Optimizing Manufacturing Safety

Given the seriousness of workplace hazards (e.g., machine guarding and electrical hazards) and the potential for injury, there’s no doubt how vital safety is on the manufacturing floor. Still, many businesses don’t realize just how costly one workplace injury can be. When all is said and done, injuries can cost business owners hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the extra expense to pay for injuries negatively impacts a company’s bottom line. As a result, it’s crucial for businesses to invest in employee safety training to avoid increased costs and keep employees safe and healthy.

The following are ways organizations can optimize their training initiatives and ensure employee buy-in:

  • Use a learning management system (LMS). An LMS can help manage training, reduce documentation errors and mitigate safety risks. Specifically, an LMS helps automate record-keeping practices, giving businesses a way to easily track training records and discover potential gaps in employee safety education.
  • Make training interactive. Encouraging employee interaction during training not only helps with engagement, but it can also promote active feedback. Using interactive training, employers can better understand whether or not safety training is resonating with workers. This, in turn, allows employers to adjust how they present safety information on a continuing basis.
  • Use real-world examples in training efforts. To promote employee understanding, it’s important for employers to reference hazards specific to tasks workers will perform regularly. Specifically, employers should incorporate videos and pictures of the job site on which they will be working. This helps make training materials less generic and more relatable.
  • Institute on-the-job training practices. Even after going through a formal training process, employees will likely have questions on the job floor. To ensure employees know where to go when they have questions and have access to the resources they need to do their job safely, on-the-job training is a must. Employees should be given step-by-step instructions on operating machinery and performing other job tasks from other experienced workers. Doing so reinforces formal training efforts and gives workers a chance to ask questions that may not have come up during their initial onboarding.

Investing in training and making efforts to continually improve employee education is critical. Not only does this help workers understand key safety topics, but it also helps prevent on-the-job injuries. Above all, it’s important to not only train new employees but also to perform ongoing safety training as new hazards are introduced into the workplace.