No matter how small your startup is, you will need to pay attention to every single element of your new business before opening it. This means making sure all processes will be running smoothly. All details regarding your products or services are finalized. Your premises or office is functional and presentable, and your employees know exactly what to do when you are officially open for business.
As a business owner, one important aspect you have to prioritize is having your employees undergo sufficient health and safety training before actual operations start. Giving them opportunities to undertake relevant health and safety training programs every now and then can also offer several advantages to both your company and your workers.
Benefits of Providing Regular Safety Training to Your Employees
Having your workers undergo the relevant safety training frequently can offer several advantages to your business and your employees themselves. These benefits include:
1. Acting in accordance with the law
Each country or state has its own set of health and safety laws and rules. But generally, all employers are required by law to provide information, instruction, and training. It is to ensure that their business premises are safe for all workers and visitors.
As a business owner, the last thing you want is to be penalized and pay hefty fines. This is because of your failure to invest money and time in safety training programs for your employees. Keep in mind that poorly trained or untrained workers are not only a danger to themselves but to those around them as well.
Even a simple safety training program and basic knowledge about the dangers and risks of the job site. Also, specific job roles can help increase awareness and reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. This will also lower the possibility of your business getting entangled in health and safety-related disputes.
2. Ensuring the actual safety and well-being of your staff
Giving your employees sufficient training. Especially before their first day on the job, is a sure way of reducing the possibility that they will get hurt or cause an accident in the workplace. Even giving new workers training on the proper and safe way to use office equipment will go a long way in minimizing mishaps that can be caused by mishandling these types of machinery.
Keep in mind that new employees are more at risk of being injured at work. As such, having the right safety training induction program and regular refresher courses. This can help protect your staff and company from accidents.
3. Preventing financial loss
Having an effective safety program, which includes regular training and learning experiences for employees, can lead to lower worker compensation claims, insurance costs, and legal fees. These are indirect expenses that can take a toll on your company’s finances.
In addition, when your staff undergoes regular safety training programs, you minimize the risk of incidents happening on-site. This, in turn, will help you prevent lower productivity rates due to the investigation of on-site accidents and loss of manpower.
4. Boosting employee morale and productivity
Organizing regular health and safety training activities for your staff is one of the best investments you can make for your company. This is an effective way of letting your employees know that you care for their welfare. When you show your interest in their safety and well-being, you successfully boost their morale.
Various studies show that worksites that enjoy high morale have lower frequencies of accidents happening. High morale also translates to fewer absences from your employees. This results in better productivity and a higher quality of work. This will also have a ripple effect on the loyalty of your employees. As such, you will also experience a lower turnover or attrition rate.
5. Building a great reputation
Your company’s safety record will have an impact on your brand reputation. If you have a great safety training program, and your employees regularly undergo refresher and additional courses (which they practice mindfully in the workplace). Then, your organization can attain a positive reputation.
Your company’s reputation will also affect your recruitment activities. If you are known to have a safe and healthy workplace, you will be viewed favourably from the outside and you will have fewer difficulties attracting the ideal employees. Job seekers want to know details about their potential compensation and benefits packages. However, more importantly, they will also want to know that you value their safety and well-being while they are in your workplace.
Best Practices for Health and Safety Training
To ensure you and your employees reap the benefits of health and safety training, follow these best practices:
- During the orientation or induction of new employees, make sure you cover all the important health and safety issues such as:
- All potential risks associated with the working environment and duties
- The importance and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), if applicable
- Proper and safe manual handling and use of equipment and machinery in the work area
- Emergency evacuation procedure
- Fire precautions and location of firefighting equipment
- Location and use of the first-aid kit
- Procedure for reporting an accident or near miss incident at worksite
- Disciplinary procedures
- Constantly emphasize points covered by or related safety training through workplace communications. You can use emails, internal newsletters, posters, and other communications to reinforce important safety training concepts and foster a safety culture in the workplace.
- Schedule regular health and safety training programs for employees. These training courses can give your employees additional work safety knowledge and skills they can use. Refresher courses can also help make sure that your workers still know the basic practices and procedures and that they can practice them when necessary.
- When scheduling these courses, make sure you spread out training over a number of sessions. In order to allow your staff to properly absorb and reflect on what they’re learning.
- Have Q&A sessions or open forums during training to boost employee engagement. Encourage your employees to ask questions. Allow them to share their concerns and experiences as well so that you can improve your health and safety program and give your staff peace of mind.
If you do not have any background in conducting health and safety training in the workplace. No doubt, there are services providers who can help you out. With the assistance of the right training providers, you can be sure your new and veteran employees will be familiar with the best workplace safety practices and follow them properly. You can then spend less time worrying about risks and accidents in the workplace. Then, you can focus more on running a productive startup.
Dave Newgass is the owner and Managing Director of Wise Global Training Ltd. Born and raised in a small California coastal fishing town but now living in the United Kingdom, Dave’s goal is to ensure that clients are not only happy with the IOSH and NEBOSH online courses they purchase from Wise Global Training Ltd. but are also happy with the total experience as a whole.