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  • How To Find The Best Safety Training Programs

    Under Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) Regulations, all employers have an obligation to ensure they are providing a safe workplace for their employees. This means that employers must provide safety training to teach workers how to recognize potential hazards and how to safely use, handle, store, and dispose of hazardous substances. For many employers, providing safety training for their employees can be a challenge.

    For US companies, the common options are hiring out, or rather scheduling in a professional Safety Training Organization to conduct on-site (or "in-house") safety training for employees or to purchase OSHA compliant Safety Training Materials and having on-staff personnel (usually HR, or a Safety Manager) perform the employee training.

    OSHA Safety Training for Construction, General Industry, Office, Warehouse Environments and any/every other business - Comply with OSHA Requirements OSHA Safety Training for Construction, General Industry, Office, Warehouse Environments and any/every other business - Comply with OSHA Requirements

    In the past, most safety training was provided in-house; however, over the past decade there has been a significant shift towards the utilization of online safety training.  When considering online as an alternative... make sure it is adequate, compliant, and that you have thorough record-keeping. Remember, too, that just as with live instruction, to be OSHA compliant, employees must have a competent person available to answer any additional related questions on the topic, and to explain the correct answers to any test questions they may miss. Some topics, too, such as CPR can be learned online in principle, but must be "blended" with actual hands-on practice with a qualified Instructor  in order to obtain actual certification.

    Safety-Training-ComputerWhat To Look For In An Online Safety Training Program
    The company you select to provide your online safety training should be there to help guide you through every step of the education and certification process. When looking to hire an online safety training program provider, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

    Course Selection
    You want to make sure the provider you choose has all the accredited courses that are needed to meet OHS legislated requirement, as well as course that your company may require in the future to address potential growth. Having a comprehensive library of online courses means that all the resources you need are in one place, with no ‘shopping around’ required.

    Cost Savings
    Online training is extremely cost effective. You won’t be spending money hiring instructors, or booking a training space. Make sure the online training provider you choose offers some flexibility (group discounts, corporate accounts, etc.)

    Technical Support
    The last thing you need is for an employee to not be able to complete a course because of technical issues. Make sure your online training provider should offers technical support as part of your package.

    Competency-Based Training
    Competencies are the skills required to complete a specific role or task. Many companies have begun using competency-based assessments to determine what training employees need to be successful in their work. Look for an online training program that defines the competencies a specific program or course will address, as this will help supervisors and employees to find the best training solutions.

    Interactive Content
    No matter how interesting the training content may be, if learners are not engage it is likely that their attention will be lost. Look for online training courses that make use of learning activities that require the user to interact with the material. This will help increase their focus and retention of the material.

    Uses Real World Images
    Some learners will lose interest quickly in a course if they feel it doesn’t apply to them practically. The use of cartoon-type graphics can sometimes leave an adult learner feeling uninterested or patronized. An effective online training program should use real world pictures and simulations, including video, animations and decision trees.

    Voiceovers Are Used
    There are several different types of learning styles. To make sure that you are appealing to all of these styles, look for courses that use a combination of visuals, reading and audio voiceovers. This has proven to be the most effective way to deliver online content, as it meets the needs of a broad range of students.

    Current Content
    The Occupational Health and Safety landscape is not static. Process and policy are constantly being updated, and it’s important that your training provider stays up to date. Look for a provider that is responsive to changes in regulations for a broad spectrum of industries.

    Variety In Testing
    In the same way that non-interactive content decreases engagement, so does always using the same testing method. Look for a training provider that uses a variety of testing methods, including multiple choice, true and false, and fill-in-the-blank. It’s also important that no two tests are ever the same. To ensure that tests are different, look for a provider that offers tests generated at random from a centralized question pool. This is particularly important for learners who may have to re-test in the same program.

    Using online safety training to satisfy the occupational health and safety requirements for your company is an easy way to make sure your employees are informed and engaged. It might take some research, but there are some excellent training programs out there with all the features necessary to build the best program for you and your company. Look for training programs that go beyond the basics and offer excellent value, with a large selection of highly interactive courses that maximize learning for different learning styles.

