Pontiac-based 3-D Experiential Training Co. said this week that it has given employees of L&L Products of Romeo a new perspective on safety.

L&L Products used “Safety, The Right Choice,” an innovative safety training program from 3-D ETC, to motivate more than 250 employees towards taking ownership and accountability for their own safety both on and off the job.

“What a change in peoples’ attitude, perception, and commitment,” said Debbie Hutchison, employee relations manager at L&L Products. “We had high expectations but we really did not realize the impact of 3-D training until our employees actually experienced it.”

L&L Products makes acoustic, sealing, anti-flutter and structural materials for automotive and aerospace applications. Annual training is part of a continuing commitment to safety and quality by L&L management. Hutchison and two safety committee members attend the Michigan Safety Conference in Lansing each year with the goal of finding at least one new program. Over the past few years, the company has implemented programs for stretching, evacuation, use of defibrillators, and certified first responders. Employees proudly wear the badges earned for completing such training.

Hutchison and her team, intrigued by the 3-D demo at the conference, set up a pilot for 12 employees to evaluate the program.

“We wanted to determine if the training program would be so impactful that our employees would think about safety constantly at home and at work,” Hutchison said. “We have a very experienced work force that has been through a lot of difficult times over the past few years as we dealt with the economic downturn. It was critical that they took ownership for the program, and they did – enthusiastically!”

In “Safety, The Right Choice,” groups of participants establish the foundation for making good safety decisions in all situations, and along with use of patented 3-D immersive technology, increase safety awareness by utilizing a number of learning and recall strategies. The program uses an easy to remember mnemonic, CAPS, to teach employees to make better Choices, pay Attention to task and environment, Pace themselves properly, and manage Stress.

“We completed training for more than 250 employees in just two and a half days,” said Hutchison. “It made a remarkable difference. People were excited to tell someone about their experience in the program, encouraging others to attend. We have never had training that was so well received and so enjoyed by our employees. We usually get such reactions from a luncheon or something monetary. This was training!”

Comments from employees reflected their enthusiasm. “The company cares enough about me to shut down my entire group to remind me that being safe is all about me, the safety of my family, it’s all about the choices that I make every day,” said a veteran employee. “It gave me chills,” said another. “The images were so real.” “I love the fact that the training was personalized not only to work but for home too. It showed me how my choices every day to be safe or not to be safe impacts my family.”

Immersive training simulates live situations, giving people the virtual sensation and emotional impact of their actions. Studies have shown that immersive 3-D training has a much higher impact on people than traditional training.  While most employees have knowledge about how to act safely, they don’t always put that into practice. 3-D ETC programs can help them make the right choices and move past just knowing what to do, to consistently doing what they know.

“Our goal at 3-D ETC is to provide unique, proprietary programs that immerse employees into realistic experiences, quickly changing the way they think about safety,” said Dave Hodgson, president of 3-D ETC. “With safety issues, it is critical to get the individual employee motivated to take personal responsibility for making the right choices and doing their job correctly. The key is to capture peoples’ attention and touch them emotionally, and that’s what makes our 3-D programs so effective.”

3-D ETC surveys employees at regular intervals following the training programs. Based on the first survey at L&L Products, the impact has been positive and retained.

“3-D ETC gave each participant a magnet to remember CAPS,” said Hutchison. “The employees have placed them on their lockers to remind them every day what they have learned about wearing their safety caps!”

3-D ETC has been delivering innovative safety training programs since 2005. Its clients include many types of commercial, industrial and government organizations as well as health care institutions seeking to reduce costly medical errors and prevent workplace accidents. Companies interested in individualized demonstrations of 3-D ETC safety programs can contact Dave Hodgson at dave.hodgson@3-detc.com or call (248) 594-4620.


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