Workers’ Comp: Closing the Safety Training Gap
Workplace safety is key to ensuring productivity, a positive morale, a reduction in on-the-job accidents or injuries and an improved risk profile for Workers’ Compensation insurance. Creating a culture of safety requires a deep understanding throughout the organization of the hazards and potential dangers of the workplace, whatever they may be. But not all organizations are succeeding in this area. One reason for the gap is due to safety awareness and the lack of employee training.
Developing sound safety training programs will help spur changes in behavior albeit how difficult this may be. For a training program to be successful, businesses must utilize relevant and understandable materials. Training should also take into account the needs of both new and existing workers. In addition, successful training programs must also take into consideration job changes, work practices or work equipment changes, and the introduction of new technology.
Following are a few steps an organization can put into place to ensure that its health and safety training is a program that drives real results while helping the company take steps towards building a culture of safety:
- Walk the talk: Whenever developing any type of training program, it’s important to keep the audience in mind. For the program to be successful, it needs to resonate and speak to your audience in a language they understand. An easy way to understand the language (and context) of safety for workers is for management to spend some time in their world and spend time walking in their shoes. While doing so, ask: How will safety policy changes affect this person’s ability to do their job and day-to-day tasks? How will these results be measured, and do those metrics make sense to workers? How can training impact these safety results in a positive way?
- Look at the data: When it comes to business decisions, it’s important to not only rely on one’s instinct, but to also back it up with data. This means being able to define safety standards with specific numbers and use them to identify improvement goals and milestones. By recording all incidents and near misses, data can show management benchmark results. Also, by keeping accurate and thorough records, management can help identify the root causes of the safety incidents. Then decisions can be made on whether issues are isolated cases or if emerging trends are developing that should be identified as areas for improvement through training.
- Observe what is going on. There is no better way to verify or double-check what the data indicates than to check the facility or operation first-hand. This the only way management will see if the training is impacting the day-to-day activities of employees. In addition, observing employees at work will provide information for future training revisions.
Safety training must also bring home that it’s the duty of every employee to cooperate with a company’s preventive measures and that by doing so they are taking care of not only their safety and health but also that of their colleagues.
Whether a client is self insuring its Workers’ Compensation, using a captive or purchasing coverage through traditional means, a comprehensive safety program is essential in driving costs down and minimizing claims. Caitlin Morgan offers a broad spectrum of Workers’ Compensation insurance solutions across many industry sectors and can provide assistance with securing a sound plan for your clients. Give us a call at 877.226.1027.