What Are Osha Training Requirements?
A Complete Guide on What You Should Know
Every year, 4.6 million workplace injuries occur. That breaks down to 12,600 injuries per day and one injury every seven seconds.
Workplace injuries aren’t always avoidable. However, business owners can see a significant reduction in the number of injuries that take place on their watch by making proper safety training a priority.
When it comes to safety training, the guidelines put in place by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) are a good starting point.
Listed below is everything you need to know about the OSHA training requirements and how you can keep your employees informed about staying safe while on the job.
What Is OSHA?
After the Occupational Safety and Health Act passed in 1970, Congress created OSHA with the goal of ensuring that workers in the U.S. were working in safe and healthful conditions. OSHA is part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Members of the administration focus on setting and enforcing certain health and safety standards in the workplace. They also provide training, education, assistance, and outreach to help enforce these health and safety standards.
OSHA has specific training requirements in place that employers must meet in order for their workplace to be OSHA certified. Being OSHA certified indicates that the business is in compliance with OSHA’s standards and is a safe and healthful place for employees to work.
What Are the OSHA Training Requirements?
In order for a workplace to maintain its OSHA certification, it must meet specific training requirements and ensure that its employees stay informed about the current health and safety protocols.
There are two main OSHA certifications: a certification for those in the construction industry, and a general industry certification. The specific training requirements you must meet will depend on which category your business falls into.
Construction Training Requirements
For those who work in construction to maintain their OSHA certification, they must refresh employees on general safety and health provisions, as well as occupational health and environmental controls.
They also need to review the following training items, which are more relevant to the construction industry in particular:
- Protective and life-saving equipment
- Fire prevention and protection
- Hand and power tool usage
- Wilding and cutting
- Electrical safety
- Scaffolding safety
- Fall prevention and protection
- Steel erection
- Use of explosives and blasting
- Proper stairway and ladder usage
- Proper handling of hazardous and toxic substances
They’ll also need to review information on the use of motor vehicles, cranes, and derricks.
General Industry Training Requirements
The OSHA certification requirements for those in the general industry category are as rigorous as the requirements for those in the construction industry. They’re quite different, though.
In addition to general environmental controls and occupation health, those in general industry fields need to focus on the following training requirements:
- Emergency planning and identifying exit routes
- Handling of hazardous materials
- Use of personal protective equipment
- First aid and medical services
- Fire prevention and protection
- Safe materials handling and storage
- Use and guarding of machinery
- Safe electrical practices
- Commercial driving
Like those in construction, those looking for general industry OSHA certification also need to review welding, cutting, and brazing, as well as the proper handling of toxic and/or hazardous substances.
Tips for Training Employees
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a construction site or if your workplace is part of the general industry category. Either way, you ought to make regular safety training a priority.
It’s not enough just to go over the information listed in your training manual, though. If you want your employees to really take these training regulations to heart, you need to convey them in a way that they will understand.
Here are some tips to help you deliver training information in the most effective way:
Assess and Observe
It helps to get an idea of what your employees know and don’t know before you get started. In order to this, it helps to spend some time observing them at work and assessing what they are and aren’t doing.
You can use the information you’ve gathered to tailor your training and figure out which areas need more of an emphasis than others.
During the training portion, try to engage your workers in some friendly competition. If they’re competing for a prize of some kind (or even mere bragging rights), they’ll be more engaged in the presentation and will likely retain more of it.
Allow for Some Humor
Your training doesn’t have to be dry and boring. Allow for some humor to make its way into your delivery. Don’t be afraid to tell stories that help you illustrate your point or drive home a particular issue.
For people who learn in a more visual or kinesthetic way, it helps to provide demonstrations and give employees an opportunity to participate in the training. Don’t require everyone to be a passive listener. They’ll retain more if they can get up out of their seats and try things for themselves.
Listen to Employee Concerns
Make your training a two-way street. Allow employees to express their concerns and ask questions.
Again, don’t expect them to be passive listeners. They’re on the ground every day doing this work. They likely have some valuable insights that can help you do a better job of tailoring your safety training and protocols.
Ask for Feedback
Be sure to ask for feedback after the training is over, too. Hand out surveys or questionnaires for your employees to fill out. This allows you to learn more about what they liked and didn’t like and teaches you how you can adjust your safety training delivery in the future.
Prioritize Proper Training Today
Now that you know more about the importance of proper safety training and the current OSHA training requirements, it’s time to take action.
Keep the tips listed above for training employees about workplace safety in mind as you begin planning your upcoming safety training seminars. They’ll help you communicate the information in an effective way so that your employees’ risk of injury decreases.