5 Ways – Health & Safety Training of Employees Can Improve Your Workplace
In 2018, Teresa Webster suffered a terrible workplace accident. Slipping on leaked coolant that had been spilled over the floor, Webster fell and badly injured her head. She was further injured by a tray of industrial screws that fell on top of her as she tried to catch herself from falling in her cluttered, dangerous workplace. Webster suffered a terrible head injury, including internal bleeding.
The company assigned Ms. Webster a chiropractor to help with the pain without considering that there might be other medical concerns. With no medical diagnosis provided, Ms. Webster continued to suffer from terrible headaches even after the chiropractic consultation until she became temporarily bedridden and finally received medical attention without the company’s direction. In 2021, Webster sued for worker’s compensation and negligence, leaving court with her medical expenses, legal fees, lost pay, and a hefty additional amount for the distress she suffered.
According to the US Bureau of Labour, about one in thirty full-time workers has suffered from a workplace accident in the United States. With the massive resurgence of employees returning to work and companies looking to swell up their ranks with new hires after the pandemic, this number will likely go up soon. To stop this, employers need to invest in health and safety training to re-educate old employees and quickly train new ones on the procedures to stay safe.
Workplace accidents can lead to expensive bills and lawsuits, and a hazardous workplace drops morale tremendously. The knowledge that workplace accidents are common can lead to increased stress and decreased productivity, as well as higher rates of attrition. A study in the international journal of environmental research and public health found that construction workers who felt safe with their training and equipment had massively higher job satisfaction and worked faster and more efficiently.
Of all safety training, the following are the ones will usually have the largest impact on your workforce.
- Hazard Prevention Training
Hazard prevention is everything from keeping the office clear of tripping hazards like loose wires to administrative issues like electrical hazards. Effective hazard prevention requires employees to take responsibility for their office environment and point out likely causes for concern, small and big. These can prevent many costly and embarrassing mess-ups before they happen. Knowing the workplace is safe can also be a huge morale boost for employees, allowing them to focus on the job instead of stressing over possible workplace injuries.
- Equipment Safety
While not relevant to every industry, many companies work with dangerous equipment. Vehicles, power tools, medical lasers, and toxic chemicals are just some examples of workplace items that can be extremely dangerous if not handled with care. Companies that take equipment safety seriously enjoy similar improvements in employee loyalty and efficiency. With good equipment safety, your company can get around the awful situation of a workplace accident that can seriously hurt valuable employees and send production back several days or longer.
- Hazard Response Training
When prevention is unsuccessful, a good business needs a backup plan. While some large offices can have a doctor on standby, first aid should be readily available in every workplace. Many offices have first aid kits in prominent locations, but it’s also necessary to have people trained to use them at a moment’s notice. For serious emergencies, companies should also have clearly outlined ambulance protocol. Ensuring these protocols are clearly outlined and universally understood can save time and create order in an otherwise chaotic situation, leading to faster results, saving costs, and potentially even lives.
- Safety Training for Confined Space Work
A confined workspace can make every other safety hazard massively more dangerous. Equipment hazards, fire and electrical hazards, and even day-to-day hazards like a cluttered workplace or spill are far more dangerous in confined conditions, so it’s doubly important that employees working in such conditions, such as construction workers, maritime workers in ships, docks, and rigs, and other jobs that necessitate cramped working conditions be trained in all the ways they should respond to safety hazards, both general and specific to the industry, since they’re at far more risk of severe consequences if something were to go wrong.
- Hygiene and Environment Training
With the recent pandemic, the concern of office hygiene is on people’s minds far more often than before. Taking measures to prevent even minor illnesses can have a massive impact on productivity. Offices that don’t get sick don’t have as many sick leaves. Healthy employees are more energized and productive. Even something as simple as a clean desk can have an impact on the office. Getting employees to take these things seriously isn’t always easy, but good training programs that spread awareness of the value of a clean working environment can boost office productivity substantially.
G-Cube believes that these trainings should not be just one-time events, but a full-fledged learning program to not only educate your employees but to build the behavior which keeps health and safety at the top of the mind. Employees should feel that health and safety trainings are not just a formality but a life-saver, not only for them but also their families and friends.