This module will introduce you to general OSHA requirements for education and training in the construction industry. We will not only look at the minimum requirements, but all address best practices in effective safety and health education programs.
The employer should conduct construction safety training courses and educational programs in compliance with OSHA standard 1926.21, Safety training and education, to help broaden worker and manager knowledge/skills to recognize, avoid, and prevent safety and health hazards on jobsites. Click on the button below to see the safety and training standard.
1926.21(a) General requirements. The Secretary shall, pursuant to section 107(f) of the Act, establish and supervise programs for the education and training of employers and employees in the recognition, avoidance and prevention of unsafe conditions in employments covered by the act.
1926.21(b) Employer responsibility.
It’s very important for the employer to establish safety education and training for employees so that they know how to avoid and prevent of unsafe conditions at the construction worksite.
Employers should also educate all employees on how to control or eliminate any hazards to which they are exposed.
Employees required to handle or use poisons, caustics, and other harmful substances should be instructed on how to safely handle and use them, and first aid procedures if exposure occurs. Employees should also be made aware of the potential hazards, personal hygiene, and personal protective measures required.
Employees required to enter into confined or enclosed spaces should instructed as to the nature of the hazards involved, the necessary precautions to take, and how to use protective and emergency equipment.
Employers must inform employees about the hazards of all classified chemicals produced or imported.
Employees who perform work while on a scaffold must be trained by a qualified person to:
The employer must inform workers on the physical and health hazards associated with toxic and hazardous substances to which employees may be exposed on the worksite.
Employers must provide workers and their designated representatives a right of access to relevant exposure and medical records. Employers must provide OSHA representatives access to these records in order to fulfill responsibilities under the OSH Act.
The company should provide safety information and training to assure the requirements of OSHA standards are met and it should continuously evaluate employee training needs to keep workers safe and healthy on the job.
New Employee Orientation
New employees should receive training on your companies safety and health management system, safe work practices and expectations, and specific safety and health training for the tasks that they will perform.
After inspecting a job site, a designated person should identify and evaluate all potential hazards that may cause serious injuries and increase the probability of an accident. Actions will be taken to minimize the hazards and protect the workers.
The Safety Coordinator or other designated site safety person will appraise the skill and knowledge level of exposed workers, and provide any needed training. Appropriate training should be provided where it is needed.
The following things must also be done when training new employees:
Toolbox talks should be conducted regularly (weekly or daily). Topics covered should include:
Safety training should be simple training. It should be done where the task is performed, and hopefully the supervisor is conducting the training. Here is a seven-step OJT training process that helps to ensure new employees don't get hurt while being trained. We know it may appear to be unnecessary, but new construction workers get hurt regularly while being initially taught how to do a job.
Step 1- Introduction: State and discuss the learning objectives and answer any questions the employee may have. Discuss the acceptable standards of knowledge and performance. Tell the trainee what you're going to train. Emphasize the importance of the procedure to the success of the production/service goals.
Step 2- Trainer shows and tells: In this step the trainee becomes familiar with each work practice and why it is important. Review the initial conditions for the procedure. Demonstrate the process, carefully explaining each step as you go. Answer questions and continue to demonstrate and explain until the employee understands what to do, when and why to do it, and how to do it.
Step 3- Learner tells - Trainer shows: This step is necessary when exposure to hazards inherent in the procedure could cause serious harm. It protects the trainee because the trainer performs the procedure. The trainee explains the procedure to the trainer, while the trainer does it.
Step 4: Learner shows and tells: The trainer has the trainee do it. The trainee explains the step, gets permission to perform the step and then carries out the step. This step is very important when training tasks that might result in serious physical injury or death if not performed correctly.
Step 5- Conclusion: Recognize accomplishment: "Good job!” Reemphasize the importance of the procedure and how it fits into the overall process. Tie the training again to accountability by discussing the natural and system consequences of performance.
Step 6- Validate: After the conclusion of the OJT session, observe the employee perform in the actual workplace and question the employee to validate that the training has been successful and that the employee has adequate knowledge, skills, and a proper attitude about the work.
Step 7- Document: The well-known OSHA adage, "if it isn't in writing, it didn't get done," is true for any kind of safety training. For OJT training, documentation should be more than an attendance sheet.
To document the training, the trainee certifies:
The instructor certifies the trainee has:
We have included a sample training certification in the final two sections of this module, and you can learn more about the OJT process in OSHAcademy Course 723.
Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines. OSHA's Training Requirements Guide. Here's a great booklet that covers many OSHA training requirements and also gives you some ideas on training strategies.
Safety and health work observations should be performed periodically by supervisors or designated observers. Observations may be conducted randomly in an informal program, or they may be planned when a formal observations program (Behavior Based Safety Program) is part of the CSMS.
Safety and health work observations ensure:
Specific observations or audits are especially critical for lockout/tagout, confined space, fall protection and other programs where the risk of exposure to hazards is high. Results should be documented and follow-up training should be provided as needed. This process helps assure safety and health training is effective.
Click on the link to see a comprehensive list of OSHA training requirements.
The benefit of including this second page in the document is that it can also serve as a lesson plan for your training. The learning objects you've written will help you develop the list of subjects and performance exercises. It outlines the subjects and exercises that need to be conducted to make sure required training is accomplished.
This is a good video by Russell Hills on implementing and evaluating on-the-job training. Worth watching if you have the time. (19:07)
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