It is an unfortunate fact that every year thousands of construction employees are injured on the job. According to OSHA’s reports, the leading cause of serious injury and even deaths on construction sites are falls, strikes from objects, electrocutions, and accidents involving equipment or construction materials. These account for nearly 5,000 fatalities every year.
While some of these accidents are unavoidable, many are due to a lack of proper construction safety training programs and implementation. Clearly, many of the most common fatalities and injuries can be avoided with better safety training and enforcement.
However, many construction companies are currently lacking when it comes to effective safety training. In an effort to cut costs, many cut corners with construction safety programs. The latest reports found that just 20% of construction firm leaders believed that their safety training courses were truly successful.
Typical construction safety training programs educate all employees and supervisors on ways to avoid these common dangers and pass OSHA safety inspections. However, exhaustive safety training programs go deeper than just covering the basics. These courses are designed to ensure that workers know proper communication, equipment handling, and various procedures to reduce safety risks on construction sites.
But construction safety training programs offer numerous benefits in addition to reducing safety risks and ensuring that the site passes an annual safety inspection. This means that the money spent towards better safety training is guaranteed to pay off.
Here are just a few more reasons why comprehensive construction safety training is vital for the success of any construction project.
Lowered Injuries Lead to Lowered Costs
Injuries and accidents on the job can be quite expensive for construction businesses. Employees are typically required to receive medical leave pay or worker’s compensation for all medical costs.
On average, it costs businesses $1,100 per injured worker and up to $41,000 if the injury requires medical care such as surgery or physical therapy. Furthermore, businesses lose 70 million hours of work due to on-site accidents. For a construction company, that can set both the budget and timeline back significantly.
Additionally, a new employee will need to be hired as their replacement. These accidents may come with other related costs, such as broken equipment repairs or material loss.
Many construction companies look at training as an expense. But in reality, it is an investment. OSHA estimates that for every $1 spent on construction safety training, a business recoups between $4 to $6 in additional related lowered costs. By incorporating better on-site training, construction businesses can save themselves thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours every single year.
Higher Engagement and Lower Turnover Rates
Countless studies have shown that engaged employees are happier, less likely to leave for another job, and overall, more productive. But getting employees engaged can be quite challenging – especially for a construction company. Surprisingly, offering better safety training may be the perfect solution.
A recent report from O.C. Tanner found that employee engagement increased by nearly 350% when workers felt that their workplace was safe and free from safety risks. This also led to a 154% increase in their work quality and overall job satisfaction.
Additionally, offering construction safety training with refresher courses is extremely beneficial for employees’ personal careers. Comprehensive safety training programs often allow for specialized education for specific positions or equipment, such as:
- Crane and rigging training
- Forklift operations
- Oil and gas safety training
- NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) training and certification
- Structural ironwork
- Safety professional training
- Crew leader and project supervisor training
Offering extensive training and prioritizing the health and safety of employees is one way to encourage greater engagement. Courses like these can help individual employees advance their careers within the business and expand their skills and knowledge. Employees who work for businesses that offer this type of training are often more likely to stay with the company. This, in turn, helps to reduce turnover and additional hiring costs.
The only way to ensure that a construction site is hazard-free is by offering effective and exhaustive safety training to everyone. There are no excuses for companies to miss the mark with their construction safety programs. Not only does this type of training ensure employee safety, but it also offers countless benefits financially in the long-run.