Delaying, trimming back or even eliminating employee safety training may result in an oncoming flood of new workplace injuries or even fatalities. Along with the danger to employees, businesses face the additional risk of increased OSHA fines, workers’ compensation claims and wrongful injury lawsuits.
Evidence of this hazardous trend can be seen in states like North Carolina, where the number of workplace deaths increased by 31 percent in 2008 after three years of steady decline, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The sagging economy could exacerbate the trend. Labor department officials worry workers could be in greater danger if companies scrimp on safety to make ends meet.
Department spokeswoman Dolores Quesenberry said Wednesday that company training and other safety initiatives are often among the first to go during hard economic times. “That's one of the first messages we want to get to employers: Make sure your employees are trained. It's not worth a life.”
According to a survey of safety professionals by Kimberly-Clark Professional, U.S. workers are putting themselves at risk by not complying with important safety procedures and failing to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
Key findings of the survey:
- 89% of safety professionals have witnessed workers not wearing PPE when they should
- 33% cited compliance with safety protocols as the top workplace safety issue in their facilities
- 34% said the economy affected their worker safety training programs or resources
- 63% of those impacted by the economy said it had led to less money for safety education and training
- 33% of those impacted by the economy said business concerns get more attention than safety concerns during tough economic times
With the cost of work-related injuries in the US totaling more than $50 billion a year, businesses can’t afford to cut any corners when it comes to employee safety training and equipment. The financial burden of just one serious injury or fatality could put your company out of business forever.
As the economy falters, the need for more inexpensive safety training has never been more critical. G.Neil is meeting the challenge with new products that make safety training and OSHA compliance easier and affordable. From forklift training videos to safety posters, our wide variety of products can help you complete mandatory OSHA training without jeopardizing your budget or employee safety.
Press release: Skipping OSHA safety training could spell death for employees