When you measure the success of your health and safety program, you probably look at indicators like accident rates, training participation, and workers’ compensation modifiers. All of these are good measures of how well your program is addressing workplace hazards. But the impact of a strong workplace health and safety program goes beyond your own employees and your own workplace.
Here are some ways that the benefits of your health and safety training are walking right out the door of your workplace and into your community.
Saving Lives in Your Workplace
Sometimes, the life your workers save won’t be a coworker’s life. Workers at the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, New York, found that out last year, when a contractor suffered a massive heart attack at the facility. Workers were on the scene quickly, beginning cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) right away and setting up the plant’s automated external defibrillator (AED). Eleven of the workers were honored in December at the Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast for their quick thinking.
The workers credited their training with preparing them to save a life; one worker noted that he’d been through years of training before he needed to use it. And when he did, it wasn’t the result of a work-related accident, but rather, a quick-thinking response to an unrelated medical emergency.
Saving Lives in the Community
First responders often take their training into the community with them, even when they’re off duty. Doctors respond to in-flight medical emergencies; nurses help car accident victims at the scene; policemen foil robberies off duty. Sometimes, your workers can save lives simply by being trained to recognize a hazard. That’s how off-duty firefighter Lonnie Wimmer saved thirty lives in December 2016. While he was dining at a local restaurant in Clemmons, North Carolina, Wimmer noticed increasing numbers of people feeling nauseated and complaining of headaches. It could have been a coincidence … but Wimmer called his department and had them test the air. The restaurant’s heating system had malfunctioned, and carbon monoxide levels were rising. Because Wimmer acted, the problem was identified, and no one suffered serious harm.
Taking Safety Home
Many of the safety lessons you teach your workers can be used in their homes, making families and communities safer. Workers can use chemical safety training to make sure they’re storing flammable and toxic household chemicals—like gasoline and pool chemicals—safely. The same rules that apply to portable ladders, powered hand tools, ergonomics, hearing protection, eye and face protection, and fire safety in the workplace are easily implemented in their homes.
When you teach your workers how to recognize hazards and emergencies and take steps to protect themselves and those around them, you don’t just make them better workers. You make them better citizens, and you make a better community. So, go ahead and tell them to take the training you’ve provided, and head on out the door!