November 16, 2011 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Keep Your Facility Safe with the "Dread Factor"

40 Years of Research Unlock the Value of Hands-On Training

Psychologists analyzed over 40 years of research across 16 countries to find the relationship between hands-on training and job performance. Burke et al. found that hands-on training was more effective than classroom style training for tasks that carried a high risk of death or injury. In lower-risk tasks, however, classroom style and hands-on training were equally effective.

The “Dread Factor” is the Key

They explain this phenomenon with a “dread factor,” the employee’s knowledge of the high risk of the task he or she is performing. The authors conclude that hands-on training should be considered for high-risk industries, even if it does cost more money. These realistic simulations heighten the “dread factor,” making a person more likely to remember training and adhere to safety standards.

To see the full 25-page report click here.

Improve Training and Increase Risk Perception

This study best applies to the Training category in the Root Cause Tree®. Look under Understanding Needs Improvement: Practice/Repetition Needs Improvement. A problem with the “dread factor” could be due to poor learning objectives or instructional style as well. However, the trainee really needs practice so he or she understands the full risk of the task, as well as the procedural steps. If the training is “not repeated enough so that information [can] be learned and skills sharpened”, or “more simulator time [is] needed for proficiency”, then your facility may want to address this issue.

Ninth Time is the Charm

Can you think of a few employees who don’t understand the full risk of their tasks? Re-train them and revise the training program for new employees. Practice and present the procedure—including the risk—nine times total, as “…presentation of material up to nine times in a variety of settings and instructional techniques is commonly needed” (Corrective Action Helper® Guide).

For more information on training tips, look at Training in Organizations: Needs Assessment, Development, and Evaluation, Third Edition (1993) by Irwin Goldstein, published by Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, Pacific Grove, CA.

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