Risk Management and Safety Training: Accidents Are Not a Cost of Doing Business

safety image Some people see accidents as unavoidable negative events that are simply a cost of doing business. The truth is that accidents are usually preventable through careful mitigation of risk and the implementation of system-level safety procedures. In fact, simply making employees aware of the risks they face during an average work day can help to improve safety and reduce injury on the job. Taking the time to educate employees on safety risks can also boost productivity, improve morale, and even reduce insurance premiums. Here are just a few of the benefits of safety training along with some examples of topics that are important to cover.

The Benefits of Safety Training

Risk management training isn’t just about reducing company liability in the event of a lawsuit. Risk management can actually boost productivity on the job and improve employee morale. Both contribute to a healthy bottom line and help to reduce problems that can sap time, energy, and resources that could otherwise be making your firm money. Research has found that health and safety training can:

.   Lower worker’s compensation costs

.   Lower medical expenses and insurance premiums

.   Avoid OSHA penalties

.   Reduce the costs associated with accident investigations

.   Boost a company’s reputation with clients and other businesses

.   Increase productivity by reducing minor injuries

.   Reduce absences

Protect against lawsuits

A company that institutes and enforces leading safety measures is more likely to be viewed favorably by potential employees and thus will have its pick of top talent. It will also likely be seen as an industry leader by other businesses and clients, a factor that can enhance its reputation and boost sales.

Examples of Important Safety Topics

Safety training can take many forms and sometimes workplace risks can be difficult to identify before they cause problems. Fortunately, the insurance industry has a long history of investigating safety concerns and developing resources to mitigate job hazards. If you are interested in safety training for your business, a great place to start is with your own liability insurance company. Topics that you may consider covering include:

.   Fleet and driving safety

.   Mobile equipment safety (e.g. forklifts, tractors, etc.)

.   Utility risks (e.g. gas lines, electrical lines, etc.)

.   Online and computer ergonomics and safety

.   General employee health and safety

.   Chemical hazards and disposal

.   Biological hazards and disposal

The list could go on, but what you focus on will be based on what your employees spend most of their time doing. Remember that even if an activity isn’t a primary function of an employee’s job, it may still be something that employees do frequently in order to perform their job. Landscapers, for instance, spend a lot of time behind the wheel of company cars, so fleet safety is of critical importance.

How to Begin Training

OSHA and other government agencies are a great place to start looking for safety training material. Your insurance company may also be able to offer resources or point you in the right direction. If you want to get really serious, you can hire a safety consultant to audit your business and provide custom training to all of your employees. In the long run, what you spend to boost safety in your business will always pay dividends.