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.
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Don’t miss this all-new TrainingToday course on the essentials of working safely with explosives and blasting guidelines. You’ll learn OSHA’s rules and how to keep you and your worksite out of harm’s way.
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OSHA clarification on issues such as the acceptability of a computer based, self-paced training program for use in meeting the refresher training requirements of the OSHA standard; how will OSHA compare computer-based training to required hour training as set forth in 1910.120; will a computer-based program's outline and development material suffice for
conventional training material documentation; will computer-based tracking of training competence levels be documentation enough
for the train
Many OSHA standards explicitly require employers to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. Other OSHA standards make it the employer's responsibility to limit certain job assignments to employees who are "certified," "competent," or "qualified."
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Certification in the context of workplace safety and health training is verifiable documentation that training, and in some cases evaluation, of employees has taken place. Employee training and evaluation is “certified” either by the employer or a third party organization that is authorized by a reg