Education and training are important tools for managers and workers, assisting them to work safely and productively. From sexual harassment training to physical safety in the workplace, today’s businesses are responsible for assuring that their employees and managers are compliant with the laws and regulations designed to protect employees and the company.
According to OSHA, workplaces with successful safety and health management systems reduce injury and illness costs 20-40%, and employers can save $4.00 to $6.00 for every dollar spent on a safety and health program. Assuring you have the “right” program in place is critical, as it provides managers, employees, and supervisors the following benefits:
- The knowledge and skills needed to do their work safely and avoid creating hazards that could place themselves or others at risk.
- Awareness and understanding of workplace hazards and how to identify, report, and control them.
- Specialized training, when their work involves unique hazards.
According to a 2017 Injury Facts study, the total cost for worker injury was $161.5 Billion in the US. That averaged out to $1,100 per worker. There were 104,000,000 total days of work lost due to injuries that occurred in 2017 and previous years, while 70 million of those days missed came from injuries sustained in 2017 alone. 34 million of the missed days came from injuries sustained in previous years only.
Without question, the cost for missed days on the job via injury are substantial, and especially in jobs that require physical exertion, and therefore, have a higher risk for injury. What is often missed in these calculations are the number of people who become either temporarily or permanently disabled because of their injury, and they have to be replaced (even if temporarily). There is then a substantial cost in recruiting and hiring a replacement. And while a staffing company may provide a competent solution, HR still has to invest time and energy into training that temp worker, to assure they are also compliant and productive.
Additionally, costs arise from the repair or replacement of products, machines, vehicles, and other equipment that might have been damaged in the accidents that injured employees.
Many methods of training today still require sitting in training meetings for long hours, where someone administers the information verbally, with some form of video or slides to support the training. The session typically ends with a piece of paper that must be signed by the employee and the trainer, acknowledging their attendance and “completion” of the training. The gaps in this style of training leave room for issues to arise, such as:
- No guarantee on the content of the training. There may be parts of the content that are accidentally forgotten or missed when someone is speaking live.
- Worker comprehension is not known if a test is not administered.
- There is a paper trail that has to be kept and protected, so it can be found if needed for compliance verification. Let’s face it, HR doesn’t need another sheet of paper in a file.
Like many other HR functions, technology can be leveraged to assure that workers are being trained according to regulations, and that they, in fact, hold a certain level of comprehension on their training. Using content distribution technologies, training can be administered using both videos and slides, on any necessary topic. Workers can watch the training, often times from their own smartphone or computer. The technology records the timestamp of when the employee watched. And to assure that the employee didn’t just turn it on and then walk away to watch TV, a test can be administered following the training to assure comprehension of the subject matter. Following the test, an acknowledgement letter can be signed, showing the worker’s recognition of the training having been completed.
What does this all do? It leaves your training modules and subsequent acknowledgements in one location, with time stamps and assurances of levels of comprehension. Not only does this guarantee a better training process for the worker, but it also establishes a digital trail for the company to show documentation that meets compliance standards. So the outcome of leveraging technology in your workplace safety and training is:
- The content is recorded, so it can be verified what was taught, also guaranteeing that it’s being administered identically for every employee.
- Worker comprehension is assured via the test administered after the training. If the test is not passed, next steps are executed to either make the worker go through training again, or to retake the test. Assuring completion, all of the subsequent steps will also be recorded.
- The digital footprint of the training is protected in the cloud, assuring that all of the documentation is kept safe and accessible.
- This removes the gaps in compliance required for workplace safety and training.
Finding the right HR technology to handle your HR functions is incredibly important to the safety of your workplace. Training is an essential component to the success of your employees, and with the right technology platform, you can guarantee their training, and assure that your company is maintaining compliance!
Ben Olson is the Chief Technology Officer of Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, workforce management solution named Xenqu. Essium’s Xenqu Software leverages our Smart Content Technology to organize everything related to your workforce in one secure, digital file using the latest cloud-computing technologies and architectures.