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OSHA Safety Training For The Workplace

Christy Bliss discusses the benefits of OSHA

Christy Bliss ,

Budget. Reduce costs. Increase bottom line. these are words and phrases we hear often in the workplace.  Usually, it is because employees are being asked to reduce costs due to a lower budget.  They need to increase the bottom line with increased productivity without paying overtime to complete the job. These are common scenarios found in the workplace. However, the workplace isn't immune to these scenarios.  It is not unusual to see budget cuts in our government as well.  However, some of these cuts may affect the safety in our workplace and their employees. 

Let's think about this scenario: A sales rep walks into your place of business and gives you a 30 second pitch on their product. The sales rep says to you that they have a way to help increase productivity, decrease injuries, decrease turnover rate, increase morale, and as a result, increase your bottom line. Would you be interested? You would probably say yes but have your doubts.

So, what is this magic product that can do all this for your business? Believe it or not, it's training. It's not just any training, but 10hr or 30hr OSHA safety training.  Empowering your employees with the tools to be safe and understand how to incorporate safety within their daily routine at your place of business will be the best investment your company can make. 

Training is one of those things companies know they must do, but they see it more as a nuisance rather than a benefit.  It's hard to convince employees to take time out of their day to listen to a boring trainer when they know they have work to do.  Well if the training is done right and the company is on board with the benefits the training can provide, then the outcome will be exactly as the scenario stated.

As proposed government budget cuts are swirling around the news for OSHA and the DOL, companies are now faced with the added pressure of how to pay for the safety training.  This is not the first time the government is seeking to reduce the allocated monies to these federal agencies.  In 2013, similar budget cuts were proposed that were due to affect safety training and education in the workplace.  However, this time a direct cut to training is being targeted.  Harwood Grants is a resource for worker safety training for companies.  These grants are potentially going to be eliminated.  Many companies rely on the Harwood Grants to allow them to continue educating their employees on safety without taking that money from their bottom line to do so.  Now companies will have to choose between safety education and their budget. 

Most companies make their decisions based on the bottom line. While money is a key factor, it can't be the sole factor. However, if companies make smart decisions about where to spend their money, it would inevitably impact the bottom line for the positive. Regardless of any cuts that are being made by the government, companies now need to make the smart decision to add training/safety education as part of their budget.  An investment in training is small compared to the costs of workman's comp or hiring a new employee. The return on a company's investment can easily be calculated through the OSHA- safety pays link https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/safetypays/.  Companies can use this link to see how much injuries in the workplace will cost their company.  In addition, it helps to get "buy-in" by those allocating the monies for their budget.

While safety in the workplace may be on the chopping block with the threat of less OSHA inspectors enforcing regulations due to pending government budget cuts, companies still want to continue to do right by their employees and keep them safe.  To do this, they need to find a training that fits in their budget and provides the employees with the information they need to keep them safe.  An OSHA 10hr course can do this for a company for less than $2000 for up to 12 employees. In addition, when employees are safe, the morale increases and productivity increases.  A company's bottom line only gets better when their employees are trained.  It's important that in this time of uncertainty regarding the future of safety regulations that companies seek a viable and affordable option to continue do what's right for their employees.

Northampton Community College has an open enrollment 10hr and 30hr course available October 2-6, 2017 for those who are ready to commit now to safety in their workplace.  Log on to www.northampton.edu/cps and register today!

Christy Bliss is a Program Manager and Adjunct Instructor for Corporate and Public Safety Education at Northampton Community College

Sources:

Smith, Sandy (2017, March 17). The Federal Budget: What it Could Mean for Occupational Safety, Health & Environment. EHS Today. Retrieved from http://ehstoday.com/training/federal-budget-what-it-could-mean-occupational-safety-health-and-environment  

Contributing Editor. (2017, May 26). Slight Cuts for OSHA is Proposed Budget. EHS Daily Advisor. Retrieved from http://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2017/05/slight-cuts-osha-proposed-budget/