The world of business and industry can change quickly, as can your organisation. Staff turnover, new product lines or facilities, an expansion — all of these mean change and they can come at you fast.
It is easy for safety training to get overlooked or neglected when your organisation is evolving and growing; however, there are some important reasons as to why it pays to have a regular and ongoing safety training program that ensures your team is always up to date.
The value of staying up to date
Your Safety Management System (SMS) should be a living document that evolves in line with your business, and the procedures you have in place for managing risk need to develop too.
Therefore, your safety training needs to reflect both changes in the business and your evolving workplace safety culture, and so should be regularly updated in order to support the most recent iteration of your SMS. An effective safety culture is created through workforce engagement, and this will only happen when safety training responds to current and ongoing hazards and risks.
Improve staff retention and productivity
A further benefit of regular safety training is that it decreases business disruptions while increasing employee loyalty, both of which have a positive impact on productivity.
The disruption that a business can suffer as a result of a workplace accident can be devastating, both in practical terms and a business’ reputation. A member of the workforce needing time off after an injury can throw production schedules out, while having to suspend operations altogether after an incident, even for a short period of time, can have severe consequences. Regular safety training, however, means that you are taking practical steps to minimise potential risks and hazards, and therefore reducing the possibility that a workplace injury will halt your operations.
At the same time, staff not only work with greater confidence and more efficiency, but are also likely to stay longer with an organisation that takes their safety and well-being seriously. Workforce retention is a vital part of productivity, and so demonstrating your commitment to workplace safety through regular safety training can help you to hold on to experienced staff.
Brand value and corporate responsibility
Following on from this, an organisation that has a good reputation for its safety training and culture will also be viewed positively in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This leads to enhanced brand value and a higher profile, both invaluable (albeit intangible) assets in a competitive business environment. As consumers become more conscious of ethical business practices, a positive reputation for employee safety and wellbeing could in turn produce a competitive advantage.
Fulfilling your WHS obligations
There are also more pragmatic and practical reasons as to why your organisation needs a regular program of safety training. Foremost amongst these is in order to fulfil your legal responsibilities with regard to WHS legislation.
In addition, in the case of a workplace accident or injury, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable steps to reduce risks and hazards so as to create a safe working environment. Providing up to date and relevant safety training for your workforce is a practical way of doing this.
Helping you to build a culture of safety
Barclay Safety Solutions are specialists in providing world-class safety solutions and helping businesses of all sizes to create effective safety cultures.