OSHA TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: ANNUAL MEANS ANNUAL

Keeping your employees up-to-date on their safety training plays a key role in the prevention of workplace accidents and injuries. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires many businesses to provide retraining “at least once every 12 months.”

Although you don’t need to do this on the exact anniversary of the preceding training, you must provide it reasonably close to this date (bearing in mind the convenience of both the company and your employees). If you can’t meet this requirement, document why the instruction has been delayed and when you will provide it.

Keep in mind that the term “at least every 12 months” generally means that more frequent training might be needed under some circumstances. It’s essential that you prepare employees to protect themselves from all known workplace hazards, including new dangers that might result from changes in workplace practices, procedures, or tasks. For example, OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard at 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(v) provides for "additional training when changes such as modification of tasks or procedures or institution of new tasks or procedures affect the employee’s occupational exposure."

OSHA might also require more frequent training when employee performance suggests that the prior training was incomplete or not fully understood. OSHA training requirements usually include: the hazards of the work assignment; safe performance of the operation and proper use of any required personal protective equipment (PPE); basic OSHA regulations on the operation; and application of training to the worksite and the equipment being used.

Make sure that you keep a close watch on your calendar in scheduling safety training. You’ll keep OSHA inspectors off your back, keep your workplace safer – and help keep your workers comp premiums under control.

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