Regular readers of our Tech Talk Blog understand that we stress developing a corporate culture of safety. Creating and maintaining a safe workplace doesn’t happen overnight—it requires a series of steps, including installation of fall protection equipment, inspection and re-certification, and training employees on the safe use of all fall protection equipment. Sometimes clients ask about the specific OSHA requirements on fall safety training. The bottom line is simple: the best fall protection system in the world is of little or no use unless your employees understand how to use the equipment properly. If employees MAY be exposed to work-place fall hazards, your company has a responsibility to train personnel to identify hazards and minimize their exposure to dangerous conditions.
For safety-minded individuals looking for OSHA’s precise wording on this matter, here are the relevant sections of OSHA regulations pertaining to fall safety training:
The employer shall verify compliance with paragraph (a) of this section by preparing a written certification record. The written certification record shall contain the name or other identity of the employee trained, the date(s) of the training, and the signature of the person who conducted the training or the signature of the employer. If the employer relies on training conducted by another employer or completed prior to the effective date of this section, the certification record shall indicate the date the employer determined the prior training was adequate rather than the date of actual training.
The latest training certification shall be maintained.
“Retraining.” When the employer has reason to believe that any affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required by paragraph (a) of this section, the employer shall retrain each such employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:
Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete; or
Changes in the types of fall protection systems or equipment to be used render previous training obsolete; or
Inadequacies in an affected employee’s knowledge or use of fall protection systems or equipment indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.
Retraining is required when workplace conditions or new fall protection equipment renders previous training obsolete.
Keep detailed written records documenting employee training, including names and dates of fall protection training and the signature of the individual conducting the training class.
Now that you have a better understanding of the specific provisions of the OSHA regulations, you are probably wondering how to secure training for your employees. If you have just purchased an engineered fall protection system, we provide employee training once the installation is completed. We also provide additional training sessions for new employees hired post-installation, or a competent person within your organization can conduct training. Remember, an effective fall protection training program ensures:
- Employees understand the fall protection standards related to their work.
- Personnel understand how to inspect and use both their personal protective equipment and the fall protection system to minimize fall hazards.
Developing a safe work-place requires more than an investment in equipment. Training employees on the safe use of PPE and fall protection systems are important steps towards building a culture of safety. To learn more about fall protection training or to request a proposal for an on-site training session for your employees, contact Diversified Fall Protection for more information.