    Adapted for the First Aid Blog, from a Safety article contributed by Morgan Douziech is the owner of SET Safety, an online training provider based in Edmonton, AB. SET Safety specializes in online safety training with 300+ online courses, including First Aid, Emergency First Aid, Ground Disturbance, Confined Space, Defensive Driving Demerit Reduction, Crane training, Dangerous Goods, Workplace Hazardous Materials and more!

  • How safe are workplaces where you live?

    The Department of Labor / OSHA has published a New Safety Fine Map tool that tracks one indicator: the number of workplace health and safety investigations that have led to high fines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new webpage identifies high penalty cases in all U.S. states and territories – whether they operate under federal OSHA or an OSHA-approved state plan.oshaMap

    Click on a state, and the map will list all enforcement cases with initial penalties of $40,000 or more, beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. The cases are also listed in table format. Hyperlinks lead to more inspection details. Click on the map and see how your state stacks up.

    See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available! See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available!
  • Improving Safety Training

    Everyone knows safety training is important. Everyone also knows that there are other things they’d rather be doing. Safety training takes workers off of the job site and that can be costly, as well as a distraction, affecting information retention and reducing the effectiveness of your training sessions.

    The remedy isn’t longer sessions or more thorough testing. The solution is more effective use of class time. By placing an emphasis on engagement and changing simple things about the way instructors present training information, you can help employees focus on the importance of safety training and the work in front of them while realizing that safety doesn’t end with training sessions.

    Whether you use training management software, classroom learning or a combination of both, engagement plays a key role in information retention for your employees. Increased retention means the lessons paid for in the classroom can help your employees cut loses and reduce injuries on the job site increasing your organization’s return on investment.

    The first step in training engagement begins before class starts. In order to engage employees and give them confidence, instructors need to view training as a dialogue built around a safety-oriented corporate culture. Have management set an example for employees and show them that goals, like having zero incidents are worth striving for. This way management can set and test limits on performance while showing employees that there’s no excuse not to meet safety standards. It is always more effective for management to show this with their actions instead of just words.

    Setting an example for employees is just the first step in creating a culture of safety around your organization. Invest the time and money into developing training tools and programs that will speed up the transmission of information and learning. Personal safety equipment is a valuable tool for employee protection and almost always presents a positive return on investment; the same can be said of safety training. In many cases, an employee learning management system can be the perfect tool to support your message delivery. By investing in a variety of training materials, like video and interactive exercises, employees will see the value you are placing in their training and will give lessons more attention according to that perceived value.

    Slides, interactive exercises and animated videos may be more expensive to develop than text-based training methods, but they also increase learning retention and keep classroom sessions fresh by segmenting information and helping time pass more quickly. Using a number of different training methods will accommodate a variety of learning styles in your workforce and help ensure that everyone clearly understands the lessons being presented. Taking breaks is important, as well, to compartmentalize training session information. This improves retention and employees’ willingness to interact.

    Another way to increase engagement and provide variety to classroom sessions is to bring in expert speakers. Many are affordable and provide industry insight not readily available to safety training staff. Benefit from an expert’s experience by playing out emergency situations and recounting personal stories. These exercises will help employees contextualize information and increase retention.

    The most important part of safety training invariably ends up being how information is reinforced once classroom and e-learning sessions are over. Create regular safety meetings that showcase good work. Emphasize hazard identification and provide incentives that will keep workers interested and committed. Make use of evaluations when training is over and at frequent intervals to reinforce important topics. It’s all about embracing a safety culture that will reduce workplace incidents and keep your employees’ heads in the game—and protected.

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    See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available! See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available!
  • Is workplace Safety Training worth the cost?

    Workers-2Business owners may mull over whether or not training in health and safety matters is worth the cost. At a time when budgets are already stretched, is this added expense really worth the trouble of investment? The short answer: yes, definitely. There’s a multitude of reasons why safety training is important in any workplace, including the fact that it reduces employer liability. It also boosts employee confidence in the business, and the right qualifications can improve an employee’s future career prospects. Here are just a few reasons to consider instituting a health and safety training program in the workplace.

