
• Reinforcement theory: Aim to provide
participants the opportunity to respond and
then provide reinforcement.
• Facilitation: Aim to provide a comfortable
training environment with opportunities for
participant / trainer interaction.
• Andragogy: Explain the training
objectives and aim to engage participants at
the very beginning of the training.
Many are of the opinion that training is the
cornerstone of the risk management process
as research has shown that participants are
likely to remember 10 per cent of what they
hear, 51 per cent of what they see and hear,
and 92 per cent of what they see hear and
become involved in.
It's for this reason that I am of the opinion
that competency-based training is very
important as it is integral to explain what
needs to be done, demonstrate what needs
to be done, and fnally observe the activity
being correctly done and providing feedback.
Some aspects of the literature look a little
deeper into the training process and cover
characteristics of adult learners.
• Self-direction: Trainers should involve
participants in the learning process and act
as facilitators not teachers.
• Life experiences: Life experiences of
the trainer and participants should be
encouraged and included to promote
connectivity and relevance.
• Goal setting: Training should be
structured with defned elements which are
consistent with the goals of the training.
• Relevance: Set objectives that the
participants can relate to so participants can
relate to the objectives and apply them to
• Practicality: Focus on the concepts of "what
and why" so participants can apply the elements
most useful to their work environment.
• Respect: Trainers should strongly
encourage participants to add value by
sharing their experiences through freedom
Risk management training
It is widely noted in the literature that
human error is implicated in 75 per cent of
incidents and my research indicates this may
be in the ballpark of 65.5 per cent in the
My further research has indicated that
51.5 per cent of those 65.5 per cent may be
because cleaners are moving the feet before
the eyes. It is important that cleaners have
extensive training in awareness to ensure
they stay focused and look before they move.
In relation to adult learning and the
concept of training "relevance" then this is a
life skill that if emphasised in the workplace
can beneft cleaners outside of work also. In
my experience, training is commonly used
as a form of risk control in the cleaning
industry. My analysis of 150 incident
investigations indicated that 87 per cent
implemented training as a corrective action.
In the event of an incident then training
is an effective risk control because it can
immediately address a situation and
document the fact that the cleaner has
been trained in the area that resulted in the
incident. It is important that all training is
documented -- where all training session
details are noted on the training record.
One of the most effective strategies a
trainer can use to improve their training is
to select appropriate stories for inclusion in
the training. Stories grab the attention of
trainees and make them more alert noting
that people tend to remember stories. The
literature notes that stories are a powerful
training technique because they:
• Create an environment of trust
• Empower the speaker
• Engage thinking
• Create a personal bond between listeners
• Provide a way to learn from experience.
A common technique speaker's use in safety
training and during presentation is telling
a story about a tragic event. People tend to
remember these stories because they make
an emotional connection and management
and participants are then more likely to
implement long term and lasting changes.
On a fnal note, organisations that establish
and implement an effective safety training
system shall beneft from consistent benefts
and continuous improvement.
Safety training --
of adult learning
In the safety field, the difference between effective and ineffective training may be injury, pain or loss of profits.
Dr Denis Boulais, national risk manager of Broadlex Services, shares some effective training strategies.
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