Promoting workplace safety should be a top priority for employers. This should be true even if there were no regulations that they had to adhere to. While having a safety program in place to protect workers is a good step in creating an overall culture where workers look out for each other, it needs to be consistently reinforced. Therefore, it is critical that training programs be implemented and required for all workers.
New Workers Should Be Assimilated Quickly
A new worker should be taught from the first day he or she spends on the job what the safety policies and expectations are. Learning how to label hazardous materials or when it is appropriate to ask for help lifting a heavy object can avoid a serious accident. Workers should also be taught why it is important to obey that no smoking sign near the lab or on the sales floor.
Even Experienced Workers Need Reminders Every So Often
Over time, it can be easy to let bad habits take over and make a job more dangerous than it needs to be. When advances in technology take place, it is critical that experienced workers are taught about such advances and how to use modern equipment that they may be unfamiliar with. Changes in safety laws or in workplace policies may also make constant training worthwhile for those who have been around for awhile.
Training Classes Provide Opportunities for Feedback
There may be employees who fail to take a training class seriously or don’t follow the rules even after going through a training program. During a training class, it may be possible to ask employees why they aren’t following the rules or simply don’t agree with them. In some cases, the rules may make it harder to do the job correctly or in a timely manner. While you will never get 100 percent buy in from your workers, learning why they don’t like or follow safety rules can make it easier to make changes that could result in increased compliance.
Provide Cover Against Liability
Having a coherent safety plan may provide cover against liability in the event that workers do get hurt or take actions that could jeopardize public safety. It may be possible to avoid civil or criminal penalties or avoid being labeled as negligent or liable for damages in any lawsuit that may be brought against the company.
Workers should always feel like they are safe at work. If they are more concerned about not getting hurt than they are about doing their job, productivity and morale could go down. Therefore, make sure you address safety issues in a proactive manner and be sure to teach your employees how they can do their job efficiently and safely. For more information, ICC Compliance Centeris a helpful website with additional resources.