Keeping your employees safe and healthy is not always possible. Even in the safest of workplace environments, people get injured or suffer from chronic issues like back pain and carpal tunnel. However, not all workplaces are safe. Sometimes, people work with dangerous machinery, do their job on great heights, handle toxic materials, etc. In these scenarios, health and safety training are essential, and their significance is quite obvious.
The first thing you need to realize here is that splitting workplaces into safe and unsafe is a dangerous fallacy to walk into. For starters, even the most dangerous sites can be accident-free for months and years, while a catastrophic event is possible even in the most sheltered of environments. This is why you need to be ready at all times.
Here are the top five reasons why health and safety are not optional and why they always need to be a priority. In other words, here's something you need to learn about the importance of health and safety training in the workplace.
Training people for health and safety is a legal requirement in many states and countries. In other words, the importance shouldn't even be questioned from the pragmatic standpoint, seeing as how it's really not an optional thing. While this is the ethical course of action, the government cannot rely on the moral compass of individual employers and managers. This is why it is legally regulated.
The risk of being prosecuted, having to pay fines, or having your workplace closed entirely is enough to make the majority of decision-makers realize the importance of training their employees. Remember that safety training usually doesn't take that long, but you will have to drill your staff regularly. No, this is not a loss of time and resources. It is necessary and, therefore, needs to be counted on from the very start.
Another thing you need to understand is that this is an ethical course of action-the only ethical course of action, for that matter. You see, teaching people how to operate the machinery in a way that will not injure them can save lives. Insisting that people in the workplace obtain a first aid certification can save lives. On top of it all, the cost of getting certified is really not that high. Compared to the cost of a life, it's nonexistent.
In a way, being ethical has other perks than just doing the right thing. It shows your staff members that you really care. Investing in their training shows them that you're ready to spend money even if it's not for the purpose of boosting their productivity. Nowadays, with the pandemic and everything, you can even look for a suitable online course with videos and audiobooks as learning materials. It's the knowledge that counts, not how it's obtained.
They say that you can never learn something that you already think you know. A similar problem happens with the risk in the "safe" workplaces. Sure, everyone knows that they need safety gear and training when working perilous jobs. However, a person can suddenly stop breathing in the middle of an office. This is where the CPR certificate we previously mentioned can make all the difference in the world.
The key thing you need to understand is that the risk is always present. Some people interpret this as a scenario in which they shouldn't even try. The point is exactly the opposite. Because risk is always present, there are no scenarios in which being ready is a bad idea. There is also no scenario in which it is unnecessary.
Keeping your staff safe is great for the efficiency and productivity of your business. An injury may cause a leave of a crucial employee, which would diminish your productivity. On top of it, a recent injury will leave everyone partially scared (even if just subconsciously). As a result, there might be a sharp immediate drop for a while. Moreover, a person too timid due to the lack of training may be too careful around the tools of work, which might cause them to operate them ineffectively.
Achieving this increase in performance can come through the reward and penalty system. Here, the key thing you need to bear in mind is that just training your staff is not enough. You need to monitor them and check if they're applying their training on a daily basis. Here, your work is never truly done.
The longer it takes from the actual course, if there is no chance for them to apply the knowledge in question, people will assume that it was all for nothing. This will make them ignore some of these instructions. Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer. In order not to allow this to happen, you need to be vigilant while supervising them.
Previously, we've mentioned that this is something mandated by the law. When we further elaborate on this concept, it's essential that we mention a couple of things. First, since it's the law, ignoring it means penalties. The same goes for compensation pays, especially if the injured party can prove that the accident occurred due to your own negligence. Now, take even the best-case scenario and you will see that the compensation and fees drastically exceed the course of the training.
In other words, even if it weren't the right thing to do, it would still be worth your while to spend some time and money training your staff for safety. Being able to cut costs in these scenarios is not a priority but it's definitely a great bonus.
In the end, the importance of health and safety training in the workplace should never be underestimated. This is especially the case if you're in a workplace deemed as "safe". While hazardous worksites receive all the attention from safety officers, instructors, and inspectors, in a "quiet" workplace, it is far more likely for a fatal error to occur. In other words, your work is never done.