OSHA Safety Training

OSHA safety training for workers and enforcement of safety rules have become an increasingly important part of every supervisor’s job. In many cases, OSHA safety training is required by law. Many regulations enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, explicitly require employers to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs.

Consequences of the Lack of Safety Training

What can happen if an employer fails to provide OSHA safety training and an employee gets injured? A US Court recently ruled against an employer when an employee sued for workplace injuries, because the employer allowed the employee to perform hazardous tasks without completing mandatory OSHA safety training. What about the untrained employee’s alleged unsafe behavior? The same court found that safety training was specifically designed to prevent just such behavior and teach employees how to work safely.

OSHA Safety Training Requirements

There are more than 40 OSHA safety training rules that specify training for employees before they perform a regulated activity, and an additional 16 safety training requirements for workers who handle or work around certain hazardous substances. For example, an employee must receive adequate forklift operator safety training before he or she is allowed to perform any work with a forklift.

Several states regulate workplace safety in most private and state government workplaces. States like Alaska, California, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, have adopted safety training rules for certain workplace activities that are stricter than federal training rules. Check your state’s requirements before conducting safety training.

Safety Training Performance Testing and Evaluation

OSHA safety training rules for the most part are performance-based standards. The workplace must remain free of hazards, but the employer determines exactly how that will be achieved. An employer can use a variety of methods and technologies for training and to test the effectiveness of training as long as the safety goal is met.

The effectiveness of training can be measured through inspections, test scores, observation, and changes in reported injury rates.

Training Delivery Methods—Online Employee Training

Very few OSHA regulations prescribe how training must be delivered to employees, as long as the employees understand and comprehend workplace hazards and know how to avoid or control the hazards.

Online safety training and other computer-based training are quickly becoming common and effective delivery methods for many employers. OSHA has repeatedly stated that online safety training is an acceptable method of training as long as all regulatory requirements for training, including hands-on, classroom, or other training delivery methods, are also met. Trainers often combine several training methods to create highly interactive and effective training for their students.

Documentation of Training

Many of OSHA’s rules require that employers document that employees have been trained. Regardless of the documentation requirements, OSHA guidelines strongly recommend that all training should be documented in case an OSHA inspector inspects a facility or investigates and accident. Documentation of training can reduce the chance of getting a citation.

Related Training Courses

Introduction to OSHA and the General Duty Clause

The main objective of this session is to familiarize you with how OSHA and the General Duty Clause affect your job and our workplace. By the time the session is over, you will be able to understand the purpose of OSHA; identify OSHA’s strategies for improving workplace safety; recognize the impact of the General Duty Clause; and know your OSHA rights and responsibilities.

OSHA’s General Industry PPE Standard

OSHA’s General Industry PPE Standard requires that you provide a PPE program that includes effective hazard assessment, employee training, and PPE selection.

OSHA’s General Industry Respiratory Protection Standard

OSHA’s General Industry Respiratory Protection Standard requires that you provide a respiratory protection program that includes respiratory protection program and recordkeeping requirements, medical evaluation and fit testing, respirator selection, and required employee training.

OSHA’s Permit-Required Confined Spaces

OSHA’s Permit-Required Confined Spaces requires that you provide a permit-required confined spaces program that includes evaluation of confined space hazards and safety procedures for controlling hazards, training for all employees (including entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, and rescue personnel), proper permits and permitting procedures, and effective emergency/rescue services.

OSHA’s Lockout Tagout Standard

OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard requires you to be provide a program that includes energy control procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections to prevent accidents during servicing and/or maintenance operations on energized equipment.

OSHA’s Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Standard

OSHA’s Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Standard requires that you provide emergency action and fire prevention plans that identify emergency risks, designate personnel responsibilities for coordinating and executing emergency plans, ensure effective evacuations, train employees, and comply with the requirements of the OSHA standard.

OSHA’s General Industry Electrical Standard

OSHA’s General Industry Electrical Standard requires that you provide an electrical safety program that includes identification of electrical hazards, safety-related work practices to protect employees, and effective training for unqualified workers.

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