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No matter the task that front-line technicians perform, safety remains the top priority for maintenance and engineering managers. From electrical-system testing and chiller inspections to roof repairs and hazardous materials management, technicians perform a range of duties that present substantial safety risks.
Unfortunately, managers find it challenging to devote enough time and resources to developing a safety-training program. With operating budgets stretched to the limits and workdays packed with meetings, crises and everything in between, managers’ time is at a premium.
The issue becomes more pressing each day as facility operations and technology become more complex and as the laws to protect workers become more far-reaching. The challenge for managers seeking to beef up safety training for their technicians is to identify department safety training needs, locate effective resources, and make sure training pays tangible dividends for both the department and the organization.
Ignoring job site hazards and safe work practices can lead to workplace accidents and higher costs. Effective employee training is a crucial part of an overall facility safety and health program that can reduce these accidents and injuries.
Effective use of training helps communicate safe work practices that employees will follow to avoid job site hazards. Safety training can cover many topics, including regulatory requirements, using personal protective equipment, proper equipment use, safe work practices, and emergency response procedures.
Effective safety training is not an expense to an organization but an investment with a proven return. In fact, managers can expect a return of about $3-6 for every $1 invested in a safety program, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This payback results from lower insurance and workers compensation premiums, lower health care costs, and increased productivity.
Maintenance managers, front-line technicians and upper management also must understand that safety training is good business that benefits an organization's bottom-line. Trying to save a few dollars by ignoring safety training will have a much larger overall cost to an organization in the long run.