Posted December 26, 2018
Training is a crucial element in an OSHA compliance program. Employees need complete information and instruction as to the processes they are involved in, the equipment they might need to use, the protection available, and potential effects of exposure to chemicals.
What does OSHA require?
While there's no one regulation devoted to training, many rules contain specific training requirements, ranging from general statements such as, "Only trained persons shall operate …" to detailed outlines of topics the employer must cover.
Overall, OSHA takes a performance-oriented approach to training in that it's usually up to the employer to determine how employees will be trained.
Common characteristics in OSHA's training requirements
While OSHA's training requirements vary from rule to rule, there are several common characteristics:
- Training is required for each employee who is exposed to the hazard;
- Initial training is required before the employee is exposed to the hazard;
- Trainer qualifications generally include having adequate knowledge, training, and experience in the topic;
- Training can be provided by classroom instruction, on-the-job instruction, or computer-based programs, but the trainer must be available to readily answer employees’ questions;
- Training content generally must be workplace – and equipment-specific to cover: hazard recognition, steps employees should take to protect themselves, instructions and practice on how to use equipment and follow procedures, limitations of safe procedures and equipment, how to take care of equipment, what to do in an emergency, and where to get more information;
- If an evaluation is required, it typically involves an observation of the employee performing the learned skill;
- Refresher training may be required on a scheduled basis, as needed when workplace conditions have changed, or if the employee is no longer performing safely; and
- Training records, when required, often must include the worker’s name, the date of training, the topic, and the trainer’s name.
What about trainer qualifications?
While there are no OSHA regulations that require a "certification" to teach, there are a number of regulations that have "trainer qualifications." Examples include bloodborne pathogens and HAZWOPER training. Effective trainers must possess a thorough understanding of the topic (including the ability to answer questions) and be able to convey information to trainees in a way that they will understand and remember.
Effective safety training not only helps you comply with OSHA requirements, it helps you reduce accidents and injuries, lower workers’ comp costs, improve employee engagement and morale, and preserve your company’s reputation. The experts at J. J. Keller have put together an extensive selection of workplace safety training programs to help you avoid OSHA’s top 10 violations and keep employees safe.
View Workplace Safety Training Library