Five Topics That Require Technical Safety Training
Safety training differs from safety instruction because it focuses on improving “how-to” skills through practice. It takes what the student has learned during instruction and provides an opportunity, through practice, for the student to apply that knowledge.
An important consideration when developing safety instruction and training is determining if OSHA requires a “demonstration” of adequate employee knowledge and skills as part of the training.
Technical “hands-on-how-to” safety training that teaches employees how to do hazardous tasks and procedures is the most common type of safety education. The training may be quite specific and usually requires some form of student hands-on participation or practice.
Remember, even though a particular OSHA Standard does not specifically state or require that employees “demonstrate” proficiency, best practices in safety education may require that you include formal testing, hands-on practice, and a performance demonstration in a training session. Ensure you include hands-on practice and demonstration whenever employees may be injured on a job or if they have a deficiency in KSAs.
Examples: Technical Training Topics
Most OSHA training is technical because it teaches employees how to do things. For instance, when reading about the training employers are required to provide regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) in 29 CFR 1910.132, we see that employers must cover the following topics:
- When PPE is necessary;
- What PPE is necessary;
- How to put on, remove, adjust, and wear PPE;
- The limitations of PPE; and
- Care, maintenance, and disposal of PPE.
OSHA prefers written exams to test student knowledge of the topic. More importantly, because there is a “how-to” requirement above the training should include a skills demonstration to ensure each student can use the PPE properly.
More examples of hands-on technical safety training include:
- How to use respirators;
- How to remove a machine guard;
- Permit-required confined space entry procedures;
- Emergency evacuation procedures; or
- Lockout-tagout procedures.
By providing technical safety training, employers can ensure that their employees have the necessary skills to safely perform hazardous tasks and procedures. The more hands-on employee experience, the better they’ll understand and apply their training in the workplace.
It is important to remember that technical safety training needs to be tailored to the individual’s needs and that employers should document all training sessions. Having a documentation system in place will ensure that all employees have the appropriate training to safely perform their jobs.