Safety education and training for the workplace can help prevent on-the-job accidents that drain billions of dollars from US companies each year. These costs include both direct payments to injured workers and indirect costs, like lost time and productivity. A good workplace safety training program can help alleviate that cost by ensuring safer work practices.
If your industry puts employees in harm’s way, a safety education and training program is mandatory. However, for workplace safety education, you need to go beyond the mandatory requirements and give your employees a real learning experience.
It's always important to remember that when running a business, safety training in the workplace is your responsibility.
As you determine how to implement a program for safety education and training for the workplace, consider the following:
- Start with any safety training in the workplace that OSHA requires before you cover additional workplace safety education and training programs. Expand your program when and if your budget allows it.
- Where you think the biggest safety problems are not necessarily where your biggest safety problems lie. Build your safety training program from objective data to make sure you don’t invest more time than you need to in relatively unimportant training.
- Make workplace safety education engaging for your employees and they’re more apt to retain the information. If you treat safety training like something simply done for the sake of compliance, it won’t strike your employees as engaging or even important.
Know where your business' workplace safety training weaknesses areIf you know where your safety and safety training weaknesses are, you can adopt safety training for employees that targets those specific problems. Though you'll want to train your employees in all required OSHA topics for your industry and for their specific job responsibilities, you may want to add topics to your training program, or spend more time on topics that are clearly a problem. The Towers Perrin-ISR Safety Survey gathers information from your employees about the safety culture in your company and then analyzes it, providing you with information you need to develop the most effective safety training program. Using an objective research tool like this helps you focus on the real rather than imagined safety problems.
Choose online courses for a time- and cost-effective way to deliver safety training for workersMuch workplace safety training is information-based, and can be difficult for employees to retain, especially if they need to attend mandatory meetings. Online workplace safety videos allow your employees to train at their own pace and spend more time reviewing the information that directly affects them. Though you need to incorporate hands-on training, online courses deliver safety information to your employees.
Use the OHSA's training resources for safety trainingThough OSHA's primary safety education and training goal is directed at federal and state compliance officers, they also offer safety training to the private sector, especially through their outreach program.
classes offered by the OSHA Training Institute (OTI), located in Arlington, Illinois. If travel is prohibitive or classes are full, find an OTI Education Center in your region, which offers the more popular OSHA safety training classes as well as workplace safety training information. Participate in the OSHA Outreach Training Program for construction and general industry or maritime industry. Through the program, your employees receive a full workplace safety education; they can take an OSHA trainer course and be authorized to teach in the Outreach Training Program.
Seek out a safety training grant for your sectorThough you can invest minimally in workplace safety training, too little investment here may cost you in the way of on the job accidents. However, implementing the best safety program can be beyond many companies' budgets. A safety training grant can help you develop an effective training program if you don't have the resources to create one.
OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant if you’re a non-profit that needs additional funds for your safety training. Grants.gov offers a searchable database of available federal grants, including safety training grants for various industries.
- Make sure you're in compliance with any OSHA regulations for your industry when you implement your training program.
- Provide safety training in your employees' language so every employee fully understands and can comply with safety regulations and precautions.