Workers and their employers pay dearly because of injuries, illnesses, and deaths. They also can have property damage because of an incident. There are lost work days, and the costs for sick pay, insurance payments, and workers’ compensation costs add up quickly for companies of all sizes. And unfortunately, the money that goes for those payments is not available for other, more beneficial, investments like higher salaries, new equipment, and research and development.
According to a 2010 Liberty Mutual study, the annual industry cost of U.S. workplace accidents totaled $240 Billion USD per year. This was factoring both direct and indirect costs, yet that number is staggering.
Occupational injuries and illnesses increase workers' compensation and retraining costs, absenteeism, and faulty product, but dollars and cents aside, no manager or supervisor wants to ever have to face a distraught family and tell them that their spouse or parent will not be coming home tonight. You can’t imagine how hard it would be to look an employee in the eye at the hospital when you know that their injuries could have been prevented.
It’s not rocket science that the better someone is trained in how to do their job safely, the better they perform. So you also want to invest in safety training to increase productivity. Yet it’s not always easy to measure; Safety and HR professionals will always face senior level executives wanting to know what their return on investment is, so organizations are more and more focused on measuring the direct correlation between training and job performance – not an easy task.
Several study results have shown a positive correlation between investing in training and productivity. Firms who invest more in training report higher productivity levels among its employees.
With online safety training, organizations can accelerate time to productivity for new employees. Rather than having the employees wait for a certain date to take the training, organizations can deliver training in the first few days a new employee starts work, allowing that employee to focus on their job function faster. Or, for instance, a construction crew can use a rainy day to take compliance training, increasing productivity by not delaying the job, and making use of downtime. Another reason to invest in training is to keep skills current, stay competitive and prevent technological obsolescence.
Since 2000, nearly six million factory jobs and almost a third of the jobs in the entire manufacturing industry have disappeared—some to off-shoring, some to automated production lines. Moore’s Law states that computer processing power doubles about every 18 months. This isn’t news to most employers, yet many don’t see the connection to training. Workers simply need more training—and especially more ongoing training—to be able to handle their jobs correctly, efficiently, and safely.
Investing in People
Another reason to invest in training? Your employees. Invest to motivate them, to make them proud of the organization they work for, so they’ll be happy and stick around. Training is a great motivator. Motivation goes way up when people know you want to invest in them. They are more passionate about their work, they want to perform better and advance within your company.
Occupational health and safety training investments are made to improve training engagement, accessibility, memorability, hazard recognition, and safety decision making.
A recent article in the Training & Development magazine shared a Monster.com survey. In that survey, 91% of respondents ranked occupational training as their top value. Providing training to employees can improve morale and make employees feel valued and that they are worth investing in. Training is something many people ask about when interviewing with companies. They want to know what training is available. If the line of work is high-risk, knowing the company has a strong safety training program, rather than just a “checking-the-box” attitude toward their safety and wellbeing, makes the job more appealing.
Another thing training can do is lower turnover. When employees know that their company cares about their career, and is willing to offer training and opportunities to advance, they tend to stick around a bit longer. This means less hiring and firing for employers, and more time doing business and making money. Along with lower turnover and increased motivation, comes job satisfaction. When employees are trained well they become happier, more confident, and have higher overall satisfaction doing their jobs and employee morale is higher. If you can enable all of your employees to feel this way, you have just created a great working environment, and your employees are more likely to stay with you, and not be on the lookout for another job.
Another reason that isn’t always thought of is your company’s reputation. Your business image means a lot to you, but, it also matters a great deal to your employees as well. It only takes one serious injury or fatality related safety incident to ruin your reputation. When your employees are trained and feel that they can continue to grow with you, it gives your business a better image in their eyes and everyone else’s. You’ll find that your business will become known as one that cares about its employees and ensures that they are not only happy in their job, but, happy overall in their life as well.
It is all interconnected...the employees get training so they are more motivated to perform well; because they received training they are safer at work, are more skilled and productive and so more satisfied at work, increasing the likelihood of career longevity.