Safety should be a top priority of any business owner; regardless of industry, all employees deserve to work in a safe and healthy environment. At the same time, the costs of implementing comprehensive employee safety programs can be quite high, leaving many business owners and training managers in a difficult position. And often times, getting approved for the funding needed to implement a new safety program or revamp an existing program can be especially challenging because the benefits of these programs aren’t always immediately and easily measured.
Still, there are many ways in which having a sound safety training program in place can not only reduce instances of workplace injuries and deaths, but provide a substantial return on investment (ROI) at the same time. in fact, one study estimates that for every dollar spent on safety training efforts in the workplace, injury prevention returns can range anywhere from $2 to $6. You’d be hard-pressed to find any business owner who wouldn’t gladly spend $1 now to save up to $6 later on, but unfortunately, many business owners have a hard time understanding the logic in spending thousands of dollars (or more) on safety training to potentially save tens or hundreds of thousands down the road.
Perhaps one of the best ways for safety training managers to help business owners and other higher-ups understand the potential ROI on improved safety training is to take a much closer look at the expenses associated with injuries and deaths in the workplace.
Specific risks can vary greatly from one industry to the next, but there are a number of common accidents and injuries that happen on-the-job and that can cost a business substantially.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of injury in the workplace. This can include anything from accidents involving delivery drivers to those involving motorized equipment on-the-job. Either way, a single motor vehicle accident alone can easily cost a company around $70,000.
Slip-and-fall accidents are another common injury category that run rampant across just about all industries. These incidents are especially common in workplaces where liquids are often handled (and thus spilled), including the restaurant industry. Some common injuries associated with slip-and-fall incidents include broken bones, fractures, herniated discs, and bruised tailbones. The average cost of a slip-and-fall injury? Over $42,000.
Unfortunately, burns are yet another common type of accident in the workplace; these are most common in manufacturing and industrial jobs, but can also occur in the restaurant and hospitality industries quite frequently. Even one isolated incident of an employee being burned in the workplace can cost a company upwards of $38,000.
These figures don’t even touch on the tragedy of a death caused by an accident in the workplace, which can easily total up to $1.42 million per incident.
When an employee becomes injured on-the-job, there are many different types of expenses that can come into play—and that often become the burden of the employer. For starters, it’s important to consider medical expenses related to the accident. This may include the cost of ambulance or other transportation to the hospital at the time of the accident, as well as diagnostic and treatment costs (both immediate and ongoing). If the employee needs physical therapy or any other type of ongoing care for recovery, this can also add to the expenses. If an employee is unable to work as a result of his or her injuries, the employer may also be on-the-hook for reimbursing the worker for lost wages.
There are also the potential administrative expenses and legal costs that can go into a workplace injury. And of course, if a code violation is determined to be the cause of the incident, it is possible that the employer could be penalized or otherwise fined for the event.
With all this in mind, it’s easy to see how quickly those costs can add up—even for an isolated incident.
More than ever, it’s important for safety training managers and business owners alike to view safety training programs as a long-term investment and a moral obligation for providing employees with the tools they need to maintain safe workplaces. Aside from the long-term $2-$6 return on investment workplaces can enjoy for every single dollar spent on safety training, employers can also enjoy the added benefits of improved workplace morale that inherently comes with working in a safe and healthful environment. With better safety training, workers can feel more confident in performing their jobs safely, which may also help to improve employee retention. And of course, with fewer workplace incidents and injuries, the reputation of the company benefits as well.
Employers should also understand that while it will cost some money up-front to develop and implement an effective safety training program, there are ways to do this in a cost-effective manner. These days, for example, many companies are turning to the use of microlearning modules for their workplace safety training. This innovative form of training is affordable to create (and update as needed), and the conciseness of each module helps to improve engagement and increase overall information retention by as much as 20%. Microlearning is especially effective for adult learners because it’s flexible enough to suit the needs of different learning styles; furthermore, because these modules can be accessed from nearly any device, employees can find time in their busy lives to “squeeze in” training at home or on-the-job.
From a cost standpoint, business owners will enjoy the fact that microlearning modules are extremely versatile because they can be used as a standalone training resource, as a performance support tool, or as a combination of both. And because these modules are focused on shorter, more accessible training, man hours needed to implement the program are reduced (as is the amount of time employees spend in formal training scenarios).
A little bit of investment in a company’s employee safety training can go a long way in any industry. If your business is looking for a cost-effective way to enhance your employee safety training and reduce instances of workplace injury, microlearning modules are a smart resource to consider.
To find out more about what we can do to help you reduce injuries, save lives and improve your organization’s bottom line, contact the IMPROV® Learning team today.