Trends in Workplace Healthy and Safety – My Learning from Safety 2018

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) conducted their 57th Safety 2018 Conference and Exposition in the beautiful city of San Antonio, from June 3 to June 6.  The conference was attended by over 640 exhibitors and 5000 safety professionals from around the world.

I had the opportunity to attend this conference on behalf of Harbinger, for the second year in a row. Apart from catching up with some of our clients and prospects, I got to learn a lot about the rapidly changing landscape of the health and safety industry. Here are a few trends that seem to be gaining immense popularity in this highly regulated industry:

  1. Virtual Reality – With its ability to provide a realistic training experience, virtual reality is slowly becoming an integral part of health and safety training. There are many useful applications of virtual reality in training, like hazard identification and site familiarization. With the pace at which this trend is catching up, it won’t be surprising to see it become as popular as mainstream online learning in the days to come.
  2. Micro-learning – Health and safety compliance courses are usually long and tedious, and hence not very exciting and engaging. Organizations are slowly making a shift towards making workplace learning more exciting for the learners using micro-learning, gamification and other rich media. The focus is to include small, interactive nuggets of information, which can be consumed one at a time, and can engage learners better. For instance, breaking an intensive personal protective equipment training session into smaller modules like hearing protection, eye protection, face shields, and so forth, could help in better retention of information.
  3. Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Management software – EHS management software is constantly evolving, and becoming better every passing day. Most of the newer versions are cloud based, available to be used in offline modes, deliver intelligent data analysis of compliance issues, come with unique customization and integration abilities, provide detailed reporting, and offer better risk management. It will be interesting to see the growth of EHS management software in the safety and health domain.
  4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products – Some interesting innovations have been done in the field of PPE and other safety products. Use of mobile based applications, sensor based safety technologies and drone technology is making it an exciting space to watch for in the coming years. These innovations demonstrate that organizations are making safety their key priority by making use of latest technology to comply with stringent safety norms.

This conference was a great learning experience for me and I am already looking forward to the next Safety conference at New Orleans.

Are you associated with any workplace health and safety practices? What are your observations on the above mentioned trends? Share through comments below.

My Experience at ASSE Safety 2017

SAFETYASSE2017

The American Society of Safety Engineers [ASSE] conducted their 56th annual conference, Safety 2017 from 19-22 June at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The conference had over 650 exhibitors from across the globe.  5,000 safety professionals, health and safety leaders, key decision makers, safety consultants from 40 countries came together to share their expertise in risk management, industrial safety, industrial hygiene, and more.  With over 300 speaker sessions and events, the conference was a unique opportunity for professionals in the safety domain.

There were various types of organizations exhibiting at the conference; which could be categorized as:

  1. PPE Products – This category included organizations providing safety glasses, safety footwear, hard hats, clothing, glasses and gloves.
  2. Health and Safety Products – Organizations providing fall protection devices, safety ropes manufacturers, chemical safety devices.
  3. Universities, Publishers and Associations – Organizations across the USA who provide accreditation programs on health and safety.
  4. Training organizations – These included eLearning catalog companies, onsite training providers and training marketplaces.

I attended the conference on behalf of the Harbinger Interactive Learning team, and tried to understand the role online learning plays in health and safety training. Here are my key observations from the conference:

  1. Popularity of Onsite Training – Though there are many successful online training catalog providers in the health and safety space, onsite training is still the most popular method to deliver training.
  2. Learning on Handheld Devices – Many of the training catalog providers have their training content in Adobe Flash or PDF formats, however, they seem to be warming up to the idea of providing training through handheld devices like tablets and smart-phones.
  3. Virtual and Augmented Reality in Health and Safety – Virtual and augmented reality seem to be the next big thing in the health and safety training domain.

Safety 2017 provided me with the opportunity to interact with various health and safety training providers and also gave me an insight into the evolution of safety training over the last few years. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this conference and came back better-informed on the role training plays in the health and safety domain. Did you attend this conference? What were your key takeaways? Share through comments below.