Does your upper management know the importance of EH&S training in your organization?
We’ve all heard the phrase “the devil is in the details”, meaning that small things in plans must be accounted for or they can cause serious problems, right? Applied in the corporate EH&S training space, this phrase and what it entails isn’t always something that upper management, like a CEO, has time for, as their job responsibilities take them away from the tactical day-to-day details that the EH&S professional oversees.
Different levels within an organization have different goals, and therefore it makes selling the benefit of workplace safety to each level a little different. A company may have the goal to increase overall safety within the organization, but the how, why, and when methods would trickle down in different ways to the hierarchy of management and workers.
Regardless of your position in a company, it is always a good idea to put yourself in others’ shoes to see how you can better work together to a common goal; think about what relates to them, what they know. Rather than offering only the facts and statistics, you have to make the information meaningful to end recipient. For the case of upper management, relating the benefits of safety may prove more impactful when related to dollars and cents versus incident rates. That being said, here’s a couple of different ways to approach “the higher ups” in ways they understand when it comes to talking about the importance of safety in your workplace, according to an article in EHS Today:
- Loss of productivity. When a worker is injured, that person is not being productive and may be out of work for some time. The injury may have resulted in damaged equipment, which must be repaired or replaced. A severe accident may shut down part or all of a plant for weeks or months.
- Training and retraining. When a worker is injured, the company may have to expend resources to train that worker for light-duty work or retrain an employee who returns after a long absence. Other workers may have to be trained to fill the opening left by an injured or deceased employee.
- Selection process for hiring new employees. If a worker must be replaced, time and energy must be used to interview and hire someone. In addition to orientation, this can include drug testing, a physical or a background check.
- Morale. Employee morale may drop following an accident. Hart said he has seen instances where workers developed poor safety practices, poor workmanship and a lack of respect for management.
- Legal costs. Accidents can lead to lawsuits. Costs can include lawyer fees and time spent compiling information and attending court proceedings.
- Filling out forms. Time must be expended after an accident to fill out insurance, accident investigation and medical forms.
The bottom line solution to all of this remains the same – EH&S training must meet the needs of the company leadership and fit within the organization’s goals and success. With this in mind, take a look at how HSI can help meet the needs of your entire organization, including upper management.