Safety training is one of the key ways for you to make sure employees are protected during their work. Employee behavior is a key component of workplace safety, so making sure everyone has access to health and safety training is important. When you run or manage a business, you have moral and legal obligations to keep workers safe by developing a safety program.
Investing in a safety program and making sure your employees receive adequate safety training as part of that program also saves you money in the long run. Any initial costs or time lost will be offset by benefits to your business and workplace incidents that you avoid.
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What is workplace safety training?
Safety training addresses the employee’s role in avoiding injuries in the workplace. It’s essential information that you need to provide so that your workers can complete their tasks in a safe, effective way. It’s also important to conduct safety training in order to communicate the importance of wearing PPE (protective equipment) and make sure workers know how to identify and report hazards.
Safety at work continues to be incredibly important, given how many incidents and injuries result from unsafe behavior every year. In 2020, there were approximately 3.2 million non-fatal workplace injuries across the United States, and around 75% of these incidents were caused by slips and falls.
Most industries benefit by providing safety training, but it’s especially important if you work in:
There are a few different types of health and safety training that you can provide to employees, depending on your goals.
Induction training is a method of worker safety training that you would give to new employees. It gives new hires an overview of your company’s safety protocols, their responsibilities, and the work environment.
Induction safety training typically covers:
- General workplace orientation
- Fire safety and evacuation procedures
- Administering first aid
- Accident and risk reporting
- Proper use of work equipment, tools, and machinery
- How to store equipment
Depending on your specific business, you might decide to include different information in your induction training.
Toolbox talks are less formal than induction training. They are more like discussions surrounding health, safety, and workplace culture. An impactful toolbox talk will include:
- Avoiding workplace hazards
- Safe ways of working
- Performing risk assessments
- Any needed additional training
- Updates to health and safety policies
- Incident investigations
- New equipment in the workplace
Toolbox talks can take a few different forms. They can be face-to-face meetings, group presentations, or short shift handovers. Usually, managers will be the ones delivering a toolbox talk, but sometimes it’s a more experienced colleague.
Refresher training is safety training that becomes necessary when something in your organization is changed or updated. It applies when workers were already trained in the past, but that training is no longer relevant.
Even if your organization’s safety processes don’t change, semi-regular refresher training is a good idea. Your employees may forget or stop applying safety procedures, so reminders are important.
5 ways safety training saves you money
OSHA estimates that safety training saves businesses $4 to $6 for every $1 spent. That’s because improving worker safety training strengthens your business in addition to helping you avoid damage control.
Health and safety training improves productivity in your business in 4 ways. These are:
- Greater efficiency: Training your employees on the right way to do a task means they will follow procedure and be as efficient as possible with their time
- Fewer lost hours: Better safety training means fewer workplace injuries. That’s important because workplace injuries, in addition to risking your employees’ well-being, are significant disruptions.
- Happier employees: Investing in employee safety shows that you care about them, which in turn makes them more motivated when doing their jobs
- Better workplace design: Paying more attention to workplace safety means removing hazards and addressing risks. Not having to navigate around these helps workers work faster.
No compliance fines
A key reason businesses pay attention to workplace safety is to avoid legal consequences. Organizations like OSHA are in charge of devising and enforcing health and safety standards for companies to adhere to. If your business is neglecting its obligations, you may face fines, or could even have your business shut down.
Health and safety training enforces working standards that keep you compliant with any labor regulations. That way, you won’t have to worry about incurring penalties during a company audit.
A safety program that emphasizes correct behavior and trains employees step-by-step reduces the risk of workplace injury. While keeping your workers healthy is its own accomplishment, cutting down on the number of injured workers is an important financial strategy as well.
There are two reasons for this. First, injured workers are naturally less productive. And second, when your employees are injured on the job, you might have to pay out worker’s compensation. If workplace injuries are a regular occurrence, this gets expensive quickly.
Lower insurance rates
Fewer workplace injuries means you pay less for insurance. Insurance companies measure the cost of insurance claims by evaluating several factors in your business, including:
- Number of employees
- The work being performed
- Frequency or likelihood of injuries
Safer workplaces are charged less money for the same quality insurance, which makes safety training unquestionably worth your time.
Retain skilled workers
Safer workplaces are more desirable workplaces, where employees are less likely to leave. Having to constantly train new workers is a significant cost and productivity investment. Recruiting, equipping, and training new hires all cost money and time.
The less turnover in your business, the more productive your workers will be, since they know the job and they know their team members.
Implementing safety training is simple with workflow automation software like Lumiform. You can create checklists for every task or role in your business, automating the training process as your employees complete them. Lumiform’s intuitive UI makes it easy to organize workers into specific groups and to monitor the progress of individual checklists.
You can also measure the results of your safety training thanks to automatically generated reports that compile the results of all completed checklists. These are delivered on a weekly or monthly basis, and they’re an easy way to visualize the impact of safety training and to identify potential improvements.