Reduce Occupational Injuries With Industrial Safety Training

Industrial Safety Training Saves Money on Lost Hours and Medical Expenses

One effect of workplace accidents—which can cost companies an average of $350,000—is twofold: safety training is an absolute must for industrial jobs, and the ROI is worth it, substantially.

Overall, fatal workplace accidents in the U.S. are declining. But the numbers are still huge and pretty scary. More than 4,000 Americans die from on-the-job injuries every year, and each year sees more than 3 million non-fatal accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Not only that, but the annual cost of occupational accidents is over $170 billion.

For some small businesses, injuries are a once-a-year fluke. For others, it’s an understood risk. Industrial jobs at manufacturing plants and the like are prey to workplace injuries by their very nature.

The industrial workforce truly relies on the protection of OSHA regulations and inspections—whose effectiveness is constantly called into question. A study by professors from the Harvard School of Business of OSHA’s random workplace inspections revealed that companies who received random inspections showed a 9.4 percent decrease in occupational injuries. The effect on a business’s bottom line was alarming. On average, each company saved $350,000 on medical expenses and lost wages. The results are convincing, but merely being aware of a problem doesn’t guarantee a timely fix or solution. Some companies don’t have the resources or budget to complete the scrolls of paperwork and conduct the follow-up inspections left in OSHA’s wake.

A cost-effective way to address the issue is investing in industrial safety training. Industrial plant safety training will reduce occupational accidents in and of itself, but it will also help companies pass OSHA inspections and correct existing problems. If you don’t have the time or funding to train an entire team, industrial safety manager training will give one person the ability to impart advanced industrial safety practices to other workers.

Quality supervision and industrial management skills are also critical to reducing accidents at work. It’s estimated that 88 percent of injuries that occur on the job are a result of human factors or mistakes, which means most are probably preventable with more worker education and industrial safety courses. The cost of industrial skills training tends to be worth it because it saves money on other avoided expenses, like the fines, reviews, and inspections that often follow injuries requiring hospitalization. Boeing, who has been fined by the stringent state of Washington for workplace accidents, knows this all too well.

Safety training also helps uncover compliance issues before officials do, or worse, before a hardworking adult gets severely injured.

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Factories Scour for Skilled Workers to Sustain Production

Expanding Manufacturing Must Train Workers to Meet Demand

As factory orders rise, the manufacturing industry has jobs to fill and a lack of skilled workers. Despite the potential for high-paying salaries, manufacturing positions don’t have the allure they used to.

Manufacturers are both elated and scared. The economy is stirring, manufacturing is gearing up and yet, owners are getting worried. Orders are coming in and production is increasing, all according to plan—but the workforce isn’t catching up.

Director of the New Jersey Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network, Meredith Aronson, reports that manufacturers “are coming back,” except there aren’t enough qualified workers to keep up the pace. Nostalgia aside, the manufacturing sector has the potential to curb unemployment if—and only if—unemployed workers get the manufacturing training they so desperately need. And boy, do they need it.

Throughout plants across the Southeast, Advanced Technology Services (ATS) hired more than 1,000 workers that required manufacturing plant training to maintain computer-controlled equipment. The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance is pleased to see a comeback. From 2011 to 2012, South Carolina alone added 9,500 manufacturing jobs, and many of them need technical skills and safety training.

Although ATS staffs factories throughout the U.S., the company sees the highest demand for skilled workers in the Southeast, from Illinois down to Mississippi and Georgia. Georgia’s manufacturing industry saw real growth in 2010, but Republican Gov. Nathan Deal recognizes the necessity to educate the workforce with maintenance and industrial safety training to sustain recovery.

Gov. Deal responded with a marketing partnership promoting careers in manufacturing among Georgia youth called Go Build Georgia. The stigma working against the manufacturing trade tends to make young people and their parents shy away from factory jobs and plant work, but these jobs can be lucrative. Technical colleges with two-year degrees and multi-craft maintenance training can yield $55,000 a year salaries right out of the gate. Of course there are some discrepancies.

High-tech manufacturing positions—aka computers, electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace products—pay more than low-tech manufacturing jobs. In fact, a geographic layout of manufacturing salaries done by MSNBC said the rate of pay is determined by the kinds of factories operating in the region.

