Workplace safety training aims to improve workplace safety and prevent injuries. The first reaction to any workplace injury or incident is to ensure that all employees obtain immediate care. There is also the disruption to productivity to address as well, but this is secondary.
Health and Safety is important because it protects the well being of employers, visitors and customers. Looking after Health and Safety makes good business sense. Workplaces which neglect health and safety risk prosecution, may lose staff, and may increase costs and reduce profitability.
Risks and accidents are prominent especially in a workplaces that involve heavy equipment and machinery. To prevent this, it is stated under Federal OSHA that companies must be compliant with safety standards and should submit safety reports and risk assessments.
Reasons why a good safety culture is important:
- A company’s most valuable asset is protected — its people
- Safety programs create productive work environments
- Property damage
- Positive: worker productivity increases, employees feel they make a difference, increased morale
When a workplace is safe, workers feel more comfortable and confident when they are in that environment. Productivity gets a boost, and profit margins follow suit. Absenteeism also drops when employers take steps to implement an effective safety program.
An effective Accident Prevention Program can benefit the bottom line: lowering injury record may reduce the cost of your insurance coverage; every workplace employee accident results in direct and indirect costs. The indirect cost of accidents can have the greatest impact on profits.
Direct costs, such as workers’ compensation benefits and medical costs, are obvious. Indirect costs are, to some extent, hidden. They include: direct time loss – time lost by those injured as well as other employees and supervisors; indirect time loss – time lost hiring and training new or replacement employees, preparing reports, attending hearings or rescheduling production; and contingency costs – inability to fill orders, loss of customers, and employee good will. An effective accident prevention program can substantially reduce these indirect costs.
Investigating a worksite incident— a fatality, injury, illness, or close call— provides employers and workers the opportunity to identify hazards in their operations and shortcomings in their safety and health programs. Most importantly, it enables employers and workers to identify and implement the corrective actions necessary to prevent future incidents.
Incident investigations that focus on identifying and correcting root causes, not on finding fault or blame, also improve workplace morale and increase productivity, by demonstrating an employer’s commitment to a safe and healthful workplace. They are often conducted by a supervisor, but to be most effective, these investigations should include managers and employees working together, since each bring different knowledge, understanding and perspectives to the investigation.
In conducting an incident investigation, the team must look beyond the immediate causes of an incident. It is far too easy, and often misleading, to conclude that carelessness or failure to follow a procedure alone was the cause of an incident. To do so fails to discover the underlying or root causes of the incident, and therefore fails to identify the systemic changes and measures needed to prevent future incidents. When a shortcoming is identified, it is important to ask why it existed and why it was not previously addressed.