Insights

Safety as a Profit Center


The disruption of operations in 2020 put added emphasis on health-related safety procedures. As employees return to physical locations, employers are facing modifications to longstanding safety procedures, and new processes to adhere to health and safety regulations.

For many employers, that is the full extent of their buy-in to safety training and management. Because of the pandemic, many employers were given leeway with regard to training. While many were able to move their safety training online, some industries needed on-site training in order to ensure compliance and safety. Yet for some, safety training is that must-have that is given only a modicum of attention, and seen only as a box to check to meet regulations.

Part of the reason could be that some employers simply do not fully understand the training requirements needed for their industry or employee job functions. Despite OSHA standards that cover each industry, the confusion remains. Full compliance, therefore, could remain elusive.
With effective safety training, compliance with federal and state standards is easier. Compliance aside, however, employers have plenty of reasons why safety training should get more buy-in from upper management.

Training results in fewer accidents, and allows employers to get to the root cause of accidents before they occur. But the biggest bonus employers can see from embracing a culture based on safety is this: safer workplaces result in higher productivity. Higher productivity feeds better profitability.


The Safety Boost


When companies embrace the mindset that safety training can bring about positive change, such a shift establishes a few goals. Depending on the organization’s commitment to safety, many can exceed minimum safety requirements.

Better still, a culture of safety improves productivity: A Lockheed Martin study of their Paducah, Kentucky, site showed that implementing a stronger safety culture increased productivity by 24% and decreased factory costs by 20%. A strong safety culture also reduces absenteeism, lowers costs and improves employee morale.


Making Safety Central


Fortunately, getting to a safer culture is easy. Much of an organization’s safety training can be conducted online, particularly if it is refresher training for established employees. Forklift training, for example, can be split between online and in-person training, with approximately 80% of training being held online, with the hands-on training occurring on-site.

Through NFP’s Learning Management System, organizations can access over 200 training courses that are applicable to most industries, including construction. Our resource library contains training resources, toolbox talks, and topics related to worksite education and development.

That type of training is critical for new hires in particular. Many new hires come on-site the first day and lack the appropriate safety training for the job. As a result, we see far too many accidents that happen on that first day. Being able to administer the online training ahead of time, new employees will have a basic understanding of the job site and the safety requirements. More specific training can take place on-site.


Embracing Training


For all employees, safety training refresher courses are essential to maintain the best level of safety in your organization. An overview of information they have already received can help embed the practices that your organization is promoting.

Moving safety training from the necessary to the profitable delivers benefits beyond safety. A safer workplace equals more satisfied, engaged employees, which in turn leads to better productivity and profitability. It all starts with employer buy-in. When your organization embraces safety training as an integral part of the culture, the benefits multiply.


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For more information, please contact Hamid Abuzaid at hamid.abuzaid@nfp.com.