The top 6 areas that report the highest-paying manufacturing gigs are as follows:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (Silicon Valley)

Average manufacturing wage: $144,899

Industry focus: computers and electronics

2. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

Average manufacturing wage: $95,507

Industry focus: aerospace, machinery, computers and electronics

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

Average manufacturing wage: $91,761

Industry focus: computers, electronics, food and pharmaceuticals

4. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Average manufacturing wage: $88,026

Industry focus: computers and electronics

5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.

Average manufacturing wage: $87,502

Industry focus: computers, electronics and pharmaceuticals

6. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H.

Average manufacturing wage: $82,415

Industry focus: computers, electronics, fabricated metals and food

Although this data might be somewhat skewed by a few top-level employees, and the cost of living has an impact, these salaries show the room for growth among high-tech manufacturing. We’ll bet some if not all of these regions have invested in factory education and plant maintenance training.

“Re-shoring” Efforts Yield Job Growth in Manufacturing

U.S. Manufacturing Reclaims Some Outsourced Jobs

The manufacturing sector continues to provide some significant job growth, but will it be enough when the workforce lacks basic industrial training?

The Obama administration is still hopeful that the manufacturing push will yield jobs and more American-made goods. Well, it looks like some of these efforts are paying off. Gradual improvements in the manufacturing industry made some changes appear insignificant, but economists argue the manufacturing sector has been a major and reliable source of growth in the economy since the Great Recession.

Data from the Department of Labor seems to agree.

Plant work and manufacturers created 120,000 jobs in the first three months of the year. Ford Motor is doing their part; the car company added 5,500 jobs this year that were previously outsourced. Ford reacquired the production of certain high-tech components used to assemble hybrid cars—like battery packs and transmissions—from Japan and Mexico. But automakers aren’t the only ones bringing jobs back to the states; mega corporations and small private companies alike are reclaiming jobs.

Chesapeake Bay Candles will now actually be from the Chesapeake Bay-area. GE is continuing its reign of expansion to appliances, aviation and locomotives. Last year alone, GE added 10,000 jobs. The multi-industry giant is projecting at least another 900 factory jobs by 2013. So, maybe the recent jobs report wasn’t a clear indication of the whole economic recovery picture. But if plants and factories are to make the most of new hires—and sustain ramped-up production—they need to invest in manufacturing plant training.

The second part of creating manufacturing jobs is enabling the workforce through education and industrial safety training. Not enough businesses see the value of in-sourcing because a large segment of the unemployed doesn’t have the necessary skill sets. Last year reported a record-breaking number of U.S. exports of nearly $20 billion, part of which is thanks to the construction/mining equipment maker Caterpillar (CAT). Since their heavy-duty construction equipment, especially mining machinery, has global appeal, they increased production efforts in the U.S. and put more money in the national pocket. But, increased production doesn’t mean much if workers don’t have manufacturing training.

According to CNN Money, the American workforce is at its smallest size since the 1980s. Although there has been some significant job growth, many have just stopped “engaging” with the job market—aka “job market dropouts.” It appears some adults have temporarily conceded to unemployment and returned to the drawing board for community college classes and technical skills, like manufacturing plant training. Job skills depreciate the longer someone is out of work and vocational education seems to be the only option left.

To offset the economic imbalance caused by discouraged “dropouts,” various sectors (especially the reliable manufacturing industry) must invest in the unofficially unemployed through industrial safety training, electrical training, operations training and more. Long-term investments yield more jobs, national revenue and exports, and America desperately needs all three.

Manufacturing Industry Needs Education, Not Nostalgia

Invest in Human Capital Through Industrial Training

Economists are nostalgic for the Golden Age of American manufacturing. But times have changed – we must invest in human capital through industrial training to see new growth.

American economists can be as nostalgic as fans re-watching “The Bodyguard” or recalling dozens of New Year’s Eves with “the world’s oldest teenager.” Some of us are awash with a sense of loss for Whitney Houston and Dick Clark. Well, some economists can’t help but long for America’s manufacturing prime—that era from the 1950s to the 1970s when the economy was robust and inflation was a mere blip. Jobs sprouted like weeds, income levels were strapped to rocket ships and the words ‘Made in America’ meant something.

