Employee and customer safety should always be the number one priority to every single employer. There are many ways an employer can help enforce safety among the workplace to strengthen the safety culture. One of the most effective ways to protect workers is to properly train them on tasks and hazards associated with their role within the company.
Safety training should teach employees how to safely complete a job while also being able to recognize and prevent hazards. Understanding the most safe way to do a task will not only increase safety, but also allow workers to be more productive and efficient. When an accident occurs, it could lead to a death or an employee missing days of work to recover. A company with a significant amount of OSHA recordable incidents also becomes a red flag to OSHA, which could result in visits or citations. This causes bosses and employees to have to take time away from their normal responsibilities and focus on something else, which overall affects the business’ productivity and profitability.
When explaining hazards to employees it is important to discuss the different outcomes that can happen if employees are unsafe. An employee should never attempt to accomplish tasks they have not been trained on. This can be extremely dangerous to themselves and others around them. Managers, supervisors and workers should all be on the same page and know that if they are confused or have questions they should speak up. If employers do not make workers feel safe with communicating they are not fully comfortable with any specific task, the risk for an incident increases tremendously.
Not only is it important to train employees for their specific roles within the company, it is also important to train them in best safety and health practices. Employees should be on the lookout every day for how they can improve safety and health within the workplace to help protect themselves and others. It is also very vital to teach incident response training. The few moments after an incident occurs could be the difference in a life or death situation and employees should be as prepared as possible. It is also extraordinarily important that employees know how to correctly report injuries, illnesses and incidents. If an incident occurs and it goes unreported it can increase the chances of the same incident occurring again.
Safety training is not something meant to just be an introductory training when an employee starts a new job. Employees must be trained and refreshed on safe work practices as often as possible and necessary. Safety training records should be accurately kept and regularly updated to ensure employees do not operate on expired certifications. For example, OSHA outlines that every three years employees should be retrained on forklift operations (see 1910.178(l)(4) i-iii).
Another great example is how the OSHA 30 Hour training previously did not expire and now expires every 5 years. This emphasizes the importance of keeping up-to-date with OSHA standards, certifications and policies. If OSHA sees someone operating on an expired certification they will likely not cut them slack simply for being unaware of when their certification expires. If employers are not keeping track of when and what employees have been trained on, record keeping can get messy and dangerous very quickly.
Safety training can often be very difficult to keep up with and maintain, which is why SMART Safety offers expert safety training services that allow employers to focus on other important aspects of the business. SMART Safety offers a multitude safety services including safety program management, staffing, jobsite audits, OSHA compliance/representation and incident response. To learn more about how SMART Safety can help manage your company’s safety and protect your employees, give us a call at (844)820-8098, or visit our Safety Services page.
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More than just safety consultants, SMART Safety is an integrated safety services system.