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What Is Workplace Safety Training?
Workplace safety training is a type of alignment training intended to prepare employees for risks in their workplace. It covers common workplace hazards and how to recognize and mitigate them. Workplace safety training is vital to reduce injury and death in the workplace and keep all employees safe.
You can always benefit from taking safety training before employment. Safety training is implemented as part of the workplace safety program put in place by the employer.
What Is a Workplace Safety Program?
A workplace safety program is a program made by the employer or a designated safety supervisor that covers all the policies, procedures, and plans for maintaining a safe workplace. Safety programs are not always required by OSHA, but they still recommend them. Safety programs are the best way for employers to ensure they abide by OSHA Requirements at all times. For more detailed information check out our article What are the 4 elements of a safety program?
Safety training should be a primary part of a workplace safety program. It should detail what training is being given to the employees as well as a list of the employees and when they completed their training.
Why Do I Need Safety Training?
You need safety training because, every day, approximately 12,000 employees are injured on the job. Most, if not all, of these injuries could have been prevented if they had received and followed safety training procedures correctly.
Without safety training, you will be unprepared to face the potential hazards of your workplace. If you do not know what to do or how to do it, you could also put others in the workplace at risk of injury. Safety training reduces the possibility of injury and death, benefiting everyone.
7 Safety Training Program Topics
There are many topics that may be covered in basic safety training programs. Ultimately, which ones you need to receive will depend on your workplace and will be decided on by your employer. However, it is important to be familiar with some of the most common and widely applicable safety training topics so you can be better prepared for what to face in the workplace. Some of the basic safety training topics are:
- Ergonomics: You will be at risk of ergonomic hazards with any job that demands an abnormally high or low amount of physical labor. Ergonomics hazards are long term effects of repetitive or incorrect physical movements and physical stress. These can be avoided by learning the proper methods of lifting, handling, and performing any physical work. This also involves taking breaks and stretches for those who work office jobs.
- Fire Safety: Every workplace could potentially be involved in a fire. Fire safety is an important safety training program that is adapted for each workplace so that it can instruct you on what to do and where to go in an emergency involving fire.
- Hazard Communication: OSHA has specific charts and labels used to mark hazardous chemicals and substances. These prepare you to understand the risks involved with working with those substances and how to mitigate them.
- Electrical Safety: There is a high chance at most every workplace for electrical hazards. Equipment, vehicles, and other systems may fail and become unstable or dangerous if damaged or handled improperly. For this reason, electrical safety is a useful safety training topic, covering what to do and how to handle electrical hazards.
- Violence in the Workplace: Although far less common, there is a possibility of violence in the workplace. Understanding how to handle violent situations and how to lower the tension is important to maintain a safe workplace that is free of toxic behavior.
- CPR & First Aid: In the case of an emergency, knowledge where the nearest first aid kit is and how to effectively use it can make a huge difference. CPR is also a helpful skill that can save lives, and all employees would benefit from learning it.
- Bloodborne Pathogens: Although the risk of exposure to blood and bodily fluids is low in workplaces not involved with healthcare, there is still a possibility of it in every other workplace. Understanding what bloodborne pathogens are and how to avoid them can be crucial to maintaining employees’ health.
All of these topics and more can be found in our training catalog here at Hard Hat Training.
How Do I Take Safety Courses?
Employers may choose safety training courses for you to take upon employment, like these or different ones entirely. There are different formats for training, such as:
- Online: The most cost-effective and self-paced option for training is online. Training taken online is beneficial for individuals and more tricky for training groups because it comes in a digital format intended to be taken by individuals. Although it is a very affordable option, it provides no opportunity to ask questions or get hands-on experience.
- Onsite: This training format is effective for teaching groups of employees in one sitting, although it generally costs more than online training. Onsite training is done in a classroom-like setting with an instructor or trainer who teaches the material. It also gives employees hands-on instruction with the trainer on the specific equipment at their workplace.
- Training Kits: An option that we provide here at Hard Hat Training is DIY training kits. These kits are usually meant to be purchased by an employer along with a train-the-trainer module that prepares them to teach the material to their employees. This format provides all the training materials including the course, quizzes, practical exam, and additional information.
No matter the format, you can always depend on Hard Hat Training to get you the safety training you need. Our safety training courses offer a variety of options, ranging from the seven basic safety training topics mentioned above to much more in-depth and specific courses.
How Can I Get Safety Training?
Usually, your employer will provide you with the safety training you need. However, you can also receive safety training on your own before being hired. This can make you an impressive candidate for a job position and prepare you ahead of time to begin working.
If you do want to receive safety training on your own, you can obtain it here through Hard Hat Construction Safety Training. Our courses are aligned with OSHA Requirements and can provide you with everything you need to know for your specific safety training needs.
Is Safety Training Required for Employees?
Under the General Duty Clause, all employers are required to provide their employees with a safe work environment. The way they do this today is by providing their employees with the training they need to be able to perform their jobs safely.
This safety training should begin before employees actually start working and include specific instruction for their workplace. Employers are required by OSHA to communicate the workplace’s emergency action plan and procedures with their employees.
What Are OSHA’s Training Standards?
OSHA does not require employees to be trained for any workplace. However, OSHA provides a means of education and assistance for employees so that they can be prepared to enter the workforce. As stated above, employers need to follow the General Duty Clause, which is enforced by OSHA.
How Can I Stay Safe in the Workplace?
The best thing you can do to stay safe in the workplace is follow your training regarding safety practices and hazard awareness. Of course, there will still always be a risk of injury and even death at every workplace regardless of how extensive your training may or may not be.
For this reason, there are some other general tips that can help you to stay safe at the workplace:
- Commit to being safe. All workplace accidents and injuries are preventable. Do your part to ensure everyone follows safe work practices.
- Communicate with others. Communication with other employees can help prevent accidents and encourage safe work practices. Good communication lets others know what you are doing and to stay clear if need be.
- Avoid distractions. It is very easy to become distracted by other employees, your phone, or even by your own emotions and thoughts. Stay focused on the task at hand to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others.
- Report hazards. With time, you may notice hazardous conditions in your workplace, such as unsafe practices or an accumulation of flammable materials. If this ever happens, communicate them with your supervisor or employer immediately so the conditions and practices can be corrected as soon as possible.
As an employee, you also have responsibilities in the workplace. These responsibilities include your own safety, the safety of others, and complying with OSHA Requirements. Following your training or instruction from the employer is vital for your safety and the safety of your fellow employees. This includes:
- Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary
- Follow all lawful rules and regulations made by the employer
- Report anything that seems wrong or unsafe
These responsibilities seem simple, but they are all necessary to ensure safety in the workplace. Using the safety tips in the last section above is a great way to fulfill these responsibilities and make it home at the end of the day.
Adapting the Training for the Workplace
Workplaces may change procedures for handling hazards or may change the equipment they use for their job. As often as changes are made in the workplace, training needs to be adapted for those changes. No two workplaces are alike, and the training needs to be geared towards eachspecific workplace.
How Often Does a Workplace Need to Give Safety Training?
OSHA Requirements do not require refresher training to be given on a particular schedule or routine (with the exception of specific courses that provide OSHA certification, such as the HAZWOPER safety training). However, safety training is not always a once and done deal with all workplaces. Often, employees are required to receive refresher training annually.
A helpful part of Hard Hat Training’s training kits is the toolbox talks, which work as mini refresher trainings that can be held daily or weekly with employees. These are helpful because they make employee safety training a continuous learning experience.