Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

The Design of Effective Safety Training Courses and Differences in Practice: An Italian Study

Gaia Vitranoa and Guido J.L. Michelib

Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.


Awareness does not arise from passive learning of rules and procedures, but from proper education to a culture of safety. Safe behaviors are driven by the motivation and knowledge of the workers, and the participation and involvement of workers ensure optimal performance. This work, with a reference to educational learning theories, investigates how to make workers' training more effective by studying the impact of educational factors on adult learning. New approaches have been developed in recent years with the active involvement of the participants.

A framework was built, starting from the literature, to connect different teaching methodologies and trainers' roles to educational factors. It identifies seven constructs for teaching methodologies, two for the trainer's role, and four for educational factors as drivers of effective training. A questionnaire was distributed to Italian trainers in companies offering safety training courses and the results confirmed the framework's structure. However, unlike the framework, role playing and group work teaching methodologies, which presume higher effectiveness of training, were not prevalent among trainers who preferred traditional methodologies like frontal lessons, participatory lessons, and personal experiences. These findings suggested a need for improvement in safety training activities. This study, developed before the spread of Covid-19, provides a starting point for further analyses to evaluate how things have changed over time and propose further improvements in the design of safety training activities.

Keywords: Occupational safety, Adult, Surveys, Learning, Safety culture, Education.

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