How to protect your workers, and your bottom line, with better health and safety training.

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How to protect your workers, and your bottom line with better health and safety training.

“Nearly 50 American workers are injured every minute of the 40-hour workweek and almost 17 die each day,” (OSHA, 2016).

Your employees are your most important asset. Help them avoid accidents and injuries on the job by ensuring they understand where the dangers are and how they can be avoided.

Safety doesn’t happen by accident

enforce proper safety training

Meet Chelsea. Tuesday morning, she woke up to face her daily routine - feed the kids, get them on the bus and – if she was lucky – take a precious sip of coffee before heading into work.

An experienced manufacturing production manager, Chelsea was good at her job, respected by upper management and genuinely valued as an asset to the company.

Recently, her plant replaced an old forklift with a new model from a different manufacturer. The new machine worked similarly to the old one, except for an important difference in the control panel. Having attended the instructor-led training, Chelsea was well aware of how to safely use the new equipment. Her job now was to ensure that her team was properly trained.

As a company “safety advocate”, Chelsea took training seriously. She sent her entire team home with a copy of the forklift-how-to instructional video, and made it clear that they were to come in the next day ready for hands-on training.

health and safety training saves lives and unnecessary costs

Wednesday morning, Chelsea gathered her team and received a unanimous response that they had all watched the video. As Jason, one of Chelsea’s employees, awkwardly maneuvered the forklift, it lurched forward, dumping the heavy load it had been carrying onto the floor – and onto Chelsea’s foot. Jason had lied. He had no clue how to adjust the controls so he could properly reach them, which would have prevented the accident.

Chelsea? She’s fine…with a broken foot, the result of Jason’s carelessness. Unfortunately, for the company, Chelsea was out of commission for several weeks, which required them to hire a less experienced, less efficient temp replacement to fill in while she recovered. Luckily, her injuries weren’t more serious. And, luckily for the company, they had only the temp salary and workers’ comp claims to deal with - no lawsuit…this time.

The economic impact of inadequate health and safety training.

OSHA enforces workplace safety standards

It’s safe to say - protecting your brand and your employees from unnecessary risks and liabilities is in your best interest. Heck, there’s a whole federal agency dedicated to making sure that happens! The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) enforces standards that protect workers. Ignore those, and you could face fines and citations for worksite violations that range from $5,000 to $70,000.

“U.S. businesses spend more than a billion dollars a week on the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries,” (Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, 2016).

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you - in fact, we bet your company already spends good money on compliance, health and safety training for this very reason, and it’s no wonder! Recent studies actually show that your workplace safety initiatives can literally pay for themselves. And, according to Safety+Health magazine, for every $1 spent on work-related injury prevention, you see $2 to $6 in return. When you consider the costs of health insurance pay-outs, workers’ compensation claims, temp employee salaries, lost days of productivity, time to train temps, business interruptions or even shut downs, proper training doesn’t seem like such an inconvenience.

3 cost-effective practices to reduce risk & liability.

Reduce exposure to risks and liabilities. We’ll show you how you can help prevent accidents, injuries and even save lives with 3 cost-effective practices that can work for any company, in any industry to improve your existing safety training program.

1. Don’t let workers get complacent with compliance

Let’s face it, after getting comfortable in their jobs, many workers become immune to hazardous situations they face everyday. You can prevent complacency by encouraging ongoing employee health and safety training. That sounds fun, right? Believe it or not, mandatory training like this can be engaging and effective. Towards Maturity reports that organizations are 26 times more likely to distribute effective learning when using learning technologies like a learning management system (LMS). That’s because, for one, an LMS allows you to store resources that provide searchable information the moment it’s needed. Two, eLearning content can be custom designed to speak directly to individual job roles. Creating interactive, personalized games or scenarios is not only a way to make ordinarily drab training memorable, it engages your employees by showing them how their lives could be personally impacted by health or safety incidents.

Even health and safety training can be enjoyable

OSHA’S Effective Safety Training Checklist

  • Explain the purpose of the training.
  • Organize information logically.
  • Provide timely opportunities to practice new skills.
  • Offer real-time feedback.
  • Blended learning can help accommodate many learning styles.

Work with your department heads to identify known and potential hazards. Then, develop an executable set of employee conduct standards to prevent and avoid those hazards. Finally, enforce. Train your teams to understand and adopt preventative behaviors that will keep their health and safety - and your company’s bottom line - intact.

2. Promote a safety culture, not safety requirements

Fostering a culture that recognizes and rewards improved safety metrics is a great way to show employees that you take their well-being seriously. This is a great place to start.

You can also recognize “safety leaders” by empowering them to act as peer advisers who gather input and make recommendations to leadership. This allows leadership to make informed decisions to improve safety training.

Lastly, ongoing safety should be promoted using short and focused training to keep employees engaged and support retention of knowledge.

Protect your business with accurate training records

3. Measure, adapt, adjust & repeat

Chances are, it’s best not to assume when it comes to thinking all of your employees are actively engaged with your training courses. That’s why it’s important to have a tracking system for measuring performance and course completion rates. For instance, a good LMS can provide detailed reporting data that you can use to identify employees who may need additional safety training or who have not yet completed your courses. An LMS also makes it easy to schedule mandatory compliance training reminders.

Accurate training records help ensure that everyone who should get training, does. A simple report can document the training progress of each employee, protecting your brand from risk in the event of litigation stemming from a health- or safety-related incident. Reporting data also enables you to see the relationship between course completion and business metrics like decreasing numbers of safety incidents.

Is your health and safety training effective enough to protect your workers and your brand?

Think about how your own employee safety training program impacts your business and your employees, or does it? Compare your incident rate to industry averages and start asking tough questions. If you’re unhappy with the answers, or aren’t sure where to begin with implementing safety strategies, we’re more than happy to help! Let’s start making life safer for your team, and better protecting your brand from exposure to risks and liabilities.

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