OSHA: When to Train and Retrain?

One of the first questions an OSHA investigator will ask after an incident occurs is:

“Did the employee receive adequate training to do their job safely?”

How often does your office do safety training and what kinds of things do you train? Workplace safety under the OSH Act requires employers to provide a safe and healthful workplace. Workers must be trained on the skills and knowledge required to safely do their jobs. New hire training is especially important because research shows that newly hired workers have a higher risk for accidents and illness. Safety training is an investment for both employers and employees.

The following types of required training affect medical and dental facilities:

  1. Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogen Training must be provided at hire and annually for all employees that have a risk of exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material. Additional training must be provided when there are any changes with procedures or equipment that could increase their risk of exposure.

  1. Personal Protective Equipment

Employers must train employees required to use PPE, upon hire. Training must include, when to use it, what to wear when doing tasks that pose a risk of exposure, how to properly put on and remove their PPE, and how to maintain and dispose of contaminated PPE. Retrain employees when there are changes in the types of PPE used, or changes in the workplace that renders previous training obsolete.

3) Emergency and Fire

Employers must communicate a plan for emergencies. Employers with 10 or less employees can do this orally.  Employers with more than 10 employees must provide a written action plan that includes hazard sources, safety equipment, procedures and assignments in the event of possible emergencies. Emergency and fire training is a great way to inform new hires and provide review for existing hires on self protection from the unexpected emergency.

4) Hazard Communication

Employer must provide information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of initial assignment and whenever a new chemical hazard has been introduced into their work area. Employers are also required to provide training on the new Globally Harmonized System which includes how to read the new pictograms, labels and the new SDS format.

Choose topics that are interesting, relevant, and fit the needs of your office. Some ideas for optional and easy site-specific safety trainings are general first aid, how and when to use an eyewash, how and when to use a spill kit, and workplace violence preparedness.

Be sure to keep a record of ALL safety and health trainings. Include training date, attendance form, trainer name and credentials and contents or summary of the training session. Training records must be maintained and be available for examination for at least 3 years of the last training date. 

Don’t forget to read and sign the back of your TMC The Advisor! It can count as an optional safety training and review. 

Training employees on the site specific and safe way to do their jobs will result in fewer injuries and illnesses, better morale and improved productivity.

A complete list of training requirements for General Industry can be found at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2254.pdf