Proper Training a Must for Employee Safety

Posted By: Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME on August 21, 2018

Proper training a must for employee safety

One of the biggest reasons for production slowdowns is workplace injuries. And one of the biggest reasons for workplace injuries is lack of employee training.

Picture the following scenario, which is happening with increasing regularity as aging Baby Boomers leave the manufacturing workforce. One of your best workers, who’s been with your company for years and knows your operation inside and out, retires. Replacing that worker will require screening, HR time, onboarding and training — including safety training.

Safety training

The good news: According to the latest Tooling U-SME Industry Pulse: Manufacturing Workforce Study, 95 percent of respondents incorporate safety training into their onboarding and qualification of new employees. The not-so-good news: Only 56 percent incorporate performance evaluation of critical job tasks with structured evaluation criteria, meaning that 44 percent may or may not know if employees are performing their job tasks safely and correctly. That can obviously lead to problems — big problems.

Another area of risk is that only 44 percent of respondents educate on-the-job training (OJT) trainers, and only 29 percent validate trainers’ teaching skills — critical steps when you’re teaching something as important as how to stay safe on the job. Obviously, manufacturers have significant opportunities to improve their overall approach to developing trainers and training programs. Training trainers to deliver effective OJT, and validating their teaching skills, are essential factors in ensuring that the training offered to new hires and incumbent workers is safe and effective. By incorporating a structured evaluation process, employers can easily assess whether the training has resulted in the required competencies.

Manufacturing safety

Keeping workers safe is serious business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, roughly four in 100 manufacturing workers are injured or become ill on the job every year. And of the 10,000 severe injuries that occur annually in the workplace, the highest proportion is found in the manufacturing sector. Not only are companies that don’t prioritize safety putting their employees at physical risk, they are exposing themselves to financial risk. According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling nonfatal injuries at U.S. businesses add up to $60 billion in direct compensation costs per year — or more than $1 billion per week.

It's clear that well-trained employees reduce downtime and safety issues, ultimately increasing productivity, decreasing financial risk, and allowing companies to grow. To find out how we can help you train your employees, call 866.706.8665.

Subscribe to the Tooling U-SME Accelerate Blog and you’ll receive an advanced copy of the complete Industry Pulse: 2018 Manufacturing Workforce Report on Monday, September 10.

To read more about the results of our Industry Pulse: 2018 Manufacturing Workforce Study, click on the stories below:

Manufacturers Drive Productivity with a Skilled Workforce (July 31, 2018)

New Technology Requires Advanced Workforce Training (Aug 9, 2018)

Workforce Study: Formalized Training Reduces Scrap and Rework (Aug 14, 2018)  

Product Quality Rises with Increased Workforce Training (Aug 28, 2018)


Tags: downtime, manufacturing, productivity, risk, safety, "Tooling U-SME", training, "workplace injuries"