Accidents happen in the workplace even after safety training

Nov 07 2017

Can you remember the last time you attended safety training at work? It may have been an early morning for you, and the droning voices or late 80s training videos started to lull you to sleep. One elbow is resting on the table, your head resting on your hand, and that’s all it takes to let your attention wander as you struggle not to fall asleep.

Safety training may not be the most exciting part of a job, but they are essential to keeping you safe. Your employer should be offering regular instructions to all employees to help avoid workplace accidents and injury. But what happens when they did provide training, and an accident still occurs?

Workplace training can affect unsafe acts

OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, can investigate an accident and recognize if an ‘unsafe act’ occurred in the workplace, or have these acts brought to their attention by the employer. Sometimes these unsafe actions are even known by the managers or employer, but they let the behavior continue, which can lead to a worker getting injured.

When an accident or injury still occurs at a place of work, OSHA or insurance companies may look at who, or what, is to blame. This could mean:

  • The employer is at fault for not offering employees safety training
  • The employer is at fault because training did occur, but the content is ineffective, not up to standards, not in the languages needed for an employee to understand, or not correct for the types of equipment used
  • The employee is at fault for not attending the full training or clarifying parts they did not understand
  • The supervisors or managers are at fault for allowing unsafe behavior to continue or not having every employee complete the entire training

As an employee, it is vital to complete full safety training and to understand how to stay safe on the job. Then, if an accident or injury does occur while at work, you have met employee requirements and may be less likely to run into issues when filing worker compensation claims. So the next time that safety video or demonstration drones on, try your best to pay attention—in the event of a workplace injury, your future self will thank you for it.