December 16, 2021 / Ashley Augspurger

Working to Improve Training

Have you ever sat in a meeting or a training session and thought, “I’m not learning anything; this is a waste of time”? Well, you’re not alone—several AIHA members are trying to improve the effectiveness of training and other vexing challenges. The AIHA Communication and Training Methods Committee is a fun group of industrial hygienists and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals, in all career stages and industries, who are dedicated to improving communication of IH and OEHS concepts and training.

Our current projects include “just-in-time” microlearning, identifying emerging risks in the field of OEHS, communicating technical concepts, advancing AIHA’s “communicating OEHS concepts” content priority, and implementing ANSI Z490, Accepted Practices for E-Learning in Safety, Health and Environmental Training. We are also collaborating with the Biosafety Committee on the update of the Biosafety Reference Manual and with a team working on organizing and repurposing the large volume of work by Peter Sandman, the father of risk communication.

Our monthly meetings consist of more than just project updates and brainstorming. We also discuss relevant issues that are on the minds of committee members. We call these discussions “Nuggets of Wisdom.” Recently, we’ve discussed new, different approaches to training and presentations, such as methods of “gamifying”—that is, adding components of games like point scoring and competitions to encourage active participation. This approach is typically targeted to a younger audience and would be ideal in an academic setting. We’ve also discussed the pitfalls of traditional methods for evaluating the effectiveness of training and identified some of the myriad alternatives such as the Learning Evaluation Transfer Model. The intent of LTEM is to help trainers determine if their methods of evaluating training are valid.

Does your committee have any projects that have a training or communications component? The Communication and Training Committee would love to collaborate with you! If you’re like us, you’ll gain plenty from our collaboration that you can use in your work, and you’ll enjoy our fun team of communication and training gurus.

We meet on the third Friday of every month at 1 p.m. ET. To join, go to the “Volunteer Groups” page on the AIHA website and click “volunteer now!” or email Janice Allen or Laurie Mutdosch.

Please feel to reach out to me if you would like more information. 

Ashley Augspurger

Ashley Augspurger, PhD, CIH, CSP, is chair of the AIHA Communication and Training Methods Committee.


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