If you’re like many employers, you might assume that providing safety training for your new hires is all you need to worry about. But the truth is that safety training should be an ongoing thing, especially in a warehouse or other light industrial environment. Here is how often you really need to provide ongoing training.
In general, plan to provide an annual safety refresher course for all your employees. This may be mandated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), depending on the exact nature of your worksite. But it’s a good idea whether mandated or not, since regular training helps keep safety at the top of everyone’s minds. It also sends the signal that you are serious about workplace safety.
If your workers hold any specific certifications, check to see how often you need to provide retraining to maintain those. For example, CPR certification expires after two years, and First Aid after three. Your workers likely earned those certificates at different times, so you’ll need to keep up with each person’s recertification schedule.
It’s smart to conduct a safety audit now and then to make sure everyone is following best practices. Walk through the worksite and note any unsafe behaviors. Also survey your employees to learn whether they have noticed any ongoing problems and whether they feel like they have adequate safety knowledge. If you find a regular pattern of unsafe practices, hold a special safety training session to address those issues.
While freak accidents are always possible, a workplace incident almost always means that there is a problem in your overall safety plan. Take the time to thoroughly investigate what happened, including what went wrong with your safety program. Then sit down with your employees for a debriefing and retraining session. Be open to their ideas about how to improve safety moving forward.
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