OSHA Training in the Workplace

folklift is preparing to lift container

OSHA training should be an important part of any company’s overall training program that occurs throughout the year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a part of the United States Department of Labor. OSHA began in 1971 as an attempt to provide a safer workplace for workers in the United States of America.

OSHA Training

OSHA has always had the same mission; “to ensure safe and healthful workplaces in America”. Because of the work of this organization, they report a drop in workplace fatalities by 50% along with a 40% decrease in job injury and illness rates. These numbers become even more impressive when one considers that over this same amount of time the workforce in the United States doubled from 56 million workers in 3.5 million workplaces to 111 million workers in 7 million worksites.

Today, OSHA has developed three strategies to go with their mission and they are; “1. strong, fair, and effective enforcement; 2. outreach, education and compliance assistance; 3. partnerships and voluntary programs”. These strategies are designed to make workplaces in America the very best they can be. OSHA has put into place numerous rules and guidelines that companies must follow in order to be as safe as possible.

As a part of OSHA’s effectiveness in having companies implement the guidelines they set up, there can be fiscal penalties for companies that fail to measure up. For the most part, these guidelines are rather simple and require a little extra effort to maintain a safe workplace. This is to the advantage of both the employer and employee because little work can be done when an employee is sick and missing from his or her normal work activities.

Understanding OSHA through OSHA Training

Because of the many rules and guidelines that OHSA has set up, it may be necessary for companies to undergo OSHA training that will explore the various issues that have to do with safety compliance for a particular business. This will help them to better understand the aspects of meeting OSHA’s rules. This can include the implementation of workplace safety programs with a safety committee that has undergone training.

The rules that are in place vary to some extent from one area of business to another, based on what takes place at the work site. A place that deals primarily in package delivery will have some different guidelines than a paper production plant. Some of the areas will be the same so it may take bringing in a expert to make sure all of the bases are covered.

Meeting OSHA Training Requirements

OSHA takes training very seriously and even requires that companies of certain sizes provide training at various times for their employees. One area of OSHA training that is to occur every year within a business is sexual harassment training. Most business should put their employees through a course of sexual harassment training to make sure the workplace is free from this crippling activity.

While some companies may choose to avoid or ignore OSHA standards, it can be very expensive to do so if caught. In 2002, over $72 million in penalties was assigned to companies who failed to meet the standards. Of this amount, over $48 million in penalties were for “serious” offenses which could have been avoided with the help of quality OSHA training.

OSHA in the Workplace

Safety is an aspect that concerns everyone. Whether directly or indirectly, we are affected by safety in one form or another. We take safety precautions getting into our cars. We put on our seatbelts, lock the doors, and adjust our rearview mirrors. Why do we do this? We do this to reduce the likelihood of an accident happening, and in case an accident does occur, we have taken measures to reduce the chance of injury.

Even though these precautions are taken with hardly a conscious thought, we perform them because we were trained on the dangers of operating a vehicle. This training showed us how rear and sideview mirrors help us to see cars in our blind spots. It also showed us how wearing a safety belt can reduce the damage an accident can cause.

In addition to in vehicles, we practice safety in our homes and also at our places of employment. Safety at work is just as important as it is in any other area of our lives. Taking into account that all environments have hazards, the working environment poses safety risks that need to be addressed.

OSHA, the occupational safety and health administration, developed rules and regulations for all companies to follow. These standards promote safety awareness as well as safe practices in the working environment. The federal government also regulates them. Therefore, companies that do not apply OSHA’s regulations are subject to penalties.

To better inform their employees, companies train their workers on the matters of safety in the workplace. This training is based on the risks each environment has. For instance, safety training for a forklift driver will differ to that of a data entry clerk. Special training is also provided for those working in extremely hazardous environments.

With the advance of technology, companies have been using safety-training videos to train employees. Training videos are able to more efficiently train employees than with previous methods. Studies show that employees trained by the use of videos retain the information in greater amounts. Considering it takes less time than other methods, safety-training videos have become a useful asset to safety training.

Custom Made Videos

Safety-training videos can also be tailored to the specific type of occupation and the hazards within. They can be made for the medical field, and warn employees of such things as the dangers of being accidentally stuck by an infected needle. The information in these videos, most often, will remain pertinent for a good amount of time. Companies can use these videos for as long as the information applies to the standards.

