The trombone in the Charlie Brown cartoon. Do you know what I am talking about? Another mind-numbing, boring regurgitation of uninteresting information presented by a droning monotone voice, "death by PowerPoint" or the dreadful "persistent slide reader." Have you ever attended this type of lecture, meeting, or conference session before? Of course you have. I have. Everyone has, time and again, more often than not. Let 's face it; you would rather be playing sports, cards, exercising or even working, than listening to this drivel. More importantly, you would rather be doing your favorite things with your family. Now, imagine you're not in this session by choice; your job requires you to attend. This can 't get much worse! Oh wait, it can—today's topic, "Safety Training."
Maslow's hierarchy, common sense, and those "favorite things with your family" would lead you to believe that staying alive would be of interest to most people, but sadly, safety is not everyone's favorite subject. No surprise though, considering that most adults feel they are safe enough already, coupled with years of rules, procedures, negative enforcement (as opposed to positive reinforcement) and uncomfortable behavior change. I mean, think about it. When was the last time a police officer pulled you over and said, "Thanks for driving the speed limit?"
So, as a safety instructor, this is what you're up against. Before you even begin, your students have a predisposed expectation you will deliver yet another boring or repetitive class on a subject that they don't want or need.
But what if you had an important message to deliver—a critical piece of information that would help them make it home to their family and their favorite things? And safety is always an important message, even if it is the umpteenth time through a regulatory refresher. Always. That's the real risk here—when an important message is missed, because the instructor didn't get their student's attention, because of the "blah, blah, blahs."
I teach a class called HAZWOPER. If you are a safety professional, chances are you know what HAZWOPER means. This class requires 40 hours of instruction in order to work at a hazardous waste site. It has to be one of the most boring classes I have ever attended, or taught for that matter. And, it is usually the instructor that can make or break the class.