Why OSHA Safety Training is Important
There used to be a time when safety training didn’t even exist. Employees could walk beams without fall protection, little to no protective equipment and gear was used when performing specific tasks, and even if there was a safety training program in place, it was rarely adhered to or it was simply a name, not something that was actually practiced or enforced on construction and job sites. Of course, nowadays this has all changed. OSHA has been in existence since 1970 and several other safety programs exist to not only protect workers, but also to protect companies. In fact, there are a number of reasons OSHA safety training, and just safety training in general, is important. A lot of people throughout the industry tend to forget the multiple reasons why safety training programs matter, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to point out EXACTLY why safety training programs are imperative, whether you are a low-level employee, a top-level executive, or a client of the company that is doing the work.
First of all, let’s point out the fact that a lot of workers can become lethargic or immune to safety requirements simply because they experience it day in and day out. They go through the same routine everyday (for the most part), and some will see it as unimportant because they’ve “been doing it forever” and don’t need to be reminded of standard safety procedures. This can obviously result in accidents, injury, or even death due to ignorance of safety procedures that are designed to protect multiple parties, especially the workers on the job site. Because of this, it is EXTREMELY important to constantly be reminding employees of not only the fact that safety requirements must be adhered to, but also WHY they need to be followed. To help you with this, we will spell out exactly WHY safety procedures are important.
- Financial Reasons-How well you follow standard safety procedures can affect the company’s bottom line both directly and indirectly. Companies are obviously aiming to make a profit, but you run the risk of affecting this profit when rules are not followed. Great safety programs result in reduced workers’ comp claims, insurance costs, and legal fees. These are indirect expenses. They also reduce the risk of incidents happening on-site, which means there’s a reduced chance of losing manpower or productivity due to the investigation of on-site accidents. These are direct expenses.
- Morale-If your site has a great safety program that is known and trusted by all employees and supervisors, then the general morale of ALL of your employees is going to significantly increase. Studies have actually shown that where morale is high, the chances of incidents or accidents happening is greatly reduced. High morale also means less absences from your employees which leads to greater productivity and a higher quality of work.
- Reputation-This should be obvious, but you would be shocked how many companies don’t take this into consideration. Your company’s reputation is indelibly affected by its safety record. If you have a great safety training program and your employees and supervisors adhere to safety regulations and standards, your company’s reputation will be very positive and you will be given an advantage whenever bidding on future projects.
- Worker “Buy In”-If your company has a great training program and your workers “buy in” to the program, not only will morale increase, but they will be more willing to follow safety standards and thus reduce accidents on-site. Studies have shown that companies that have implemented EFFECTIVE safety training programs can reduce their injury and sickness rates by up to 20% and get a return of $4-$6 for every dollar initially invested.
It should no surprise to anyone that safety training and OSHA safety training is important for EVERY job site. However, the reasons WHY these safety procedures are put in place are too often misunderstood or overlooked by employees and supervisors. The funny thing is, it’s not always their fault. Yes, they have a responsibility to know and follow all rules and regulations whenever entering or operating on a job site, but it is also the responsibility of supervisors, executives, and anyone else with authority to accurately convey and communicate not just the HOWs of safety training, but also WHY it is important. Once safety procedures are truly and accurately understood by ALL levels of an organization, worker “buy in” increases, your company’s reputation is positive, morale increases, and ultimately, your company’s bottom line is positively affected.
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