Have you ever considered OSHA training as an investment rather than an expense? If you’ve ever been on OSHA’s website you would quickly learn that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration is a very transparent federal agency. OSHA’s mission is to help employers and employees reduce on the job injuries, illness, and deaths. OSHA requires employers to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs and in some instances, employers are responsible to limit certain job assignments to employees who are certified, competent, or qualified, meaning that they have had special training. OSHA believes that training is an essential part of every employer’s safety and health program for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses.
OSHA also directs national compliance initiatives in occupational safety and health. OSHA’s enforcement efforts include inspections at random hazardous workplaces, investigations based on filed complaints and referrals, and investigations into worksite catastrophes and fatalities to name but a few.
OSHA publishes all of their enforcement case press releases on their website. In January 2015 there were 28 press releases related to enforcement cases in which workers were injured, got sick or even lost their lives due to suspected negligence on the part of their employer. A random sample of just 10 of these case press releases revealed that 9 of the 10 cases mentioned a failure to train employees within each list of violations. The total fines associated with just those 9 cases were in excess of $827, 000!
Would the outcomes have been different if employees were trained? According to OSHA, “researchers conclude that those who are new on the job have a higher rate of accidents and injuries than more experienced workers. If ignorance of specific job hazards and of proper work practices is even partly to blame for this higher injury rate, then training will help to provide a solution.”
Given the extreme emotional and financial consequences associated with OSHA violations, wouldn’t it be wiser and less costly overall to simply invest in training and a training software platform? Providing employee health and safety training, verifying knowledge transfer through testing and assessments, maintaining electronic records of training activities and setting up training reminders – all of these actions can make a difference. Training your employees can result in fewer injuries and illnesses, fewer penalties, lower insurance costs, and better overall employee engagement. Now, do you think perhaps OSHA training should be considered an investment rather than an expense?
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband and her Siamese cat named Elvis, as well as with family and friends.