Canada Association of Tourism Employees

On-line Office Security Coaching – eLearning Trade

Occupational safety training with Open edX

In many countries employers are legally (and also morally) obliged to educate workers about all workplace-related health and safety risks and to provide means to mitigate them. Workplace safety training, which is often part of employee onboarding, is the most effective way to meet this commitment and reduce the potential risk of work-related accidents and injuries. After such training, employees work more safely and productively.

Labor organizations and regulators (the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) in the US and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) in Europe set and enforce specific standards for safety at work in various industries and institutions however, employers are free to choose a platform to deliver the appropriate training (on-site, offline, online, individual or group basis) and to review how employees have learned the material.

In the age of the “gig economy”, in which many employees work remotely, training courses on occupational safety are put online. With this change comes various digital platforms for hosting and managing online courses. A good system for online training on workplace safety combines the functionality of a Learning Management System (LMS) with records and information management and strong access control. Some employers opt for standard platforms, others develop customer-specific platforms from scratch or adapt the available systems to the specific requirements.

Choose the functionality of a digital training platform

In this article, we want to list some key features that should be considered when customizing an existing or designing a custom solution for online workplace safety training.

Integration into the existing corporate ecosystem

The platform for online training on workplace safety can be integrated with other digital enterprise systems. For example, with a one-time registration. Ideally, company systems should retain invariants (automatic self-sustaining correctness state): “Only the person who has passed the relevant security course is allowed to access this data.”

Our project and time recording system for companies is integrated into an EDU platform for compliance training. With this bond, only employees who have regularly completed IP protection and social engineering courses are allowed to work for customers. This provides a strong invariant: if the person does not have all valid training results, they are not allowed to work with the client’s code and data. As a result, no customer will receive custom code written by a non-compliant employee.

Another example: One of our customers uses an automated access control system for every door in their building, which is linked to a corporate security training system. Employees who have not completed the security training required for a particular access level simply cannot pass through some of these doors to enter a room.

LMS features and functions

The LMS part of the solution should have a user-friendly interface to manage multiple courses for different user groups. The content of certain courses needs regular updates as safety protocols and equipment change. At the same time, employees should repeat some courses regularly so that their attention and safety skills are not impaired. The platform functionality should therefore support the cyclical nature of courses and have planning and automatic alerting options to inform employees when their certificate of attendance expires.

Employees who want to refresh their memory on certain course specifications should have easy and continuous access to the content at all times. Also, each version of the course should be permanent, meaning that its content cannot be changed after employees pass it, and immutable so that the employer always knows exactly which version of the course each employee is taking. The useful LMS functions include fast translation and localization of the training modules – if employees of the company speak different languages.

The LMS should make it possible to maintain the integrity of the learning outcomes. Workplace safety training is no joke, and employers definitely need to avoid the “Biggest Lie Ever” – the case with end-user license agreements that are rarely read until a user clicks “I’ve read, understood, and I agree ”clicks terms. “Employees shouldn’t have a chance to blindly tick“ Yes, I passed the course ”without proving that they did. To this end, a desired functionality in the LMS is to add a quiz to the self-test at the end of the course Only employees who achieve 90% or more will receive the certificate of attendance.

Ultimately, it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that the training actually takes place and that the employee is given the required skills. Should an unfortunate event arise, the regulator would appreciate the employer’s efforts not only to ensure compliance, but also to genuinely care for the workers.

Remote identity verification and access control

One of the disadvantages of online safety training is that it is not always possible to identify the person on the other side of the monitor. It is the responsibility of each employer to ensure that the person who passes the course is the employee. The digital training platform should provide options for remote identity verification and access control. For remote ID verification, the platform may support surveillance options, selfies or streaming video processing or face authentication by camera and electronic signature. Access control can be managed using multi-factor authentication methods.

There is a shortcut for organizations that have not yet undergone full digital transformation and maintain a physical access control system (using key cards or security switches). Your employees can conveniently complete online training on workplace safety from the comfort of their own home, then carry out an ID check and receive the certificate of attendance when they arrive at work.

Adaptation of the Open edX platform for training on safety in the workplace

If you want to set up digital training on occupational safety on the Open edX platform, there are a few significant changes that you should keep in mind that you would have to implement.

The standard functions of the Open edX platform do not support immutable versions of the same course. However, they can be emulated with a new course run that is created each time the course content is changed. At the same time, live courses should be excluded from changes if one or more employees are currently passing them. Scheduling and automatic warning options for repetitive courses should also be added as custom functionality for the Open edX platform.

The integration of the Open edX platform into the existing company ecosystem should also be done with user-defined code. As you plan, make sure that information about attending security courses is displayed in your employees’ profiles for reporting and compliance purposes.

On the positive side, with the ready-to-use Open edX functionality, quizzes and check-yourself tasks can be added at the end of the course to ensure the integrity of the learning outcomes.


Aside from the obvious reasons – regulation and moral responsibility – there are other arguments in favor of investing in safety training. A well-planned series of courses will reduce the number of accidents and injuries, property damage, and medical vacations. It will also reduce legal liability risks for the employer and promote a safer company-wide environment.

While it is not easy to find an efficient, scalable, and flexible system for training on occupational safety, we hope that you consider the features and functions described in this article.

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