When it comes to safety training, the work is never completed. Even when you’ve made significant progress in one area, you will find that there are still problems in another. In addition, as the workplace continues to grow and change, new safety hazards will continue to pop up, requiring your attention.
While this can get discouraging at times, it is always important to look at the positive effects of safety training, and also to look forward into the future to see what types of changes you can expect. There are a number of areas where you can expect to see changes when it comes to workplace safety training in the coming year. Taking some time to learn about them now will help you to be as prepared as possible.
The following are a few key areas where you and your facility are likely going to see some changes. Some of them are internal, and others will be coming from external sources. Whatever the case, doing everything you can to stay ahead of the curve will help the facility to be as safe as possible.
Not surprisingly, it is expected that the rapid rate at which technology advances will continue through 2015 and beyond. This directly impacts safety training in several ways. First, you need to make sure your training programs are taking advantage of the latest technologies. This often means using computer simulations, and even allowing industry trainers to perform a digital training session for your facility.
Another way that technology will impact safety training is by changing the way work is done. Facilities around the world are constantly working on modernizing the workplace, which means a lot of changes that employees will have to adapt to. One thing we all know is that when there is change, there is a significant risk for accident and injury. Keeping the training programs up to date with the changes is essential.
Updated Injury & Illness Reporting Requirements
OSHA and other regulatory agencies have been revamping the requirements put on employers when it comes to reporting accidents and injuries that take place at work. Making sure everyone is trained on what they need to do in the event of an incident is very important.
Remember, it isn’t just the responsibility of the person or people involved in an incident to complete all the reporting. Witnesses, management and others may also be involved in this process. Taking some time to train everyone on what they need to do is going to make sure the reporting all occurs without any problems.
Getting back to Basics
It seems like safety training for the basics in facilities goes in something of a cycle. Companies do a great job focusing on making improvements and maintaining positive changes for a number of years, and then people start to slack off in this area and things start to go downhill again.
For many companies, it will be a priority to get back to basics when it comes to providing safety training in 2015. The following are just a few key areas where companies can take the time to provide refresher training, or show newer employees how things should be done:
Personal Protection Equipment – Few things are as basic as using PPE at work, but many people neglect it because they don’t see its importance. Take some time to cover this topic with everyone, and stress just how critical it can be.
Safety Signs – If you’ve noticed that your safety signs are starting to fall into a state of disrepair or are hard to see, provide refresher training to the maintenance teams, or whoever is responsible for this area. Safety signs aren’t just critical for safety, but area often required by regulatory agencies as well.
Floor Markings – 2015 is a great time to check on basic safety items like floor markings. If you find that floor marking tape is damaged or entirely missing, consider replacing it right away in order to ensure everyone can see it easily. When replacing your floor markings, make sure to check out our lineup of SafetyTac floor markings.
Facility Labels – Most facilities have labels in a variety of locations to quickly convey information. This could be on pipes, containers, doors or just about anywhere else. There have been a number of significant changes when it comes to labeling requirements over the past several years, so take some time to ensure your facility is up to date. Providing safety training on how to make or read these labels is also very important.
Of course, there are many other things in most facilities that can fall under this category. Take some time to go through all of the training that has been provided in the past, and see which areas can benefit from a refresher. It is often the simplest things that can have the most dramatic impact on safety in a facility.
Focus on Overall Employee Health
It seems like nearly every day there is a new report or study that comes out which discusses the negative impact poor health can have on the workplace. When employees aren’t healthy, it costs the facility in many ways.
For example, unhealthy employees are more likely to have serious medical events at work, which puts everyone at risk. They also call in sick more often and may work at a slower pace than healthier colleagues. Of course, unhealthy employees cost more to insure as well.
This is why many companies are looking ahead to 2015 and hoping to implement programs to improve the overall health and wellness of their employees. Many companies are tasking the safety management teams with this type of implementation.
Consider adding diet, exercise and overall health information when planning out your safety training for the year. While it may sound odd at first, the reality is that healthy employees are much safer employees, and anything you can do to help in this area can have a great long term impact.
Hazardous Weather Training
One last item that is likely going to get a lot of attention in 2015 is hazardous weather training. Most people have recognized a trend in severe weather over the past couple years, and experts expect that to continue. Whether it is because of climate change or just a normal cycle in weather patterns, now is a great time to go over weather safety.
Of course, this will start with things like shelter-in-place drills, but you should also cover what employees need to do if they can’t get to work because of snow or other severe weather, or how to keep everyone safe during a major weather event.
This type of training needs to be tailored to your specific geographic area. Take some time to create a weather safety training program for 2015 and make sure everyone is up to speed on how they should respond to any event.
Never Stop Training
Whether you are looking forward to 2015 or back at 2014, the important things it so always keep focused on making improvements to the safety training of your facility. With constant attention and planning, it is possible to dramatically reduce the risks in your facility and keep everyone safe.
Even when it doesn’t sound exciting or even helpful, everyone in the facility will benefit from a well-planned out workplace safety training program.