Workplace safety is a process in which employees are provided with skills and knowledge for performing the work in a way which is safe for them and for their co-workers. This training includes guidelines and instructions to identify hazards, report them and deal with incidents. Managers should encourage an incident reporting culture so that you can have a safer workplace and by this you can identify how you can improve the workplace.
Employees need to be able to easily access old hazard reports so they can learn on-the-job. You should be able to warn the employees about the hazard before it happens. When one happens, managers should be able to handle the situation during the incident. After the incident managers should be able to tell the team-members, like about the wet floor so slipping on it can be avoided. Lot of efforts are put up in the process of protecting your employees so there should be a stable process for it.
As an employer, it is a part of the legal and moral responsibility to inform your employees on how to work in a safe and healthy manner even before they start to work. Safety training is the part of the induction training, but it also needs regular refresher course for compliance. Not only because employee alertness goes down but also because there are updates in safety protocol to keep up with the changes in equipment, roles and materials in business.
Beyond the apparent reasons – regulation and moral responsibility – there are various other advantages for investing more time in a well-planned safety program. These are:
- Lower insurance premiums
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Less productivity loss due to injury or illness
- Reduced worker compensation for medical leave due to work related injury or illness
- Future incident prevention
- Protection from liability lawsuits.
Not every workplace safety program is same. For different industries and tasks, there are different safety training requirements, both in content and training frequency. So, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to workplace safety training.
The regulatory and legal health and safety requirements are the bare minimum. When you are planning your workplace safety training program, your aim should be to minimize incidents, maximize employee awareness and alertness and keep your employees happy, healthy and productive. It should not just comply with legal requirements.
Today’s workplace safety is different than it was a decade ago. New technologies are obvious reasons for the way we communicate today. This affects the way we do training and our tasks. But keeping up with new technologies is not the only reason the safety plan should be relevant to be effective.
- Mobile workforce – Many organizations employee remote workers and deskless workers on the go. These employees are harder to train than in-house employees. So, such safety tools and programs should be presented which do not require on-site presence.
- Contingent workforce – With “gig economy” becoming prevalent across all industries, training needs to be fast. So, modular training programs can be provided which are easily customizable for onboarding.
- Workplace diversity – Economies are becoming more global. However, international organizations and businesses employing often lacks in multiple languages. So, technological tool which provides quick translation and localization of the modules should be adopted.
Workplace safety should always be the at the priority for an organization. Workplace safety can be accomplished through plans, culture and actions. But workplace safety would reach to its full potential if employee engagement and effective leadership are in place.