Companies and organizations should train and instruct their employees to ensure that they handle their assigned tasks without health safety risks. Training ideally helps and guides employees on what they should do or avoid at their workplaces. Employees should be suitably trained in all areas of work, right from menial tasks to riskiest activities.
Proper training mitigates workplace accidents and incidents, which leads to reduced costs, few lawsuits, and low insurance premiums. Unfortunately, most companies ignore or overlook the importance of employee safety training. Effective safety courses for students and employees should cover the following topics.
1. Workplace Ergonomics
Even though the risks of working from an office are lower compared to working in a construction site or oil rigs, ergonomic workplace incidents can subject your business to hefty costs such as compensation claims and diminished productivity. OSHA figures estimate that companies spend between $45 and $50 billion annually on ergonomic workplace injuries.
The same figures estimate the actual direct costs of common ergonomic workplace injuries include:
- Hernia – $23,083
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – $28,657
- Sprain – $28,338
- Inflammation – $32,080
- Strain – $32,319
The BLS estimates that the above-listed five conditions contributed to 34% of workplace injuries in the past decade. This underscores the importance of ergonomic workplace safety training. Teach your employees how to move around, sit, or lift properly to save on healthcare costs and a few sick days.
2. Workplace Violence Prevention
The BLS estimates that nearly two million employees in the U.S experience workplace violence, with 80% of active shooting incidents occurring at workplaces. There is a significant number of domestic violence seeping into workplace settings, specifically targeting women or female employees.
A study on domestic violence survivors found that 74% of the respondents were attacked or harassed in their workplaces. Homicide is the number one cause of death for employed women. As such, employee safety training should include workplace violence prevention strategies. Train your workers to identify risk factors and signs of workplace violence and domestic violence.
3. Environmental Safety
Environmental safety at the workplace varies depending on the industry. However, general environmental safety topics include:
- Storage and disposing of materials
- Electrical safety
- General office safety
- Safe lifting
While environmental safety training benefits all companies, it is more crucial for companies that handle hazardous materials. Training on how to handle hazardous and biohazards requires more than a superficial mention. Such training should be done regularly and robustly.
4. Fire Safety
Most companies overlook fire safety training, presuming that their workers understand fire safety. However, this training is important for all industries. Like other project-based learning activities, safety training for new employees should cover how employees should handle a fire incident. This includes responding to fires, use of extinguishers, and more.
Employee safety training promotes a safe, healthy, and happier workplace. Other important topics featured in a comprehensive employee safety training include employee health resources, cybersecurity, online safety, and equipment safety. These topics are an important part of every company’s commitment to keeping their workers and customers safe.