Do you know how to do your job correctly? How do you know?
At some point, training has taken place to teach you how to do a particular task. This applies to all areas of our lives. It starts with the simplest things like learning to walk, talk, and feed ourselves, all the way up to driving a car, working a computer, and using a special piece of equipment. The United States Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide employees with the skills and tools to identify, correct, or eliminate a hazard. Employees must be trained in all aspects of their working career. It is an ongoing requirement whether it is specialized training, general awareness, and operation training. At SSOE, we require the OSHA 10-hour Industry Outreach Training Course for all technical employees and the OSHA 30-hour Industry Outreach Training Course for all field and startup employees. Unfortunately, the OSHA trainings are more about general awareness and often times not detailed enough to be adequate training. In these cases, employers must ensure employees receive additional training on topics to ensure they are fully aware of safe work requirements.
When it comes to training, what is required and how long is the training good for?
Many employers and clients look at OSHA trainings and believe those suffice for safety training. In reality, OSHA trainings are not required but were designed to provide employers a baseline for training employees. Technically, OSHA training does not expire, but many employers, projects, and groups agree it is about a 5 or 10 year window of expiration. The reason for the expiration window is because codes, standards, and processes change, which requires updated training. Employees should take the initiative to update, refresh, or redo their training in order to be the safest they can be. Specific trainings such as aerial work platforms or forklifts have a three-year expiration which requires retraining. Others like hearing conservation are annual requirements when employees are exposed to 85 decibels or above in general industry and 90 decibels in construction. OSHA establishes a general criteria for required trainings, however, it is just a guide. The guide can be found at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2254.pdf.
Many SSOE’s employees may never experience safety hazards beyond normal office duties.
The majority of SSOE’s employees perform general office activities daily, however, SSOE has other employees whose job responsibilities require them to be at a client’s site on a variety of projects. Some employees are collecting information to bring back to the office while others are embedded within a client’s operation for extended periods of time. Consequently, there is no “one size fits all” safety program. Specialized training such as arc flash, PPE, emergency reporting, SDS’s, are all examples of custom training needed depending upon a particular employee’s work. Check with your manager and the safety department to determine what training would suffice for you. It is important to know what your clients require for training to be on their sites. Outside companies doing work for you must provide training to their employees and it is the employer’s obligation to ensure the training provided is adequate.
Our goal is Safety Always so employees must exercise good, sound judgment in activities affecting your health and safety!
Be Careful – Be Aware – Be Safe.
Together we can prevent injuries.