    It can boost productivity

    Aches and pains can make it difficult for employees to do their jobs. Even office workers sitting at a desk for most of the day can suffer from wrist or hand pain from repetitive movements, which in the end will end up cutting into productivity time. A retail employee suffering from back pain from picking up boxes improperly will have to take more frequent breaks and end up calling in sick more often. Taking care of employees by teaching them the proper workplace procedures to avoid injury on the job benefits you both.

    Training carries over into any workplace

    At a time when vital qualifications can make or break a candidate’s job prospects, any extra training can be a boost to employability. Health and safety training is a transferable skill that can be adapted for nearly any work environment, with new specifics added depending on the industry. All employers must follow health and safety regulations according to local laws, and carry out risk assessments for all processes and work areas.

    It boosts the business’s reputation

    Which business is bound to be taken more seriously – the company that takes care to prevent injury to its employees, or the one that doesn’t? Word of mouth is important for any business’s marketing plan, and reputation can kill small businesses in particular. Taking the time to train your employees properly and even offer a health and safety qualification program shows that you care about their well-being, which sits well with the general public.
    Actions speak louder than words.

    Training reduces insurance premiums

    Insurance companies look at a variety of factors when determining rates for businesses, but one of the first questions asked will be about training. Employers who take the time to train their employees in these matters show that they take health and safety seriously, and the insurance companies may lower rates accordingly. Furthermore, because training can prevent accidents, there’s less chance that you’ll end up filing a claim in the first place which also lowers rates down the road.

    These are a few of the main benefits of health and safety training for employees, no matter what industry you work in. Jobseekers can also do well to take this into consideration, as a health and safety qualification can come in handy in many different scenarios.

    See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available! See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available!
  • Avoiding On-The-Job Injuries

    The manufacturing industry does have a better safety record than the construction industry. However, there are many dangers in manufacturing that employers and employees must be aware of. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records show a total of 328 deaths in the industry in 2012. Statistics also show that 4.3 workers out of every 100 are subject to job-related injury or illness.

    Manufacturing covers a wide range of industries including clothing and footwear, battery and chemical, fireworks, metal, plastic, paper, semiconductor and more. Injuries tend to fall into a few specific groups. Manufacturers of chemicals and explosives face a considerable number of additional safety issues; however, employers and employees in all industries should be aware of these safety tips.

    Contact with machinery

    Workers must be alert at all times when operating machinery or in proximity to machinery. In any facility, all employees must know where emergency shut-offs are located. All workers need complete training on any equipment they will be operating. Contact injuries can include entrapment or amputation.

    Cut-resistant gloves are recommended for any employees working around sharp objects, and the gloves must fit well to reduce the chance of a glove becoming caught in the machinery. Employees must be aware that while these gloves are protective, they are not cut-proof and caution must be used. In addition:

    • Machinery guards cannot be removed while the equipment is operating.
    • Employees working on equipment must ensure that the equipment is disconnected before work is performed. Lockout tag-out devices should be employed.

    Workers need to be aware of any potential for electrical contact as well. Electrical wires and connections must be protected to prevent damage, and frayed or broken wires require immediate replacement.

    Click image to see Machine Guard Safety Training Products! Click image to see Machine Guard Safety Training Products!

    Machinery comes in many sizes and shapes, and it can present many different types of hazards. Each year thousands of employees across the country are injured by the machines they are most familiar with... and which they believe are safe. The risk of accidents from powered machinery is so great OSHA estimates that lack of machine guarding is the second most frequent safety violation in industry today.

    Our training products on "Machine Guard Safety" are designed to help employees understand the dangers of working with machinery... and how those risks can be minimized by proper installation and use of safety guards and devices. Topics covered in these products include:

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    Slip and trip falls

    Maintaining a clean facility is one of the best ways to reduce slip or trip injuries. If spills occur, a marker should be placed and the spill cleaned as quickly as possible. Objects must be kept out of any walkways. Electrical cables or wires should not be run across walk areas. Appropriate slip-resistant footwear is also recommended to reduce the potential for falls.

