Collier Crane understands the importance of worker safety, and wants crane managers and crane parts buyers to understand the value that comes from top-notch training. However, we also recognize that budget restrains, coupled with intangible benefits, can bring decision-makers to question the value of training programs. Today we’ll address these concerns to help you find a proper training program, and introduce the concept of Return on Training Investment analysis to help put a dollar value to training.
Costs of Not Training Your Crane Workers
The Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau explains the costs of improper or lack of training for crane workers. The cost of one lost-time accident is about $27,000, excluding punitive damages which can reach into millions of dollars. The OSHA reported that the number of "significant cases” within the crane industry tripled between 2010 and 2011, significant meaning citations equaling fines greater than $100,000. While these numbers are staggering, there are also hidden costs - lost revenue to affected businesses, higher insurance premiums, employees out of work - that can quickly add up.
Quality of the Training Program
Training programs aren’t required for a worker to take a certification exam. Indeed, enough experience can be all a worker needs to pass. Yet that shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss training altogether. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) explains that nation-wide reports show, "... that the candidate who goes into the testing room with the benefit of structured, professional training has a much greater chance of success than his untrained counterpart.”
While this may be true, you still have the task of deciding what training course is best for your employees. Some factors to consider include:
-Cost: Depending on your budget, some training programs may have higher fees than others. However, Stevenson Crane notes these are only the "upfront costs,” and account for no more than 10% of the true cost of training.
-Purpose: What exactly do you want your employees to learn from training? Do they need a refresher on safety? Do you want role-specific training before certification exams? Different training providers likely have different focuses, so understanding what’s needed will help avoid any wasted time and money.
-Recommendations: Today, it’s easier than ever to research company reputations. If you’ve identified training programs that seem appealing, find out what other companies have used their services. Sometimes clients will be listed on the trainer’s website. If the program is local, it might be worth reaching out to nearby companies to hear about their experiences.
-Training Style: Courses can vary widely on their approaches to training. Some courses may favor a classroom approach with slideshows and lectures. Others might bring workers to their training facilities for hands-on learning. Again, understanding what you want your workers to gain from training will help determine the most appropriate training style.
Putting it All Together: Return on Training Investment
While you can debate about the pros and cons of training, from a business perspective it’s necessary to determine how the investment will affect the company’s budget. Return on Investment Training (ROTI) analysis weighs the value of training benefits compared to its costs to determine an actual dollar value a business can expect from training. FutureEd has a training packet available to teach ROTI analysis to you and your company’s decision-makers. Another packet is available from the Society for Human Resource Management.