OSHA 10 certification training saves lives and reduces accidents and illnesses across the building and construction trades.
Three examples from a survey of 195 workers on self-reported actions before and after training concluded that 75% of trainees carried items whilst on ladders before training, and after training only 26% did so, 37% of trainees reported checking a scaffold to see if it was constructed properly before training and post training the percentage had increased to 79%.
Only two-thirds of respondents had asked for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be provided before taking OSHA 10 hour construction training, versus over 90% after training.
Based on interviews with trainees and trainers, there are numerous real stories of OSHA-10 training making a huge difference. The cost savings from accidents averted, run into the millions of US dollars.
Consider this: If training can reduce injuries by just 2% annually, the estimated savings would be $336 million; if reduced by 6%, then more than $1 billion could be saved.
Many of the savings discussed in this article are rarely investigated in other analyses.
Key Benefits of OSHA 10 Training
- OSHA 10 certificate training promotes safer work practices.
- OSHA-10 training helps to prevent accidents and exposure incidents.
- The accident prevention, resulting from OSHA-10 training, saves money for employees, employers, insurers, and ultimately taxpayers.
- The full benefits of OSHA 10 hour construction training have not been properly or fully measured.
- An emerging new paradigm for measuring the full economic and social benefits of OSHA-10 training and other health and safety programs will assist in strengthening the case for strong occupational safety and health programs and culture.
It is clear from the research the profound importance of OSHA-10 training and its contribution to improving the safety and health of all workers.
If only a few percent of falls, trips, electrocutions, and caught-in-or-betweens could be avoided or lessened in severity, not only would many thousands more workers be alive and healthy, but hundreds of millions of dollars would be saved by businesses across the United States.
With an average cost of $210 per trainee and savings per averted incident of well over $100,000, the cost-benefit ratio is extremely positive.
Improved Employee Behaviors from OSHA 10 training
- From the surveys and interviews, it is clear that many more building and construction trades workers are wearing fall protection equipment as well as eye and hearing protection.
- They are talking to their work colleagues about unsafe practices they witness.
- They feel increasingly empowered and are asking about emergency action plans and material safety data sheets.
- They are looking on-line for information about hazards.
- They are checking scaffolds and ladders before using them and have reduced unsafe activities like standing on the top of ladders and carrying things as they climb.
The Costs Associated with lack of OSHA training
Workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities come with a high cost. According to OSHA total direct and indirect costs for injuries range from $20,000 to over $300,000 with indirect costs usually accounting for 50 percent or more of that total.
There is another group of costs that can easily double, or even triple, the direct and indirect totals. In the past, these indirect costs were rarely measured.
These are the social and economic impacts that are additionally incurred because of an incident.
They often involve things like third-party payments, or stress on the victim or their family members. The financial pressures on a family can include the need for a caregiver, the requirement for additional income to fill in the gap between previous earnings and workers compensation, or psychotherapy for family members to cope with a new reality.
Potential Additional Costs for a workplace injury
- When children lose their chance of attending college and the resulting higher future earnings, the impact can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- When an injured worker loses a career path and for the remaining years of their working life is slated for a job earning less per hour, or a job with no retirement benefits, the results can also be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Many of the costs are not usually considered. The statistical costs of each fatality easily exceed $7 million.
- For each death, an additional $300,000 or more was calculated, beyond the OMB statistical value of a human life.
- There is a lot of academic work to do, to fully assess the economic and social costs of OSHA-10 training.
- These costs are just as real as costs associated with hospital stays or lost work days.
- The array of costs and benefits needs a new lens for analysis.
Case Examples: OSHA 10 Certificate training
A 20 year old electrical worker, on a Christmas Eve, trying to get a plant up and running, was working with his superintendent. The superintendent said something and the electrician turned around and his elbow came in contact with the electrical panel. The superintendent grabbed the electrician, but the worker died. Someone got wood to pry the superintendent away from the current. OSHA-10 teaches: when a person is working on a panel or in a box, never talk or interrupt, as a split second or inch of movement can cause death. That lesson, if learned by the superintendent, could have saved the electrician’s life.
Fall Protection Training Saves a Life
OSHA-10 is key in saving the life of a 30 year old glazier, because he and his fellow workers knew, as a result of training, that he had only 15 minutes while dangling at 100 feet in his harness after a fall due to mechanical failure. The worker himself says the motivation for rapid rescue, while hanging suspended, was his knowledge from the walking-working surfaces and fall protection training component of OSHA-10 that he had only 15 minutes to live, unless the rescue was successful.
Economic & Social Benefits of OSHA 10 Hour training
According to OMB estimates, this glaziers death would have had direct and indirect costs of more than $6.7 million. According to OSHA, an injury with multiple injuries, both physical and psychological, would have average direct plus indirect costs of $310,264, and in a firm with a three percent profit margin, would require over $10.3 million in additional sales to cover the cost of the injury.
Averting death, or serious injury, saved at least $300,000 and as much as $7 million.
Not included in these totals are other family impacts that might have been averted by the successful rescue. Long-term care is included in the OSHA estimates, which are averages. In some cases, long-term care for a younger worker can be well over $1 million – certainly beyond the maximum for workers compensation.
In addition, had he died, his children would have been eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. The lack of income might have made his family of 4 survivors eligible for food stamps and Medicaid, say for 5 years until the widow re-established a stable household.
Had he been seriously injured, he might have been eligible for long-term Social Security disability benefits. The family of five would have been eligible for food stamps and Medicaid, say for 5 years until the family re-established a stable household.
In either case, his widow might have required a year of weekly grief counseling and psychotherapy. His children would have been deprived of a parent. In all likelihood the family would have to move to cheaper housing to adapt to the new financial reality, causing many additional disruptions to the family.
OSHA 10 training is often seen as a compliance checkbox, something that ‘needs to be done’ annually to satisfy OSHA. In this article we suggested that OSHA 10 training provides some very real benefits that most employers are simply unaware of.