RETTEW’s goal is to provide effective safety training that positively impacts our students. I was recently reminded how different online training is compared to in-person training. Since we returned to in person training in 2020, it had been a while since I taught an online training session. I was teaching a two-hour training to a group of supervisors and managers, which, if the training had been in-person would have generated a significant amount of interaction and information sharing from each of the trainees’ individual experiences. Instead, when I asked open-ended questions, there was nothing but crickets chirping.  After much prodding and encouragement, I finally received some very limited interaction. But even that interaction was filled with rote answers the students thought I wanted to hear.

Online training has a place. It is very flexible and many times less expensive; however, I would compare it to the hollow chocolate bunny you used to get when you were a kid. It looked just like the solid chocolate bunny, but when you picked it up, you were disappointed because you knew it wasn’t going to be nearly as good!

You should not throw out the hollow chocolate bunny. Let’s not get crazy. After all, it is still chocolate!  Online training can be a very effective delivery method for a brief refresher-style training that doesn’t require a lot of interaction or any hands-on learning, or for shorter sessions containing very basic, easily understandable content. This format also allows you the flexibility to test each student and confirm the learner understood the key points. 

However, if you have trainings that are longer in duration, such as OSHA 10-Hour Outreach, 8-Hour or 40-Hour HAZWOPER, Fall Protection Competent Person or User Training, or Confined Space Entry or Rescue, the solid bunny is going to provide a much fuller and richer experience. In-person training is also best for first-time trainings, trainings involving hands-on instruction, and more complex topics that require and benefit from interaction with other students or the instructor(s). The feedback from every in-person training I have conducted over the last 20 years consistently mentions the value of hands-on training, requests more hands-on time, or compliments the group’s interaction. Interaction is critical to the learning process and helps students retain more information.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, some people are hesitant to attend in-person trainings. Because RETTEW realizes in-person training provides greater benefits to our students, we remain committed to continuing to provide these trainings safely. Some of the measures we are currently taking include:

  • Our instructors are trained COVID-19 Pandemic Safety Officers.
  • Our training center is set up to allow for physical distancing.
  • Students receive a training invitation with safety guidelines.
  • Students are encouraged to wear a face covering during trainings.
  • Boxed lunches are provided when applicable.
  • Hand-sanitizer is provided throughout the facility.
  • Hands-on or personal protective equipment is dedicated to each student for entire training, a defined storage location is provided, and the equipment is thoroughly disinfected upon class completion.
  • Quizzes are administered verbally, when permissible.
  • Touch surfaces are wiped down with sanitizing solution/wipes (including desktops, armrests, door handles, and any shared computer equipment) upon training completion.
  • Our training room is professionally cleaned weekly.
  • Our training room is treated with sanitizing spray routinely as recommended by the manufacturer.

We began these control measures in June 2020 and have conducted many trainings with consistent positive feedback from students grateful for an in-person training opportunity. Many have told us the experience was much better than the online training they had been taking—like I said, most people prefer the solid chocolate bunny!

Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM – Senior Safety Consultant, RETTEW 

Additional Offerings

Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.