Keep Your Employees Safe with a Solar Panel Safety Program
May 14, 2021 | Safety Training | Uncategorized
The solar panel industry is steadily growing. Green energy is becoming more and more popular for homeowners and businesses, alike. But what many do not realize is the danger that these workers face every single day. Solar panel safety programs are just as important to keep employees safe as they are for any other job – yet many companies fail to get their employees to pay attention during training.
Companies with highly engaged employees during training see fewer workplace safety incidents. In some cases, businesses had up to 70% fewer accidents than companies with lower engagement rates.
Solar energy companies are no exception. They need to provide adequate safety training to protect their workers from devastating accidents. But we all know watching safety training videos or listening to lectures is not exciting.
So, how can you keep your employees safe and help them succeed with their solar panel safety program?
Make a Plan to Offer Solar Panel Safety Trainings
One of the reasons why so many solar energy companies fail is because they have no solar panel safety program in place. You need to make a plan to incorporate safety trainings during the onboarding process for all of your workers – it cannot be glossed over.
To create a culture that prioritizes safety, there has to be a lot of planning and effort. This starts by mapping out a safety training guide for instructors and new employees to follow.
Your company should have safety checklists and referral documents. Using these items help new employees following the necessary regulations and establish new habits.
Make sure that your safety program is consistent with all employees so that everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations. This should act as a referral guide after training is complete so supervisors, managers, and employees alike can review as needed.
Of course, creating a program like this is much harder than it sounds. Most solar energy company leaders have no clue where to start, especially since there is a lot of information to cover.
In this case, it is best to work with a safety training business that can help you create this type of literature or provide you with their own guides.
Focus on the Most Important Safety Topics
Going over all of the little details involved in solar energy worker safety can be quite tedious and, frankly, boring. Of course, this information is necessary – but to keep employees engaged, make sure they understand the key concepts that apply to them.
Your solar safety program should emphasize the main requirements, especially those stated by OSHA. Some of the most common hazards of solar energy installation include:
- Falls from the roof or ladders during paneling
- Failure to Lockout and Tagout the energy source
- Injuries from lifting the panels improperly or being stuck/crushed underneath
- Solar fires caused by the electric components
Safety training needs to cover these important topics. Employees should also learn the risks of failing to meet these standards with instruction on correct procedures. If workers do not follow the correct OSHA requirements and become injured, they may be disqualified for some worker’s compensation benefits.
For instance, solar energy workers are required to wear PPE during transport, installation, manufacturing, and disposal. They must learn how to wear and use this equipment correctly to protect themselves from the risk of burns, cuts, falls, or other injuries. If they fail to learn, they could be seriously injured. They’d also be at fault for not complying.
Your training should primarily focus on the most common safety violations and risks. This ensures employees are not overwhelmed with tons of information, but still learn what is necessary for the job. Make sure all topics are relatable and understandable by providing real-life applications and examples, hands-on training, and interactive learning approaches.
Make Learning about Safety a Collaborative Project
Creating a safe workplace in the renewable energy industry requires the whole team to work together. So, learning and following safety regulations needs to be a collaborative effort. Employees look to their supervisors and managers to set an example. If people in power are not following the rules, why should they?
It may be useful at first to connect new employees with veterans who can show them the ropes and make sure they know how to follow the rules. This will help to keep both parties accountable for following the set safety regulations.
Finally, consider providing a collaborative feedback program to hear directly from your employees on how well training is going. This gives team leaders great insight into the effectiveness of their solar panels safety training approach. Supervisors can use this to notify upper management of safety concerns or incidents, too.
Designing an effective safety training program is a big job. It may take time to get your team on the same page when it comes to engaging in a safety program for solar installers. But with persistent work and a great training program, you can create a safer workplace for everyone.
If you need help getting started with a safety program or need more resources for training, please contact us to learn more. We specialize in providing safety training solutions across many industries. We offer specialized training courses, as well as safety consulting, that can help your business ensure solar energy worker safety on all job sites.