Safety videos have many advantages companies will appreciate. The most prominent one being that their employees are properly trained in work safety. This keeps the company’s productivity up, and keeps the cost of claims down. When employees do their part, the working environment becomes much safer.

OSHA Training Requirements

OSHA training requirements apply to many different fields and must be met by companies so that the best possible workplace can be provided for employees. In addition to this, the occupational safety and hazard administration has put forth an added incentive for companies to make sure they follow the rules. They have the ability to penalize companies who do not meet their requirements and in 2002 over $70 million in penalties were assessed.

Imagine what would happen if individuals who haul hazardous-waste from the place where it was created to the place it was to be disposed of had little to no training. If something went wrong during the process, the driver would have absolutely no idea what protocols would need to be followed in order to make sure that the hazardous materials were taken care of properly. This could not only cause a problem for the driver but also to the other people who would be exposed to the materials as well.

Meeting All OSHA Training Requirements

It is important that every single company meet all OSHA training requirements for their employees at all times. Once employers understand that following the guidelines set up by this administration will actually improve their working environment and output, they should be quick to institute and follow the OSHA standards. The next question should be where to go to find high-quality OSHA training.

There are many different companies that specialize in providing OSHA training courses to companies. The Internet is a wonderful tool to find companies who provide this all-important service. In a matter of a few minutes, a number of different companies can be found that fully describe their services through a web site.

OSHA Compliance Training

OSHA compliance training has been in existence since the 1970s when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began working on the behalf of employees throughout the United States of America. In 2003, OSHA consisted of 1,123 inspectors with the responsibility of making sure companies follow all of the OSHA guidelines. In 2002, OSHA performed 58,402 state inspections in various businesses and organizations.

Who Needs OSHA Compliance Training

Companies to have a focus on construction should take OSHA compliance training very seriously for the sake of their employees and their reputation. Companies in this field made up 47% of the state inspections performed by OSHA in 2002. This is a signal that OSHA is very concerned about the safety of people involved in the field of construction.

The area of manufacturing saw the second largest percentage of inspections that took place in 2002 with 19% of all inspections. This represents over 11,000 inspections that were made involving manufacturing facilities and all of the various aspects of working in those facilities. It is very important to make sure that workers in manufacturing receive workplace safety training to make sure that the workplace as the safe as possible.

The remaining 34% of inspections, representing over 19,000 inspections, were spread out among the other areas of employment throughout the USA. Of these percentages, companies that deal with high hazard areas in construction, manufacturing or other areas received 61% of the inspections. Receiving inspections is one thing but being penalized for not meeting the standards and guidelines and that have been set and announced is another and companies need to be prepared for inspections by meeting all of the regulations.

OSHA Compliance

OSHA compliance is meant as a way to help companies know exactly what they must do in order to provide a safe and secure work location for their employees. Someone has to set the guidelines that will make sure that companies know what to do so that their employees will be kept safe. If left to their own, it is possible that some companies would cut corners when it comes to safety.

Some would argue that OSHA is another part of government that tries to tell businesses how they are to conduct their affairs and control them. While their is a certain amount of control involved, the impact that OSHA has had on employment safety issues cannot be denied. After an eight year period where injuries occurred less and less each year, they hit their lowest rates ever since such measures have been taken in 2001 with only 5.7 cases per 100 workers being reported.

OSHA compliance requirements are completely laid out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and can be viewed by everyone. They take many steps to provide as much information as needed make sure that all businesses can avoid OSHA citations by following the regulations. The goal is to make sure that all employees in the USA have the safest working environment they can possibly have.

OSHA has the ability of performing safety audits whenever they please and with any company. They can arrive with little to no warning to check on a businesses level of compliance. It is important to make sure that all guidelines are met before the inspectors show up to perform an audit.

OSHA Training Courses

OSHA training courses vary from one place to another depending on what the particular company is involved in as its means of earning a profit. Obviously, a company that focuses on construction will have some different training needs than one that focuses on transporting goods by 18 wheel trucks. There may be some similarities because of the large vehicles driven by both companies but their will be many areas that training will be slightly different.

