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Refresh your Refresher Training!

It’s not too late to conduct your annual refresher safety training for 2022.  As we talked about in a November 2021 blog, many OSHA regulations have a specific requirement to conduct annual refresher training. Whether you’re conducting the training virtually or in person, consider using a different approach for your annual training to reenergize it.

Although some regulations have specific content requirements for the training, there are many different options for how to present the information. Sometimes the more creative you can get with the method of relaying the information, the more effective the delivery, and the greater the retention of the material. Here are a few ideas:

  • Breakout sessions: To engage attendees, add breakout sessions to the traditional PowerPoint presentation to discuss in more detail different topics such as theoretical incidents or emergency situations.


  • Safety scavenger hunt: Provide evacuation maps or floor plans to employees and  divide them into small groups and have them add the location of all safety equipment (e.g., fire pulls, fire extinguishers, spill kits, showers/eyewashes, first aid kits)  and the location of important safety documents such as SDS and manuals.


  • Conduct a mock spill: It’s one thing to cover spill procedures in detail while sitting in a conference room, but another scenario all together to go into the lab, open up the spill kits, pull out the contents, and walk through cleaning up a mock spill.


  • Incorporate findings from previous lab inspections: Show pictures of non-compliance from recent lab inspections and ask attendees to tell the group what the issues are.  This can be a great way to make the training interactive and reinforce proper safety practices.


  • Include safety-themed games: Adding competitive games such as Chemical Hygiene Bingo or Bloodborne Pathogens Jeopardy can liven up the audience, especially when prizes are involved! Having employees complete crossword puzzles based on a safety theme such as evacuation procedures can also be a hit.


A big complaint many employees have is that their safety training is geared towards regulatory compliance and not towards improving safety for employees.  Therefore, annual trainings that focus on current safety issues, rather than a straight review of policies and procedures, is often more effective.

When preparing for refresher sessions, think about how the program has evolved throughout the year, and discuss the improvements that have been made. Annual safety training should be viewed as an opportunity to promote a high regard for the overall safety program and not simply as a task that must be completed to check a box.

For more ideas to energize your annual refresher trainings, please email us at [email protected].

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