Safety training is a key element in the prevention of work-related injuries, illnesses and death. When educated on safety procedures, employees will know how prevent an incident in the workplace by properly operating machinery and handling food, and will also learn how to respond quickly if presented with a dangerous situation.
A myriad of safety training course topics are important based on the needs of individual organizations. For example, eye safety and lyme disease training is pertinent to construction and other outdoor workers, while first aid training is important for all work environments. Other types of safety training courses include workplace violence, respiratory disease screening and electrical current safety, to name a few. Safety training is deliverable in several ways, including, via live instructor-led classsroom sessions, videocassettes or DVDs, online courses and webinars.
Educating employees on the safety rules of the work environment can give them a sense of safety and security while performing daily tasks, which can lead to increased productivity. Another benefit of safety training is a reduction in accident and incident rates, which reflects favorably on an organization. Safety training is also important because it provides a way for companies to document proof that such training has occurred, protecting it from potential lawsuits involving injuries.
According to The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), occupational deaths have been cut by 62 percent and injuries have declined by 42 percent since OSHA was created in 1971. OSHA has provided a list of safety rules and guides for workplace safety based on industry and job function, and the agency makes close to 40,000 workplace inspections annually. OSHA's Training Institute provides training and education in occupational safety and health for federal and state compliance officers, state consultants, other federal agency personnel and the private sector.
Companies are legally responsible for providing the safety skills training mandated for their industry by OSHA. Maintaining records that detail course completion rates and certification status of employees is crucial because it helps pinpoint the safety training that still needs to be addressed. Documenting safety training progress also helps companies demonstrate compliance of OSHA's regulations, which goes a long way in avoiding fines and noncompliance lawsuits.
Continued safety training is important because it helps drive home the dangers of the workplace to all employees, including those who have become complacent performing their repetitive jobs. According to the State Compensation Insurance Fund, alertness can be dulled by routine work, and periodic safety training reminds workers that dangers exist and no one is immune to accidents.