“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Will Durant

Obviously that statement remains relevant when it comes to safety. Taking Durant’s quote into consideration, we must develop a regular habit of working safely, if we want to be safe. Routine work can dull alertness and a relaxed mindset can replace the cautiousness that existed when the job was interesting and new.

Most employees repeat the same route while traveling to work daily and many tasks are performed repetitively without a conscious thought. Without some form of periodic reawakening to the ever-present hazards, disregard for potential danger deepens and the odds of an accident occurring are greatly increased.

Workers may not easily recognize the importance of safety training or they may regard it as unnecessary since they’ve been doing their job for years. However, one of the benefits of regular preventive safety training is that it serves as a reminder that potential danger always exists and that no employee is immune to accidents. Workers should understand the importance and purpose of safety training; why preventive safety training is useful to them and what the consequences are of not adhering to safety rules and guidelines.

Common Excuses Why Safety Training Isn’t Provided Regularly

At times, employers come up with different erroneous reasons why they don’t routinely provide or may postpone safety training. Some of these include:

  • Our employees have already had safety training in the past.
  • We are too busy to invest the time in safety training right now.
  • Safety training is too expensive.
  • We haven’t had any accidents yet.
  • We can wait until business slows down.

Benefits of Preventative Safety Training

Employees may also come up with reasons why they don’t want to partake in safety training. However, it’s very important to note that safety training provides great benefits both to the employer and the employee. Insurance companies often look favorably towards employers who take health and safety matters seriously; which may be reflected in premium rates.  Some of the additional costs that employers reduce or eliminate by providing preventative safety training and avoiding accidents include:

  • OSHA penalties and citations
  • The cost of conducting accident investigations
  • Workers’ Compensation wage replacement costs and medical expenses
  • The overhead to train replacement employees

When it comes to regular preventative safety training, employees also benefit in several ways. Apart from the fact that it could save their lives in life-threatening accidents, employees also enjoy other benefits such as:

  • Employees in a safe work environment can focus better on their tasks, simply because they do not have to worry as much about their personal safety.
  • Workers who are understand how to work safely do not need extra supervision or micromanagement
  • Employees who are confident of their safety at work tend to be more satisfied with their employers
  • Maintaining a clean and safe environment saves time and increases productivity.

What are employees taught in preventative safety training?

In preventative safety training, employees are shown proper methods of working to avoid accidents and best practices to ensure that their work environment is safe.

  • Some employees don’t really know how to make effective use of personal protective equipment and they can learn such things through safety training
  • Employees may be educated on the safe use of equipment and tools.
  • Workers may be taught how to properly handle chemicals
  • Employees learn to identify and avoid workplace hazards and develop the ability to mitigate dangerous situations if they occur.

Many injuries can be avoided when employees understand how accidents occur and the steps that should be taken to reduce or eliminate risks and hazards. Employees who undergo preventative safety training recognize the importance of safety and can apply best practices.  Preventative safety training benefits both the employer and the employee; maintaining a healthy, profitable, and productive workplace.  As the old saying goes “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”