Why is Safety Training So Important? - 08/01/2016
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Monday, August 1, 2016
Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.
Why is Safety Training So Important?
Last week we talked about how today more than ever there are more demands being put on employers when it comes to implementing their company safety program.
To help employers meet those tougher demands we started our discussion of the 4 steps to implementing your safety program.
1.Have safety policies and procedures for your company
2.Effectively communicate those policies and procedures to your employees
3.Provide regular and frequent workplace safety inspections
4.Enforce safety with your employees
We covered Step 1 last week, so we’ll cover Step 2 today and that is how to effectively communicate those policies and procedures to your employees.
Communicating your safety policies and procedures is, for all practical purposes, training.
Why is safety training so important?
- You cannot expect your employees to work in an acceptably safe manner without training. Failure to work in a safe manner may result in potentially serious accidents and injuries and the loss of time, money, and tragically, employees.
- It is required by OSHA. Failure to provide training will result in costly OSHA citations.
- Untrained employees reflect poorly on your company’s reputation.
Who needs what type of training?
- Supervisors must be trained within their areas of responsibility. They must be able to recognize work place hazards and understand how to correct them. They should be able to provide on the job training or, at a minimum, be able to correct unsafe working behaviors. This level of training generally allows the supervisor as a "competent person" to authorize work to stop if an uncorrectable hazard exists.
- All other employees must be trained to perform their job tasks in a safe manner. They should also be trained in reasonably foreseeable hazards that are common at your work place.
When do you train your employees?
New employees should always be provided the necessary safety training prior to starting work and existing employees should be provided training based on their exposures to hazards in the workplace, when they are found to be deficient in their knowledge of how to protect themselves from hazards and when specific training is required by OSHA.
How do you train your employees?
Employees should receive specific training on the hazards they will be exposed to on the job, as well as being provided regularly scheduled 5-10 minute safety meetings to help remind them of the value of safety in the workplace.
There are 3 ways you can provide formal safety training. They are in-house, with an outside instructor or online training.
In-house training allows for the productive utilization of your own personnel; provides time flexibility in that training can be provided at any time, even on the job. The downside is that you or your supervisors must be qualified to provide the training and have the time to perform the training. Extensive time required away from work and scheduling training for employees and new hires can be difficult.
Hiring outside training professionals helps to ensure that the training is done by qualified training instructors. The disadvantages are the cost, the information provided may be overwhelming for the level of work your employees do, the extensive time required away from work, and scheduling training for employees and new hires can be difficult.
Online training helps to ensure that the training is put together by qualified training instructors, training can be provided 24/7 when it is convenient for both the employee and the employer, is normally documented with a quiz or test and does not require a lot of management’s time. The disadvantages are that it does require access to the Internet and lacks interactive Q&A.
Whenever you provide safety training, be sure to leave a paper trail!
From a 5-10 minute safety meeting to the most complex formal training available, as far as OSHA is concerned, it is extremely difficult to demonstrate that the training actually occurred without documentation of training. For the company's protection, training documentation should include the signatures of the instructor and the employee, the subject, and the date.
Effectively communicating your company’s safety policies and procedures to your employees is a key part to any safety program and providing your employees safety training will do just that.
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Thanks for Reading and Please - Work Safe This Week!
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
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