OSHA training. Folding chairs. Linoleum tables. Projector slideshow. I bet you can picture it.
Whether you’ve been made to watch a demonstration on how properly to lift a box (use the legs, not your back!), or told to attend an online course, everyone who works around heavy machinery, construction equipment, or performs manual labor has at some point undergone OSHA training.
Most of the time, it can seem tedious. After all, who doesn’t know how to lift a box?
But OSHA training is about more than ticking a box on a form. It’s an important tool like any other for managing or working in a construction environment – but why?
If you are wondering if you’ll be better off trying to skip or fake your next OSHA training session, read on and reflect about the true meaning of OSHA and its purpose.
So before you do anything rush, take a look at the reasons below why OSHA training is so important and what it provides to you.
Number One: It Is Legally Required
In 1970, the Congress of the United States passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act to protect people from unnecessary hazards in their workplace.
From this, OSHA as we know it was born – an organization that enforces workplace laws and standards.
Their rules and regulations cover a lot of different industries, construction included.
Although they don’t cover self-employed workers or immediate members of farm families, OSHA’s rules affect nearly every single worker in the US and its territories, and set the trends industry wide whether directly over seeing it or not.
This includes rules such as making sure you give your workers proper equipment and protective gear, making sure that you provide training on how to properly carry out tasks so you reduce their risk of injury or death.
If you don’t adhere to OSHA’s rules and an accident happens on your watch – then OSHA is empowered to penalize you and your business.
OSHA can investigate workplace accidents and if it determines violations have taken place, they may issue fines that can range into the tens of thousands of dollars. A single accident with a forklift can result in a investigation and even criminal charges.
That demonstration on how to lift a box? Just gritting your teeth and going through with it is beneficial to both employee and employer because if one of you fails to attend, then you risk the wrath of OSHA.
Number Two: It Keeps You And Your Employees Safe
Safety really and truly is at the heart of it. The whole reason why OSHA exists in the first place is so workers can work in a safe environment that minimizes the risks of death or injury.
OSHA was created in response to annual workplace accidents resulting in over 14,000 worker deaths and 2.5 Million disabled workers in the 1960s.
Today, that number has been lowered to just over 5,000 – thanks in large part to OSHA, and a culture of safety overall it helped to advance.
So by completing your OSHA training and making sure all your workers on your site are aware of safety regulations, you will do your part to ensure they all go home to their families after every shift.
Number Three: It Increases Efficiency
Because OSHA’s training sessions are designed to help employers and employees alike reduce the risk of accidents and injury, fewer and fewer workers are being put out of work due to injuries.
This means that your business becomes more efficient as you are more likely to have all of your workers working and completing their work at a faster rate, without retraining, rehiring, paying out benefits, or holding important positions open.
For example, take that ‘lifting a box’ training session – say an employee skips it because they think it’s unimportant, and then they injure their back trying to lift some materials.
They will have to take time off work to recover, meaning that you have a member of your team missing.
Work slows down and it takes more time to finish a project.
So to keep your business running and projects on track, attend and pay attention during your OSHA training.
Number Four: It Reduces Costs
If you don’t properly train your employees when it comes to health and safety then not only are you putting yourself at risk of paying some stiff fines, you may also be forced to fork out thousands in compensation claims.
Accidents could also lead to damaged machinery that you will need to either repair or replace.
Protect yourself against this stress and hassle by emphasizing safety procedures and OSHA rules highlighted in OSHA training sessions to your employees. Make the culture of safety that OSHA creates in the nation overall something that lives and breathes on your worksite as well.
Number Five: It Improves Your Company’s Image
Finally, making sure that your company and employees follow OSHA guidelines can also improve your company’s image and reputation.
This is because you are putting your employees safety and wellbeing first by ensuring they follow OSHA guidelines, prioritizing them as individuals. This can make your workers feel that they are cared about and appreciated.
These companies could gain a bad reputation and workers might avoid applying for that company because of this. Your customers may also get word that your business is not one that puts family values first.
Make your workers feel appreciated and cared about by enforcing OSHA training so they have the right tools and information to keep themselves safe.
Those are just five of the many reasons why OSHA training is so important.
OSHA training gives workers the knowledge and tools they need to keep themselves safe while working.
It also empowers them to call out their bosses if they do ensure the worksite is safe and minimizes the risk of accidents or injuries. This is why workers need to attend and pay attention during OSHA training sessions.
For employers, it protects them against fines and losing workers as they need to reduce the chances of injuries on their worksite.
At the end of the day, OSHA training is so vital because it saves lives.
So make sure that you and your employees all attend and complete their OSHA training – it may save a life one day. Maybe even yours.