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How does Industry Benefit from an Investment in Health and Safety?

Jul 5, 2021 / SkillsVR

Globally, in 2019, companies spent more than $ 570 billion on Learning and Development.

How effective is your health and safety training? Are the principles of health and safety genuinely ingrained into the culture of your business? With complacency being one the highest factors of workplace incidents, do employees regularly practice situational awareness? WorkSafe reports that New Zealand's target for a 25% reduction in work-related acute fatality and serious injuries has shown mixed results. Data shows increases across all indicators. So what are we doing wrong?

Globally, in 2019, companies spent more than $ 570 billion on Learning and Development (L&D). This excludes universities or any personal training initiated by individuals personally. We're only talking about businesses up-skilling employees to be proficient in their jobs. This is a significant investment, yet 70% of employees feel that they don't have the mastery required to effectively do their jobs, and only 12% of employees are able to apply skills they've learnt from L&D programs into their roles. This information is hardly surprising for most people. What's concerning is, how does this stack up against Health and Safety Training?

75% of what people learn will be lost if they do not have the opportunity to apply it within 6 days

Hermann Ebbinghaus

Studies have shown that people learn most effectively when they are put in a situation where they have to learn. For example, when people are faced with real-world situations. However, employees are usually required to work to the schedule of a Learning and Development team. How can employees learn effectively when they're not learning to the schedule of their core roles or the hazardous environments they're learning about?

What's more is employees quickly forget what they've learnt. 'The forgetting curve' pioneered by German psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus says that 75% of what people learn will be lost if they do not have the opportunity to apply it within 6 days. Consider a health and safety scenario, where an employee has been put in harm's way. What is the likelihood that that person will recall critical information given that their last compliance assessment could be anywhere up to 2 years prior? This is when a majority of assessments are legally required to be refreshed.

A PWC study from 2020 explained that employees were 275% more emotionally connected to learning content in VR compared to in-class training. People learn most effectively when they're actively engaged in their job, in real-world situations. In VR, people are put in potentially dangerous environments and forced to react to challenges they would only ever come across in their day to day jobs. This gives employees the opportunity to flex their cognitive abilities in a situation they might only ever come across by chance, embedding the experience into their minds for when it's really needed.

In VR, people are put in potentially dangerous environments and forced to react to challenges they would only ever come across in their day to day jobs"

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