The important thing is to make sure that whatever the company is involved in, complete OSHA compliance occurs. One way to do this is to bring in a company that specializes in OSHA inspections to audit the entire work site, looking for any discrepancies. This can be a great way to determine what area of OSHA training needs to be addressed.

Selecting OSHA Training Courses

Once an audit has taken place over the entire workplace, it will be time to select what OSHA training courses need to be provided. The individual who performed the inspection should have a very good idea of what areas in the company need the most help at the present time. By working with this person, the areas that need to be addressed through training will more than likely quickly come to the surface.

At this point, once the needs have been determined, a company can be sought out that will provide the appropriate training to make sure that the company meets all OSHA requirements. There are many companies that can provide both inspectors and the trainers to make sure that companies are fulfilling all of their requirements. Compare several different companies to see what kind of inspection and training process they have to offer and see which one will best meet the need of the company.

OSHA Inspections

OSHA inspections were made on both a federal and state level that totaled over 90,000 inspections in 2002. These inspections occurred in all kinds of different businesses and organizations ranging from dangerous manual labor to office workers enjoying the air conditioner or heater. While businesses that are in high hazard categories received the highest amount of scrutiny, every field saw inspections.

An official inspection done by OSHA can carry with it certain penalties if violations of OSHA guidelines are found. Those who participate in what is considered to be a willful violation are hardest hit when it comes to paying penalties. In 2002 there were only slightly over 600 OSHA citations assessed that were considered to be “willful” on the state and federal level but the penalties that had to be paid were well over $17 million.

One of the best ways any company can prepare for OSHA inspections is to bring in a company that provides this type of inspection. There are many companies that have inspectors who understand all of the various requirements and guidelines set up by OSHA and how they apply to each specific field. They can run an audit over the entire workplace and determine what areas are fully prepared for OSHA and what areas are not.

This can be very beneficial for any company that works in a high-risk category such as construction and those dealing with hazardous materials. Every company needs to consider bringing in an inspector from time to time to make sure they are in complete safety compliance. There are a number of different companies who offer this type of service for a small fee.

OSHA Citations

OSHA citations are not a pleasant experience for anyone to receive as companies are faced with paying out penalties for their failure to meet the well known OSHA guidelines and regulations. Every single year, thousands upon thousands of inspections are made throughout the United States of America. Many times, companies are working within the regulations and receive no warnings or citations whatsoever.

Some companies are found to be at fault when it comes to meeting all of the various aspects of complete OSHA compliance. The amount of money that is spent every year by companies who have to pay penalties should be enough to motivate any company to follow all of OSHA’s guidelines. In 2002 alone, with both federal and state inspections combined, over $148 million was paid in penalties.

The average cost for a “willful” violation in 2002 was an astounding $27,000 and change. Obviously some companies were fined more than others but this average is well above the costs that would be involved in avoiding OSHA citations. Even with all of the work that goes into helping companies meet the OSHA standards, there are thousands of companies that fail to meet all of the requirements upon inspection every year.

Avoiding these costly citations should be a part of every company’s overall plan for their operations. Safety compliance is not just about avoiding penalties but it is also about providing a safe working environment. Safety committees and workplace safety training can go a long way in making sure that the company is as safe as possible all of the time.

OSHA Safety Committees

OSHA safety committees are a great way for companies to put together a group of people who make sure that the company will meet all the requirements set up by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This group of individuals can work together to put together safety policies that will be followed companywide and safety procedures for specific instances that may occur. It is very helpful for companies to have a plan of action available when disaster strikes.

In a perfect world, things would never happen to a company causing any kind of damage and disaster would not exist. Unfortunately they are all kinds of things can happen from power outages to natural disasters that can cause problems for a business. In these times, it is important to have procedures in line that can be quickly referred to that will clearly explain what actions must be taken.

Training OSHA Safety Committees

Putting five or six people together in a room for an occasional meeting does not automatically qualify them as productive OSHA safety committees. The members of the committee need to undergo some type of OSHA safety training so they will know what their job will consist of on the committee. It may not be enough to give them the safety guidelines and regulations that apply to the business and hope they will be able to put together a great policy.

One of the best things companies can do for their safety committees is to provide them with the professional training they need. In just a few sessions, they can have a solid grasp of the safety issues of their company. It may also be a good idea to let them participate in safety audits and inspections as well with professionals in this area.

Leave a Reply