November 2015

The Cost of Online Training - Are You Getting What You Pay For?

In the workplace safety training space there is a group of vendors that provide very similar online training products, however, pricing for these online training platforms can range from $2.00 - $25.00 per student, per course.  When the content, support, and technical capabilities are similar, one has to ask if you are getting what you pay for.  And, what is with the huge discrepancy in pricing?

Comparing Apples to Apples 

First, it's important that I clarify what group of online providers to which I'm referring.  Vendors may refer to everything that is delivered via the internet, from streaming video to highly interactive, robust training courses, "online training".  There is a difference.  Streaming video is a video training program, the same as you would get via DVD, delivered via the internet.  It may or may not be tied to a learning management system (LMS).  Some streaming video programs do include quizzes to track learning gain. Online training courses, or elearning courses, are internet based, self-led training courses which include interactivity and media such as video or animation.   Not all elearning courses are created equal.   There are elearning courses that aren't much more than the CD-ROM based training of the 1990s, or "Digital PowerPoints" as I've heard them called.  These courses are text with pictures, possibly some video, and multiple choice or true or false questions.  Truly engaging online training courses include these five features:
  1. Text with full narration
  2. Multiple medias including video and animation
  3. Interactivity beyond Q&A, such as matching and scenario based selection
  4. Quality, technically accurate content
  5. Adult learning theory practices such as task-oriented learning versus memorization, application of why concepts are being learned, and self-directed learning
On a side note, adult learning theory is a whole other topic.  For more in-depth info about adult learning theory, this is a good place to start.

So, if we rule out streaming video training and "digital PowerPoint' online training programs that still leaves a handful of vendors that offer quality online training with a huge discrepancy in pricing.  When you have the boxes checked on all five features of quality training, why do prices range from as low as $2 per student up to $25 per student...even when large versus small training volumes are taken into consideration?

New Companies in the Training Space  

We can't ignore the vast changes in EH&S training company ownership in the last 10 years.  Three of the major players in quality EH&S training were purchased by either larger entities or private equity groups.  Good, bad, or indifferent, a change in ownership of that scale has an impact on the goals and direction of the business.  Privately held, small, or even family owned businesses have more flexibility in their approach, from content development to pricing.  Large organizations, publicly traded organizations or those owned by private equity typically have to answer to shareholders or other entities which will directly affect pricing.

In these cases, pricing may be dictated by a need to meet required sales projections or satisfy the goals set by a board of directors or group outside the direct leadership of the company.  You may be paying higher prices to satisfy these needs. As long as customers continue to pay the higher prices for the same training they can find elsewhere, vendors can justify the higher prices.  Also, vendors that are not in full control of their destiny will have a difficult time lowering prices unless the market dictates it.

What Are You Paying for?

It may be time to take a second look at your training vendor and make sure you can't get the same quality training and customer service, or perhaps even better, from a different source at an improved cost. 

There may be one or two advantages from one vendor over the other that can help you to justify the price.  But in reality, there are only a few online training vendors that can provide you a quality product and excellent service for half the price of the others.  Make sure that you are getting all that you can for what you pay, and that you're not paying to line the pocket of investors.   
Ready to explore your online training options?  Give us a call at 888.528.4486 or fill out the form to find an online solution that fits your needs and your budget from today's best resources. 


Confined Spaces in Construction Compliance Deadline Delayed a Second Time

For second time OSHA has delayed the compliance deadline for the Confined Spaces in construction standard.  Originally slated to go into effect August 3rd, 2015, OSHA delayed enforcement until October 1, 2015 to give organizations more time to train workers and acquire necessary equipment.  OSHA has extended the enforcement deadline to January 8, 2016.  Although OSHA did not provide a reason for this delay, it may be tied to the current petition for review of the rule filed by Verizon, Southwestern Bell, the National Association of Home Builders and the Texas Association of Builders in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. (Rolfson, Bloomburg BNA).

Check out our blog post for more information on the training requirements in the new Confined Space for Construction standard.


MSHA Issues Seasonal Safety Alert for Mining Employees

Despite an all-time record low number of fatalities in the mining industry in 2014, fatal mine incidents still occur.  MSHA has issued a seasonal safety alert to remind miners, employers and contractors about the serious hazards of working in or around mines.  The fall months pose a particular threat to miners due to the activities of winter preparation, including repairs and mine shutdowns.  All mine workers, from mine operation workers to contractors, must have training under Part 46 or Part 48 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

During the fall months, miners may be performing new or unfamiliar tasks, working with equipment they service only once a year, or working in a reduced-sized workforce.  These are prime conditions for accidents and incidents to occur, including:
  • Disassembling conveyors and transporting and storing sections
  • Accessing pumping stations, especially floating pump decks
  • Rigging, lifting and towing equipment
  • Rebuilding crushers and screens
  • Winterizing sand wash facilities  
Did you know that MSHA Part 46 and Part 48 is one of the thousands of training topics that Evolved Safety covers?  Online or onsite, we can help you get your MSHA compliance and annual refresher training handled...any time of the year.  Give us a call at 888.528.4486 or visit today!


Old Man Winter is Knocking on Our Door...

We've already seen snow flurries in Michigan which means old man winter will be here before we know it.  The weatherman is predicting this year's El Niño winter to be one of the strongest on record, but, true to form with the weather they can't tell us what this really means.  "A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter," said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player. Cold-air outbreaks and snow storms will likely occur at times this winter. However, the frequency, number and intensity of these events cannot be predicted on a seasonal timescale."  ( The Weather Channel)

Whatever the weather brings, the best defense against winter and his friend El Niño is preparation.  Be sure to add the following topics to your training docket:

-  Winter Driving
-  Hypothermia/Cold Stress Prevention
-  Emergency Preparedness
-  Basic First Aid
-  Severe Weather Preparation
-  Influenza Prevention

Give us a ring at 888.528.4486 to get your safety training library ready for winter.


Introducing online overview courses - These short online training courses give a quick overview of the topic, perfect for refresher or on-the-job training.  Current titles available:
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Overview
  • Drug & Alcohol Free Workplace Overview
  • Hazard Communication Overview
  • Scaffold Safety Overview
  • Violence in the Workplace Overview
New training programs available from Evolved Safety:
  • Maritime Lock and Tag Plus - Online Format
  • MSHA - Mandatory Health & Safety Standard - Online Format
  • MSHA - Explosives - Online Format

Thank you for being an Evolved Safety customer.  We want to wish each of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.  May your turkey be juicy, your football team win, your family not make you totally crazy, and if you dare to go out on Black Friday you avoid being trampled.

Evolved Safety will be on holiday Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 27, 2015.


Test your memory with the October safety crossword - hint, all of the answers come from this eNewsletter and highlighted blog posts.  How Evolutionary!  We'll post the answers on our Linked In page next week,  so be sure to follow us .  Happy cross-wording!

Evolved Safety

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