In our lab, on the first day a new member starts, they are expected to read (and sign) over *a hundred* SOPs (standard operating procedures), each of which is often over ten pages long. How many people do you think read a thousand pages of technical material on that first day? Nobody has, and nobody ever will.
Next up is the $40,000 “Laboratory Safety Fundamentals” online video. All you have to do is skip to end of each video and answer a multiple choice quiz. You’ll get it wrong the first time, but it will tell you the right answer. Load it up again, and in 10 minutes you are finished without a single thing learned.
My supervisor was actually pretty good about pointing out the safety shortcomings of our group. The real problem? He was never around. What I never saw happen was another student point out where a peer wasn’t behaving safely. Yes, everyone wears PPE now – but only because we don’t want to be blamed when the lab gets fined.This is a fundamental problem of online safety training -- it's not very engaging. I don't know what to do about it. Maybe a version of ORI's interactive movie "The Lab", but oriented to bench-level laboratory safety (rather than research ethics) would be the way to approach the issue.