    Click image to see Slip, Trip & Fall Safety Training Products! Click image to see Slip, Trip & Fall Safety Training Products!

    Most employees don't give much thought to the prospect of slipping, tripping or even falling on the job. Yet these types of accidents account for more workplace injuries annually than any other accident category. Many of these injuries can be disabling... or even fatal.

    Our training products on "Slips, Trips and Falls" show employees the situations that can lead to slips, trips and falls, and what they can do to avoid or prevent these accidents. Topics covered in these products include:

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    Strain or repetitive motion

    Training should include proper lifting techniques to avoid back strain or injury. Employees that perform frequent lifting tasks can make use of back belts or braces to reduce the chance of strain. It is important to note that braces alone do not prevent injury.

    Repetitive motion injuries may be reduced by rotating job duties whenever possible. If workers are able to rotate in groups for processes that are repetitive, there will be less chance for this type of injury. While additional training would be required, the employer also benefits from a more diverse workforce.


    Skin contact or inhalation of toxic chemicals is also on the list for common injuries in the manufacturing industry. Employees need to use the appropriate protective equipment to reduce the chances of chemical burns. This equipment may include elbow-length gloves and full aprons to protect against splashes.

    In manufacturing facilities that produce fumes during operation, adequate ventilation systems must be employed. Respiratory devices must be required and workers should be trained in the correct use. Protective eyewear should also be considered. The steel or metal industries present additional risks to workers from exposure to heat. Proper training is required to ensure that employees recognize the signs of heat exhaustion.

    The right protective equipment and employee training make a major difference in avoiding injuries in the manufacturing industry. The costs of adequate training and quality protective devices are much less than the costs of any on-the-job injury.

    About the author:
    Christina Chatfield is Marketing Communications Manager of HARTING USA in Elgin, IL. The company develops, manufactures and sells industrial products, such as rectangular connectors and electrical cables, for your specialized industrial needs.

    See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available! See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available!
  • Easy-To-Remember Workplace Safety Tips

    Focus on CPR & AEDs in the Workplace and everywhere else this week for CPR & AED Awareness Week, but think Safety year-round... here are some simple tips:

    Whether you work in a factory or at a showroom, safety is one of those things you don’t want to worry about. It’s hard to focus on the tasks before you, let alone to do them well, when you have to be concerned about threats of injury or harm — and that’s as true for you as it is for your employees and team members. What’s more, when you consider insurance, worker’s comp, rehiring, etc., protecting workers on the job is a huge financial issue for your business’s bottom line, as well. That’s why any way you can make your workplace safer is a way you make your business better. “Every year, more than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness,” according to Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “most of them preventable.”

    So what can you do to create a safer workplace? Are there steps to take to protect yourself and those around you? The good news is yes — and the results are definitely worthwhile. “Employers who encourage safety among workers, actively mitigate accidents and commit to getting injured workers back on the job see a tremendous return on investment,” say Jim Sierra, vice president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, and Woody Hill, vice president of safety services for Texas Mutual Insurance.

    With that in mind, here are a handful of safety tips that are easy to remember and implement. When you want to increase the security and stability of your work environment, here is what to know:

