Safety Training: The Work Comp Playbook For Employers

Once you’ve completed the hiring process and are positive that you have safe, valuable new employees, it’s time to acclimate them to your workplace. Though you’ve already introduced them to your workplace’s operations and inherent risks at their new hire orientation, the safety lessons should not stop there. Safety training has been proven to reduce severe workplace injuries and decrease the number of days that employees miss if they are injured, and with higher turnover rates and younger employees entering the workforce, it has never been more important. Here is our guide to creating a consistent and effective safety training strategy to create a positive safety culture in your company.

The Impact of Safety Training

As we mentioned previously, proper safety training can greatly benefit your company’s finances. In addition to reducing workplace injuries and time spent away from work, safety training also reduces workers’ compensation claims (and the resulting legal fees) and lowers your turnover rate. In addition, having proper safety training increases your workplace’s safety culture, which in turn leads to higher morale. Higher morale in the workplace, in addition to decreasing injuries, leads to higher attendance, productivity, and quality of work from your employees. According to data from OSHA, a company that implemented proper training and inspections saw a 9.4% decrease in claims, 26% average savings on workers’ compensation costs, and an average of $355,000 saved over a four-year period.

Proper Training Principles

According to OSHA, there are five principles to effectively training your employees:

  1. Ensure that your employees understand the importance and purpose of their training
  2. Present information in a manner that is clear, organized, and maximizes impact
  3. Ensure that your employees can put what they have learned to use immediately following training
  4. Provide regular and timely feedback so your employees can improve their performance
  5. Consider presenting information in multiple ways to ensure that you are reaching out to all of your employees.

One additional principle not mentioned above is consistency; it has been proven that consistent training yields far better results than one-time or occasional training. By spreading your training out into brief weekly or monthly sessions rather than one long training marathon, your employees will retain more information and feel less overwhelmed. Because of this, we recommend that you implement safety training into your company’s overall risk management strategy and regularly refresh your employees on practices to promote safety. Establish strong lines of communication, as well, in order to ensure that your employees are understanding what you are trying to communicate.

Technology

Some businesses may not have the time or the resources to adequately provide regular safety training. We understand this and encourage the use of technology in your company’s safety training strategy. Earlier this month, we recommended using a safety video as part of your company’s new hire orientation, as it would reduce training costs if you have a high turnover rate. While we recommend videos for safety training, that is not the only type of technology that can benefit you. Today, many companies are utilizing online training as part or all of their training methods to help their employees learn.

According to Entrepreneur, a 2015 study found that 50% of companies surveyed believed that in-person training combined with online training would yield better results. In addition to reducing costs, technology-based training could also be more effective to our increasingly younger workforce; the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the majority of the workforce is comprised of millennials, and millennials will represent a whopping 75% of the workforce by 2030. As this generation grew up learning through technology, they will likely get more value from web-based training. As one final bonus, online or technology-based training is easier to regularly implement, as it does not require a supervisor to make time in his or her schedule.

About Compass RMS

The risk management firm Risk Management, Inc. has specialized in workers’ compensation since 1996, creating the CWCP (Certified Workers’ Compensation Professional) program in 1999 and the P4 process in 2000. We launched our Compass Risk Management platform in 2008 and recently released version 4.0. For more information about our services, give us a call at (770) 534-2042 to speak with one of our consultants.