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“Safety Training: Protecting Employees and Organizations” Recap

Monday, Jun 15th, 2020

In March 2020, researchers from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) released a study looking at the training practices of companies in efforts to help determine what might make a safety leader.

As an expert in the safety training industry, SafetySkills was pleased to sponsor this report from ATD, which surveyed hundreds of professionals within a wide range of organization types and sizes. Here are some of the key findings and interesting facts learned from these training, safety and HR professionals.

Key ATD Findings

Graph depicting benefits of safety training

Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents to ATD’s survey felt very strongly about the top benefits of implementing safety training. An overwhelming majority (88%) felt that reduced incidents were the top benefit, followed by reduced fines and sanctions (56% of respondents).

This makes sense, especially when you consider that in 2018 the United States workforce experienced 5,250 occupational fatalities and another 2.8 million nonfatal occupational injuries. The total economic cost of work injuries in 2018 was $170.8 billion.

ATD graph depicting barriers in safety training

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there was no majority when it came to discussing the barriers to effective safety training. Time restraints were most frequently cited (36% of respondents) followed by a geographically dispersed workforce (28%).

Other response options were all noted by at least 1 in 5 respondents, showing that while benefits may be universal, barriers can differ greatly and will be more specific to your industry and worksite.

Many times, safety training is more heavily enforced on lower-level employees than on managers. However, when you train your managers on how to promote safety, you set everyone up for success. 

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ATD found that three-quarters of respondents train managers on safe behaviors while 60-65% trained all managers on how to identify, correct or document unsafe behaviors and conditions. Having all workers on the same page creates a cohesive working environment.

One way an organization can stand out as a safety leader is by offering more training than is required by law. Across the four safety categories outlined by ATD in the survey (employee, workplace, customer, and digital and information), every category saw a majority of respondents say they go beyond requirements for safety training.

Self-paced eLearning survey results

When it comes to how employees receive their safety training, it is clear that technology is highly favored, as 88% of respondents noted they utilize self-paced e-learning. Giving employees the opportunity to learn at their own pace, rather than being forced to sit through potentially hours of classroom training, makes the information far more likely to be retained.

Of course, you can offer all the training in the world, but if you take a “one and done” approach, it is likely your training efforts will go to waste. A majority of organizations noted they offer training at important intervals, such as during onboarding, when regulations are updated or in response to a safety incident, but 82% reported they offer refresher training at regular intervals.

Team Up With the Professionals

One of the biggest challenges for any employer is how to easily — and effectively — get employees trained. Utilizing online safety training can help organizations with each of the topics addressed in the ATD survey and so much more.

Many organizations are turning to online safety training to provide consistent training to their entire workforce, which may be dispersed across many locations, in a way that does not require multiple hours spent in a classroom.

Additionally, there are many factors of traditional training, such as hiring instructors, paying for physical materials, and venue rental or maintenance, that make these methods more expensive for the company. 

By partnering with a safety training professional, you can be sure your employees receive the most up-to-date training information in a way that is likely going to be more cost-efficient for you. Contact SafetySkills today to see how we can kickstart your training program today.

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