Effective Safety and Health Management starts with Training

| OSHA, USF Safety Florida

Co-written by Keith Brown, USF SafetyFlorida Safety Supervisor and Pat Stark, CHST, PCC, PCG, USF SafetyFlorida Safety Consultant

There is usually a time in an organization when the question gets asked: “Was he/she provided adequate and effective safety training?” Unfortunately, this question, or one very similar, occurs after a worker has sustained a severe or fatal injury, or there has been a “near-miss” incident. This question can and should be included in the incident investigation process to determine root cause. In the case of an accident/incident, many times safety and health training will be the default mechanism an organization will use for preventing recurrence of an accident or incident.

Many OSHA standards incorporate and embed a training requirement in that particular standard. For instance, the OSHA general industry electrical standards, Safety Related Work Practices 29 CFR 1910.333 state in the “Scope”: “The provisions of 1910.331 – 1910.335 cover electrical safety-related work practices for both qualified persons (those who have training in avoiding the electrical hazards of working on or near exposed energized parts)  and unqualified persons (those with little or no such training)” and 1910.332 “Training”, outlines specific training requirements for employees “who face a risk of electrical shock that is not reduced to a safe level by the electrical installation requirements…”

This  article is not intended to delve into the OSHA training requirements for each of the OSHA standards. Any prudent employer should ensure they review and do their best to incorporate the applicable OSHA standards to their scope of work, and this would include the applicable training requirements that are depicted in that particular standard. To assist this effort, OSHA has publications on their website (www.osha.gov) that will help in better understanding the standards and the particular training requirements of many of the standards. In fact, OSHA has a publication dedicated specifically to listing the training requirements for standards in Construction, General Industry, Maritime, Longshoring and Agriculture: “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards” (2015). This 270-page publication breaks down the particular OSHA training requirements per standard in each of these scopes of work. Although, since this is a 2015 publication, some OSHA standards and the respective training requirements that were developed or revised after 2015 (including general industry and construction respirable crystalline silica; confined spaces in construction; general industry walking working surfaces which was revised circa 2016 and now includes training as a requirement) are not included in this particular publication.

The USF Safety Florida Consultation Program strongly recommends that all employers establish their own, customized written Safety and Health Program, utilizing OSHA’s 2016 “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs” guideline as a prototype.  One of the seven core elements of this safety and health guideline is Education and Training.

Some forms of an organization’s safety and health training can include:

  • New employee safety and health orientation including safety training applicable to temporary/leased personnel  
  • Job/Work – specific safety training including equipment and tool operation  
  • Toolbox safety training 
  • Daily huddle safe production meetings at the department/crew level 
  • Supervisor/Foreperson specific safety training  
  • Annual company-wide safety training/education on where the organization stands regarding successes and needs for improvement 

A valuable element of safety and health training—or any training—is the assurance that the training is being applied by those who received the training. Managers and supervisory personnel can be the key component in safety and health training being effective in an organization by their continual coaching in the application of the training, and by their support and participation in the safety and health effort in the organization.

In support of employers in their safety and health training efforts, USF Safety Florida Consultation Program has a vast safety streaming video library that offers this safety and health media at no cost. To access the video library, visit  https://usfsafetyflorida.force.com/s/. For more information or to schedule a free on-site consultation, visit https://www.tfaforms.com/4696809 or call toll-free 1-866-273-1105.