Unfortunately, economists touting a return to the golden age of American manufacturing are somewhat mistaken, but their wistfulness snagged the attention of yet another president.

President Obama continues efforts to jumpstart American manufacturing in hopes that factory jobs will start growing on trees. He’s made some impact, but not nearly enough. Finance professor and international trade expert Jeffrey Bergstrand says the manufacturing decline cannot be reversed. It can only be stabilized. To be frank, labor costs in the U.S. will never compete with Latin America and parts of Asia. Low-technology manufacturing will never be what it was. And high-tech goods manufacturing—like iPads and iPhones—requires education, technical knowledge, industrial safety training and beyond.

As Bergstrand points out, the industry doesn’t need investment and support, the factory workforce needs investment and support. We need to invest in human capital by educating workers with basic teaching like industrial safety training. Specific skills can be learned, sharpened, retained and passed on, but only with a program that starts with fundamentals. Unemployment doesn’t just cripple our economy; it cripples our workers by depreciating their skills over time. Manufacturing high-tech goods will create employment opportunity. But that changes nothing if our workers aren’t ready.

Complex products that require research, development and widespread industrial aptitude can offer vast job potential. But if our unemployed don’t have the education levels and skillsets to match, the opportunity fizzles. Better training means managers can meet plant safety considerations and satisfy customer demand because of increased output and improved processes. Giant manufacturers like Boeing and the stimulus-revived U.S. automakers wouldn’t be reporting such success (or creating jobs) without investing in both plant safety training and factory worker safety training.

Can factories replenish the 6 million jobs lost since 2000? Probably not. But as economic advisor Gene Sperling stated in his speech at the Conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing about President Obama’s industrial policy, investments in human capital and education are non-negotiable. The middleclass is stagnating along with American manufacturing, but nostalgia won’t conjure jobs or income growth.

It’s time to change the game. Start by arming the manufacturing industry with employees bursting with industrial training.

Harness Workforce Potential With Manufacturing Plant Training

The economy has a long way to go to full recovery, but the manufacturing industry is creating new jobs. Manufacturing training is an affordable way to harness a new workforce and make employees indispensible.

In the tech-driven world we find ourselves in, many jobs are rendered obsolete by the emergence of more efficient technology. But according to President Obama’s weekly address on MSNBC Jan. 19, manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s. Despite advanced equipment, manufacturing plants can be an abundant source of much-needed jobs. President Obama strongly advocates the need to invest in and support American manufacturing for both employment and trade purposes. Plants and factories can invest in their workforce through industrial safety training, a cost-efficient way to improve plant safety.

A thriving manufacturing industry means companies can outsource less, employ more hard-working Americans, and increase our number of exports. From the production of raw materials to finished products, mills and factories are responsible for infrastructure, automobiles, electronics, energy and other critical components of daily life. The American economy runs on the vast-producing manufacturing industry the way tires rely on tread to grip pavement. The industry is critical to our ability to compete in a global trade market; otherwise we have no traction. Hard workers are a factor of this equation, and quality workers are only improved by quality training.

Manufacturing safety training benefits old and new workers alike. Employees become even more valuable when armed with industrial safety training, unrivaled experience, and polished skills. The best machines and equipment simply can’t compare. Since manufacturing plant training is available online, it’s an affordable expense that helps even out the playing field for employees with different knowledge and experience levels.

The manufacturing industry will never boom like it did in the 1950s—it’s only one of many economic sectors—but it can alleviate some of the pressure from high unemployment rates. The Federal Reserve says factories added some 50,000 positions to the slim pool of job opportunity in January alone, and accounted for 13 percent of all the jobs created last year. By capitalizing on the steady hiring increase over the past five months with online industrial training, employees become truly irreplaceable.

New hires need custom training. With the advantage of manufacturing plant training and the ability to customize your courses, the hiring process is as efficient as possible. Your employee retention rate increases while the number of accidents decreases, which means overall factory output expands. Manufacturing training will help you harness the potential of a new workforce to improve productivity and enhance safety.

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