5 reasons to provide OHS training to your employees
Are you thinking about providing OHS training to your current and future employees? There are a number of reasons why this is a fantastic idea – here are just five!
1) To reduce absenteeism
In Australia, levels of absenteeism are 25 per cent higher than those recorded in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
This is according to the 2013 Absence Management and Wellbeing survey, conducted by Direct Health Solutions (DHS), which involved approximately 450,000 employees and employers from 108 businesses across the country.
The survey reveals that, on average, employees in Australia take 8.93 days of sick leave each year. Interestingly, manual workers are more likely to take sick leave than non-manual workers, racking up 9.2 days of sick leave each year compared to 7.8 days of sick leave.
Out of the employers who took part in the survey, 71 per cent said they believed absenteeism was a "significant cost" on their businesses. They were right – it's estimated to cost businesses around $2,741 per employee each year.
When an employee is absent – even for a day – you are paying them, but they're not making a contribution to your business.
The longer they are away, the more pressure it places on your other workers to "fill the gap". It will also affect deadlines and impact customers, and may even necessitate the recruitment of a new employee.
The Department of Employment explains that having effective OHS processes in place is proven to reduce absenteeism, which means they could save you hundreds of thousands in sick leave costs.
Of course, the best way to ensure these OHS processes are not only introduced but also implemented correctly is by educating your employees through OHS training.
2) To develop and implement a risk management strategy
A comprehensive risk management strategy can help your business handle any dangerous situations that arise efficiently and effectively.
To develop one, your employees will need to have the skills and knowledge to recognise hazards in the workplace and make a note of them.
They will then have to come up with a plan for managing each individual hazard, keeping in mind how likely particular objects or activities are to cause injuries, and how great their potential to cause damage is.
If your employees undergo OHS training, they will be able to develop and implement a risk management strategy. This should reduce the number of serious accidents that occur in your workplace, keeping your staff healthy and safe.
It could also lower your business insurance premiums and workers' compensation costs, which – like reducing absenteeism – could save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
It's important to remember that your business's risk management strategy is not a "set-and-forget" type of document. On the contrary, it should be changing along with your workplace, to make sure it's always up-to-date and adequately covers all of the hazards – both old and new – in your business.
This means your employees should be taking part in OHS training on a regular basis, too, so their knowledge of OHS best practices is current.
3) To improve your reputation
If your business is associated with exemplary OHS practices and well-trained employees, this could boost your reputation within the sector you're operating in, which in turn could give you a significant advantage over your competitors.
In addition to this, it will make your business more attractive to customers, potential investors and partners, as well as your current staff and job seekers.
If employees regard your business as a safe and healthy place to work, they are more likely to want to join your team, as well as stay with it for longer.
According to a recent study conducted by recruitment company Hays, professional development such as OHS training is one of the keys attracting job seekers – especially those in Generation Y (that is, workers born between the early 1980s and the 2000s).
The survey involved more than 1,000 job seekers who fell into this age bracket. They were asked what factors helped them to decide between prospective employers and, lo and behold, training and development won by a landslide.
A total of 53 per cent said whether a business provided training and development was the first thing they considered when decided to accept a job offer. It beat out benefits (41 per cent), flexibility (37 per cent), the ability to progress quickly (31 per cent) and a defined career path (29 per cent).
So, if you're looking to secure the creme de la creme of Generation Y workers that a currently looking for work, OHS training could be an easy way to do it!
4) To fulfill your legal obligations
While each state and territory has its own OHS rules and regulations, the bottom line is that all employers are required to provide their workers with sufficient OHS training to perform work tasks in a safe way.
Naturally, the more dangerous the industry in which you're operating is, the more strict the OHS rules and regulations. For instance, in the construction industry it's important for each employee to possess a white card (formerly known as a green card) before conducting work on site.
Your employees can receive a white card by undertaking the necessary OHS course at a registered training organisation, such as AlertForce. The course is quite straightforward and covers a wide range of topics.
These include how to identify any risks you come into contact with on site, how to safely manage those risks, how to put safety measures in place and ensure other workers both understand and follow them, and an overview of the OHS rules and regulations in your particular area.
Your workers can complete the required training in as little as a day, making them able to perform any and all tasks on site and ultimately much less of a liability to you and your business.
5) To make your workplace safer
In the end, OHS training is all about making your business a safe and healthy place to work.
According to business.gov.au, as an employer you are obliged to provide your staff with the following things: safe premises, safe equipment and machinery, safe work processes and systems, "suitable working environment and facilities" and – most importantly – all the information, supervision and training they need to make it through the day in one piece.
If you introduce all of these into your business, you will be able to prevent or reduce the number of people who suffer from work-related injuries or are killed, improve long-term productivity and even "foster innovation, quality and efficiency through continuous improvement," according to the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-22.
Would you like to learn more about the OHS training courses that are available to your business? Then get in touch with the team at AlertForce today!
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