There are many benefits of safety training but the first and most obvious must be that it can save your life. Accidents in the workplace resulted in the deaths of 133 people during the financial year or 2012/13. That’s a rate of around 0.44 per 100,000. Although this is down from the average over the previous five years of around 0.56, it still represents a threat. When you add to this the countless thousands who were injured or suffered disease, infection or other misdemeanours in the workplace, the benefits of safety training are easy to see.
Of course, any employer should automatically think that the safety of their employees is of great importance. Without a workforce, a company is just a brand name and an empty office or warehouse. People are always the greatest natural resource for any company, so keeping them safe and informed about their safety is crucial.
However, staff safety is also key to financial security. A safe work environment directly affects the bottom line of the company. Accidents and illnesses are costly for a number of reasons. Firstly in terms of lost working hours and staff unable to carry out their duties, but there are secondary costs in terms of payouts and replacing equipment damaged. In short, accidents are bad for business.
On the reverse side of the coin, a safe workplace where staff feel safe and confident in their employer leads to a boost of moral and productivity. When people feel they are valued, they feel like they can make a difference. Fewer absences result and less staff turnover, all of which costs money.
The statistics seem to back this up too. According to Mark Steinhoffer of Safety Management Group, the figures show that projects with little or no safety training spend around six to nine per cent of their costs on incidents resulting from poor safety. For companies who invest in the safety on site, this is reduced to around two and a half per cent.
Poor safety also seems to correlate closely with customer satisfaction. Company’s that have a bad reputation with customers also often have poor safety records. Even companies with previously good names can suffer as the result of a publicised safety incident.
To be honest, most people and companies understand the importance of safety but occasionally this can slip their minds. This is why good training is so important. With good safety training in place, the behaviour becomes almost second nature. Staff that know how to use equipment and are trained to use the correct PPE mean workplaces are not usually about reacting but prevention.
So, if your business has been overlooking safety, has a bad illness and absenteeism record or simply needs to boost the bottom line, then a focus on safety training might be just what you need.