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Three reasons why safety programs improve productivity

Improving productivity is always a priority for machine shops, primarily in regards to programming and operations. By improving efficiency, output will increase, which ultimately leads to higher revenue (and profits). But did you know that one of the best ways to significantly increase productivity levels stems from your safety programs?

That’s right.

It is abundantly clear that implementing safety training programs is important for all businesses to keep employees safe. But it is crucial to understand just how beneficial safety programs can be, primarily for machine programmers and operators in terms of productivity and efficiency.

Here are three reasons why safety programs can assist with productivity growth.

1. It Teaches Proper Operation Procedures

During safety training, employees are not just taught what to do if an accident occurs. They are taught how to operate dangerous machinery to avoid hazards altogether.  When employees undergo training, they learn how to use machinery and tools correctly. This can eliminate time wasted correcting mistakes, improper setups, and issues caused by improper use.

This is especially important for machine shops that utilize sophisticated and complex machinery. Any mistakes with operations could be catastrophic – both in terms of productivity and costs. Safety programs focus on teaching employees the correct order of operations when using various pieces of equipment, from setup to clean up.

The best way to keep employees safe has always been (and always will be) to use machinery correctly.

By offering safety programs, you can instill proper operation procedures and machine use training. For instance, machine operators will be taught how to turn equipment on and off correctly, how to identify potential issues (such as overheating, jams, or malfunctions), and what PPE (personal protective equipment) to wear during operation.

This, in turn, can help to extend the life of machinery and improve its efficiency through proper use.

2. The Link Between Education, Happiness, and Productivity

According to a report from the National Safety Council, over one-third of workers believed that their employers valued  productivity over safety. When employees do not feel they are important or needed by their employers – or they are able to complete the task at hand – morale and engagement levels decline.

This can eventually lead to dips in productivity, an increase in mistakes, and eventually, high turnover as employees leave for other opportunities. In fact, 40% of employees will leave a job due to poor or insufficient training. However, when employees feel that their employers care about them and prioritize their safety and work experience, their productivity and engagement levels tend to grow.

A report from Gallup found that companies that created a culture of learning and offered more training and development opportunities had more engaged employees. Employees see a lot of benefits from proper safety training – since it keeps them safe and gives them valuable skills. This, in turn, makes them happier, more satisfied, and productive. Businesses which operated with fewer safety incidents and prioritized employee safety were also far more productive and profitable.

The key here is to focus on the benefits that safety programs have to offer employees specifically. These classes can help them improve their skills and knowledge, build more experience, and increase their output. Leaders must also promote machine shop safety by encouraging employees to apply what they have learned practically in day-to-day operations to support this type of culture.

3. Safety Training Reduces Wasted Resources

Safety issues and accidents can result in a lot of lost time, due to issues including (but not limited to):

  • Delays in projects
  • System downtime for repairs
  • Filing incident reports and injury compensation paperwork
  • Hosting safety meetings

This can add up to many hours spent on tasks that are completely avoidable with effective safety programs.

Further, incidents related to workplace safety issues can be extremely expensive. A single on-site injury costs companies an average of $39,000 – with 71% of this amount being indirect costs like lost production time, damaged equipment, and employee turnover.

Safety programs are truly an investment with a significantly high ROI. OSHA estimates companies save between $4 to $6 for every $1 that is spent on safety training courses and programs. This means that a $10,000 investment in safety programs could save the business up to $60,000 down the road!

By incorporating safety training from the beginning, the number of accidents can be greatly reduced – and these wasted resources can be saved.

Conclusion

Safety training cannot merely be a part of your orientation program for new employees – or just something to check off to avoid an OSHA violation. Safety programs are designed to keep employees safe and support efficient operations, so they can avoid issues that result in safety-related accidents.

At the end of the day, employee safety should always be the priority over profits.

However, there is evidence to support that you can increase productivity in your machine shop by creating a safer working environment with effective training programs. For machine operators and programmers, this type of training is incredibly beneficial for both individual employees and the company as a whole.

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