Overview: Safety training is a critical component of workplace safety and health programs. There are several different types of required safety training, such as forklift operation, hazard communication and HAZWOPER. Under many of these requirements, an employee is not even allowed to perform the job functions without the appropriate training.
However, even if training is not required, an employer should consider it where employees would benefit the most. For example, office workers could benefit from safety training, such as on ergonomics.
Any safety training should be documented. This is especially true for required training. If OSHA inspects the workplace, it will want proof that all required training has been adequately performed.
Trends: Technology helps businesses in a lot of ways, but it also creates liabilities. Many job functions today can be performed through robotic machinery. If an employer uses this type of machine, however, it should make sure safety training incorporates what to do if the machine malfunctions. There have been deaths caused by runaway robotic forklifts that safety training might have been able to prevent.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
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