To train or not to train your staff, that is the question

An understanding of Human Factors can permeate all corporate activities to the benefit of the bottom line

To train or not to train your staff?

International training and safety consultants, WrightWay is emphasising the critical importance of workforce training despite the economic downturn.

Proposing the merits of Human Factors training as integral part of company policy

This downturn has resulted, according to statistics from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, in the dangerous ‘knee-jerk’ reaction by twenty per cent of UK organisations that have decreased their training budgets in the past 12 months.

Safety and teamwork training saves money for organisations in the long term, creating greater profits, reducing the risk of injury and helping to build a more content, motivated and productive workforce. So the question is, can organisations afford not to have well trained staff?

Captain John Wright, Managing Director of WrightWay, says, “Accidents and other loss events sadly do occur and common contributory factors such as a breakdown in teamwork & communication, inexperienced workers, poor management style, fatigue and stress feature in the majority of mishaps. However, these can be cost effectively overcome by a total commitment to safety by everybody in the company, not just the managers, through teamwork, openness, professionalism and by practical and interactive training programmes that include everyone.

Doing this will definitely result in sending more people home in one piece and will probably be the most productive thing you will ever do in your company. Safety and efficiency are two sides of the same coin. ”
Results from research conducted by the National Maritime Occupation Health and Safety Committee were illustrated by an „accident triangle.‟ The triangle showed that in an analysis of over two million workplace accidents, for every event that lead to a fatality there were three that lead to serious injury, 30 that lead to an injury serious enough to require time off work, 300 minor injuries requiring first aid, 3,000 „near misses‟ that did not lead to damage or injury and as many as 30,000 unsafe acts that did not result in any harm. The actual figures vary between different industries, but the relationship between each outcome is similar.

According to WrightWay, experience has shown that by concentrating on the elimination of the unsafe acts, it is possible to eliminate occurrences with more serious and costly consequences. This requires training and culture change – WrightWay‟s specialist areas.

“We understand the need to break down the barriers that can exist in the name of „safety’ and recognise this is easier said than done. Our methods of cracking this particular „nut‟ closes the real or perceived „chasm‟ between the company’s management team and their workforce and creates a single „One Team, One Goal‟ culture,” comments John Wright.

“To achieve this, WrightWay helps organisations to harness the enormous energy within the workforce that may previously have been untapped, to create a culture of shared ownership and cheerful accountability: This leads to step change improvements in safety and business performance. The results are greater profits, reduced risk of injury, a safer working environment and a happier workforce. Using these methods, in two years, one client sent 213 people home in one piece that statistically would have been injured, saved over 5000 man days and avoided $7.5 million in direct costs.”

One of the most popular courses that WrightWay offers is Human Performance Training. The course includes a unique, hands-on, interactive approach using a state-of-the-art simulator. The delegates are required to work together to achieve a successful outcome, for instance, manoeuvring a cruise liner out of Southampton docks. This course concentrates on the attitudes and behaviours of individuals and their impact on safety. It provides the opportunity for people to examine their own behaviour and make individual decisions on how to improve their teamwork.

Human Performance Training originated in aviation and is now a vital element of training for all safety critical industries. The principles of Human Performance Training, however, are applicable to all business and working environments. WrightWay’s innovative training courses have applications in a diverse range of industries.
WrightWay was established in 2000 by founding partner and Managing Director Captain John Wright. WrightWay‟s team of expert consultants have a broad range of skills and experience from many industry sectors including shipping, manufacturing and defence. The team is based in the UK, though they often work overseas with WrightWay’s international clients.


I can attest and fully support to the approach of ‘Managing Safety and Business’ that John Wright has formulated and presents in his business/safety model. As Department of […]
Barbara Mazurowski, British Energy

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