Complying with and managing OHS is often seen as an increasing burden, one that takes up precious time and money. It’s essential for all businesses to remove this task from the ‘too-hard basket' and make it a priority.
Serious accidents may not be commonplace in workplaces but, when they do happen, they can have a devastating effect. You may lose an experienced worker, face legal compliance issues, spend considerable time conducting internal investigations and experience sharp increases in workers compensation premiums. Changes to legislation, the enforcement of new laws and ongoing scrutiny of how organisations conduct business makes OHS compliance an ever-present obstacle.
Training has long been one of the few ways that organisations can keep on top of OHS compliance and ensure they operate in a safe manner and avoid risks that could harm their employees and jeopardise the business. But providing employees with OHS training is not enough, keeping that training up to date is equally important.
Four reasons why updated training is a crucial part of an effective OHS strategy:
1. It safeguards your business reputation
If you haven’t got your reputation, you have nothing. This is true in life and especially in business. Above all else, protecting your reputation should be the biggest priority of your compliance training strategy. But not keeping your training updated could mean that your workforce or your organisation as a whole is not compliant with current legislation. And if this comes to the attention of an auditor or the relevant authorities, it could be very damaging to your businesses’ reputation. Keeping training up to date gives you the peace of mind that your employees are aware of current compliance policies and regulations.
2. It allows you to better evaluate your training
Regular updating of training provides any organisation with an excellent opportunity to assess and evaluate the impact of their learning and development strategy. Not only is the content reviewed and analysed to ensure it reflects the current regulations and laws but the methods of training, the effectiveness and the overall success of the most recent training can be evaluated and improvements made to make the next training program more successful.
3. It improves the overall quality of training
The majority of organisations implement OHS compliance training programmes but to what standard? In training, the design of a course is imperative and so is the content. Regularly updating your training will give you the chance to improve the overall design of the training as well as the content you include. Topics such as Manual Handling, Dangerous Goods, and Hearing Protection training which may need to be taken annually, can engage and impact more on learners if they are refreshed. This is something that every organisation that takes its OHS training seriously should always consider.
4. It helps to develop a culture of compliance
We often read these days that the key to success in compliance is developing a culture of compliance in your organisation. Investing time and effort in training is an important part of developing a compliance culture. Keeping training up to date sends a message to all employees that OHS compliance is taken seriously in your firm, that it is essential to the success and survival of the business and that everyone involved, from new hires right up to senior management has a duty to comply with laws and regulations in their jobs.
Developing a compliance culture is no easy feat but ultimately, it is those organisations that take OHS compliance seriously, develop effective training programs and are consistent in their efforts to promote the importance of being compliant and safe to their workforce that will be successful.
Would you like to learn more about developing an OHS compliance training strategy for your business?
JTA Health, Safety + Noise provide customised, practical and informative training courses to help you understand and comply with legislative requirements.
We use real situations and incidents from your workplace to highlight key points and drive the message home, strengthening your in-house expertise and assisting you to ensure that your workplace is compliant.