The Importance of OSHA Training in the Workplace

In an effort to protect workers from workplace hazards, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act  (OSHA) in 1970.

Mandating safe and healthy working conditions for American workers, OSHA was designed to enforce the standards set forth by Congress, educate employers about the importance of workplace safety, and help train employees so that they stay healthy and safe while on the job.

However, many people are unsure as to why OSHA training is so critical in the workplace. After all, most employers have their own safety training in place to prevent accidents.

Why add additional work in the form of OSHA training?

Well, today we look at why OSHA training is so important to the safety of employees nationwide.

1. Basic Protection

Currently, there are no federal laws (save for OSHA) mandating that employers keep their employees safe from workplace hazards that can cause health issues, physical harm, or even death.

By enforcing the OSHA Outreach Training Program in the workplace, both employer and employees learn to recognize, avoid, and prevent safety and health hazards while working.

2. Employee Rights

Many employee rights exist in the United States to protect the interests of workers from unsavory employers. For example, the enforcement of minimum wage, requirement of health coverage, access to unemployment benefits, and whistle-blower protection all exist to help protect employees.

Adding to that, OSHA is in place to minimize dangers associated with workplaces. With OSHA training in the workplace, employees learn about their rights as they relate to OSHA, so that should their employer put them at risk in any way that violates OSHA, they know how to file a proper complaint.

3. Financial Reasons

Employers that operate businesses with a high risk of injury want to make sure their employees understand the repercussions for not following the safety rules.

Companies want to make a profit. However, if employees fail to follow the safety precautions put in place, the company becomes liable for injuries that happen on the clock. Workers’ comp claims, hospital bills, legal disputes, and insurance costs will eat away at a company’s profits.

By implementing an OSHA training course, employers can rest assured their employees understand their responsibilities in the workplace. This reduces the number of on-site accidents and helps the bottom line.

4. Workplace Morale

Employees are notorious for being more productive when they feel their employer appreciates the work they do and genuinely cares about their well-being. By getting employees involved in OSHA training, employers not only help employees to be safer, but they also boost their morale.

This is because any employer that takes the time and invests the money to train their employees to be safer must really care about them. And, with high employee morale comes more productivity and less workplace accidents. In the end, understanding the importance of workplace safety instills a sense of pride in employees.

5. Company Reputation

If you run a company that is known for having a dangerous workplace, and your safety record is shoddy, you can bet customers will be less likely to work with you.

For instance, general contractors with a bad rap for having on-site accidents are not going to fare well in bidding wars if customers are attuned to this. That’s because no one wants the added liability, or the stress that comes with on-site accidents. This is especially true if the work being performed is in a customer’s personal residence.

Plus, it’s unprofessional and downright wrong not to properly train and protect your employees from workplace hazards.

In the end, OSHA training is important for workplaces that are prone to health and safety issues due to the nature of the job.

And, while the job may not be inherently dangerous at all times, training your employees how to recognize, avoid, and prevent workplace accidents is going to benefit your company in the long run.

Images Source:
Workplace Safety – https://pixabay.com/en/industrial-security-logistic-1636390/
OSHA Poster – https://www.osha.gov/Publications/poster.html

Cathy Habas
Cathy Habas
[email protected]

Freelance writer, editor and translator based in Louisville, Kentucky.

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