The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government agency and part of the United States Department of Labor. The mission of OSHA is to promote a safe and healthy workforce. To help accomplish this mission, OSHA mandates yearly training programs on lock out and tag out, blood-borne pathogens and personal protective equipment. These programs help keep safety on the minds of both employers and employees.
Lock Out and Tag Out
Lock out and tag out procedures refer to how to safely use machinery and dangerous equipment. Lock out and tag out refer to equipment marked as not working or down for maintenance. When equipment or machines are in the process of repair, employees cannot remove the tags or use the marked equipment. Procedures and training about how to handle these situations are mandated yearly and clearly defined in OSHA procedures. Signage and information are available from the Department of Labor and OSHA.
Blood-borne pathogen training must include a definition of blood-borne pathogens and how they can be recognized and controlled. Employees also need to learn how they are spread and what measures they must take to ensure blood-borne pathogens are controlled. Training programs also need to include methods that reduce exposure and how to use personal protective equipment. Workshops must also describe the specific actions to take and people to contact if an employee is potentially exposed to blood-borne pathogens.
Personal Protective Equipment
Employees must also receive annual training on personal protective equipment (PPE). This training must include how to recognize when PPE is necessary and how to put on, take off and wear the required equipment. Safety gloves, glasses and shoes are examples of personal protective equipment. Training must also include how to care for and maintain this equipment and how to recognize when PPE needs to be replaced. The training must address the limitations of the equipment and how to recognize situations that reduce PPE effectiveness.
Implementing the Training
Implementing your mandatory OSHA training begins with your trainers. Select and train them extensively and monitor their performance. Obtain the necessary training materials from either the Department of Labor, your local state offices or the many vendors that provide training support. Small-group training is very effective since it allows for practice time and the opportunity to have all questions answered. Evaluate your training for effectiveness and make any adjustments based on the evaluations. Distribute and maintain attendance sheets to ensure everyone receives the required training.