Table of Contents:

Summary

Safety and health training is not the answer to accident prevention. Training cannot be the sum-total answer to the accidents/incidents that are occurring within the workplace. In fact, training is only applicable when a worker has not been trained previously, a worker is new to a job or task, or safe job skills need to be upgraded.

Companies may offer all types of programs and use many of the recognized accident prevention techniques, but without workers who are trained in their jobs and have safe work practices, efforts to reduce and prevent accidents and injuries will result in marginal success. If a worker has not been trained to do his/her job in a productive and safe manner, a very real problem exists.

Do not assume that a worker knows how to do his/her job and will do it safely unless he/she has been trained to do so. Even with training, some may resist safety procedures, and this presents a deportment or behavioral problem and not a training issue.

It is always a good practice to train newly hired workers or experienced workers who have been transferred to a new job. It is also important that any time a new procedure, new

equipment, or extensive changes in job activities occur, workers receive training. Well- trained workers are more productive, more efficient, and safer.

The safety and health training that is needed should include not only workers but also supervisors and management. Without training for managers and supervisors, it cannot be expected or assumed that they are cognizant of the safety and health practices of your company. Without this knowledge, they will not know safe from unsafe, how to implement the loss control program, or even how to reinforce, recognize, or enforce safe work procedures unless given proper OSH training.

Training for the sake of documentation is a waste of time and money. Training should be purposeful and goal or objective driven. An organized approach to on-the-job safety and health will yield the proper ammunition to determine the company's real training needs. These needs should be based on accidents/incidents, identified hazards, hazard/ accident prevention initiatives, and input from your workforce. Tailor training to meet the company's needs and that of the workers.

Look for results from the training. Evaluate those results by looking at the reduced number of accidents/incidents, improved production, and good safety practices performed by the workforce. Evaluate the results by using job safety observations and safety and health audits, as well as statistical information on the numbers of accidents and incidents.

Do not construe these previous statements to suggest that safety and health training does not have an important function as part of an accident prevention program. Without a safety and health training program, a vital element of workplace safety and health is missing.

Further Readings

Reese, C.D. Accident/Incident Prevention Techniques (Second Edition). Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2011.

Reese, C.D. Occupational Health and Safety Management (Third Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2016. Reese, C.D. and J.V. Eidson. Handbook of OSHA Construction Safety & Health (Second Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2006.

United States Department of Labor. Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines (OSHA 2254). Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, 1998.

United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Training and Education. OSHA Voluntary Compliance Outreach Program: Instructors Reference Manual. Des Plaines IL: US Department of Labor, 1993.

 
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