Safety Training is an Investment
Every year, thousands of people are injured on the job. While some industries like manufacturing, construction, and agriculture have a higher injury rate than others, all jobs can pose some sort of health or safety risk. Most businesses require employees to complete some sort of safety training program during orientation to teach employees how to avoid these safety hazards.
However, most businesses only offer safety training programs to meet the bare minimum requirements set by organizations like OSHA. These courses often cover the basics without examining into truly comprehensive safety training, which can create a culture that prioritizes safety.
Some companies offer little to no specialized training at all. A recent survey found that 17% of employees did not even complete their safety training courses when they were hired. This news is incredibly alarming and troublesome, as failing to train all employees properly can create unnecessary health and safety hazards in the workplace.
Part of the reason why many companies do not prioritize a safety training program is due to the cost and effort it involves. Yes, offering comprehensive courses adds more time to the onboarding process. But skipping over crucial training to save money is certainly no excuse.
The fact is that safety training programs are an investment – and an incredibly important one that all businesses need to make. Let’s discuss just a few of the additional benefits that come from better workplace safety training.
Safety Training Improves Productivity
Unfortunately, some business leaders view extensive safety training as a waste of time. However, there is evidence to prove that better training actually supports higher levels of productivity and employee output over time.
First, better safety training can significantly reduce the number of injuries or accidents on the job. These types of accidents can slow down progress and operations, especially if the equipment is damaged and needs repairs – or replacements are needed. If an employee is severely injured, they may need to leave the job temporarily or permanently. This means that someone will need to be hired and trained as their replacement, adding in additional costs and slowing down progress.
The real way to improve employee productivity with safety training programs is by increasing engagement. Many employees are disengaged from their work because they do not feel like their company cares about them personally. When a business does not offer comprehensive training or does not emphasize the importance of safety, it sends a message to employees. This in turn causes them to disengage and care less about the work they do.
On the other hand, businesses that prioritize safety through training programs and procedures tend to have higher rates of engagement. Additionally, businesses with highly engaged employees had 70% fewer accidents and safety incidents. Engaged employees are more productive and ultimately happier – which helps to increase output and profits while lowering turnover. Talk about a win-win!
Protects You from Hefty Violation Fines
If your business’s safety training is not up to par or you are not following the specific rules and regulations set by OSHA, you could be penalized. OSHA fines can cost businesses thousands of dollars for safety infringements. In 2020, OSHA increased all penalties and can charge over $9,000 for a single employee OSHA violation!
Some of these common violations include:
- Failing to hang proper safety warning signage
- Employees not following OSHA compliance
- Failing to wear or provide proper PPE (personal protective equipment)
Additionally, if changes are not made or safety instances reoccur, OSHA can file a temporary cease on production for the business.
Therefore, it is necessary to meet all of OSHA’s safety training regulations in terms of certification and course completion. Moreover, all safety training courses should focus on teaching employees the proper procedures to avoid any violations.
It Can Extend the Life of Machinery and Hardware
Part of safety training focuses on proper use and care of tools and machinery, such as manufacturing equipment or company vehicles. Expensive equipment used in businesses can be damaged if it is mishandled or not used as directed. This not only costs the company thousands of dollars to replace or repair the equipment, but it also slows down production.
Safety training courses provide instruction on the correct use of power tools, machinery, and other hardware. It also teaches employees how to conduct regular inspections to catch any issues or damage before it becomes a bigger problem. This can help to extend the life of these tools, which saves money in the long run.
Investments in Safety Training Pay Off
Ultimately, the money you spend on safety training programs is a long-term investment – with a nearly guaranteed high ROI. According to OSHA’s estimates, for every dollar a business spends on safety training, the overall cost of production is reduced by $4 to $6.
A single injury can cost a company over $1,000 per employee, along with additional related costs such as repairs, retraining, and replacements. By investing in better safety training programs from the beginning, many of these accidents can be completely avoided, saving companies thousands of dollars and hundreds of lost work hours every year.
A survey from the American Society for Training and Development also concluded that every $1,500 spent on employee safety training correlated with a profit margin increase of up to 24%!
Facts like these show that the cost of safety training programs is truly no excuse for not investing. When the health and safety of your workers are at stake, no price is too high. However, knowing that this investment can help your business to increase revenue is certainly a bonus.
Business leaders need to understand that investing in safety training programs encourages employees to become more engaged. This sets off a chain reaction of higher productivity, higher work satisfaction, fewer accidents, and higher profits.
Company leaders need to take their employee’s safety seriously. But beyond just creating a safer working environment with fewer risks, businesses can receive additional benefits by offering better safety training courses. Overall, an emphasis on comprehensive safety training that teaches employees how to protect themselves and others can lead to a far better business.
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