    1. Safety Is a Team Effort. Getting everyone thinking about safety is much more powerful than relegating the responsibility to one or a few. When everyone understands the safety requirements in an environment, it’s much easier to prevent shocks and surprises, and it’s also easier to keep safety standards enforced.
    2. Communication Is Key. It’s as true when it comes to safety as it is with anything else in the workplace — communication is key. So make it a habit to let co-workers know about hazards or dangers right away, and empower your staff with a way to report concerns. Ask for feedback regularly. Consider suggestions. Keep the lines of communication open in order to keep your workplace safe.
    3. Have a Plan in Place. If you want to empower your staff to know how to respond to fires, injuries, violence, etc., you need to provide them with a clear response plan, which should include the right supplies (i.e., a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, etc.), as well as a clear action strategy. What should they do if there is a fire? How should they respond when someone passes out or is bleeding or has a heart attack? Take time to create a clear safety response plan, and get it communicated company-wide.
    4. Try to Reduce Workplace Stress. The fact is, workplace stress is a major factor in safety threats, whether in a factory or a room filled with cubicles. When employees are tired, burned out or overwhelmed, they can’t think clearly and can make easy mistakes. Whether that means falling asleep while operating machinery or being too depressed to work efficiently, the results of stress can be very detrimental. Some stress-relieving practices to build into your workplace culture include regular breaks, healthy food options and an appropriate work/life balance where employees aren’t expected to be available 24/7. By pushing toward a less stressful environment, you create a safer workplace.
    5. Respond to Potential Hazards Immediately. Whether it’s a spill, a leak, a potential fire hazard or some other threat, every hazard deserves careful attention. That’s why you should make it a practice throughout your company to always respond to these situations right away. When there’s a spill on the showroom floor, the first person to see it should clean it up, section off the area or take steps (i.e., let the appropriate staff members know) to remedy it. When a machine is broken, anyone who notices needs to immediately let whoever is responsible for that department know.
    6. Limit Exposure to Chemical Hazards. In industries where hazardous substances are used, it is vital to limit the ways those substances can affect your workers. “Chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation, sensitization and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion and reactivity,” says OSHA. So to regulate the levels of exposure your employees face, give them training on how to respond to hazards in the workplace, be sure to comply with all OSHA guidelines, provide respiratory protection when possible and, overall, look for ways to control the exposure of hazards and toxic substances in your work environment.

    The bottom line with workplace safety is prevention. By taking the steps listed above, you take simple steps to keep workplace injuries from happening and make your business safer in the process.

    Author Bio: Mario Cattabiani is the Director of Communications at Ross Feller Caey,LLP, a personal injury and medical malpractice law firm based in Philadelphia.

    OSHA Safety Training keeps your company compliant with OSHA Standards and offers training in every category of work. Continue reading

  • How to Improve Employee Safety Training

    Accidents are costly

    While at first glance manufacturing seems to be all about the machinery, when it comes to safety, the employees who operate the equipment are the bottom line. Without proper safety training, accidents and injuries are bound to occur.

    Downtime caused by injuries is not only detrimental to the injured worker; it is also costly to the company. Injuries and accidents can cause shutdowns, of course, but can also damage your workers' confidence in their ability to do their work safely, which can contribute to poor quality of work and slowed production.

    Prevention is key

    The key to accident prevention is high-quality safety training. Here are a few tips for improving your employee safety-training program.

    Think multimedia: In 1983, educational researcher Howard Gardner introduced the idea that different people learn in different ways. He divided learners into three categories: visual learners, auditory learners and kinetic — or physical — learners. Public educators have put Gardner's theories to good use ever since. When designing your safety-training program, use a combination of approaches. By combining videos, lectures and hands-on practice, for example, you'll have the most impact on your diverse audience.

    Train your trainers: Make sure your safety instructors are well versed in their subject. If they are unclear about any aspect of the safety course they are trying to run, they will not be able to teach it correctly. Be sure, as well, that the training they offer is site specific. Different areas of your manufacturing process will have different safety concerns. Training for employees who work in these areas should target their specific needs.

    Engage your audience: Find a way to make your training program engaging. Even employees who know how important this training is to their own health and security will zone out during a dull lecture. If at all possible, find a way to make your training program humorous or, at the very least, thought provoking.

    General topics matter, too: While the safe handling of your materials and processes is, of course, your main objective for safety training, don't overlook general safety topics, either. Be sure your safety course covers topics such as first aid, accident reporting, the possibility of blood-borne pathogens, and evacuation procedures.

    Use of personal protective equipment (PPE): The cornerstone of safety in most manufacturing environments is the use of PPEs. Be sure that your training program covers the use of all the protective equipment your employees will need to use, such as earplugs, safety glasses, gloves, hard hats or respirators. PPE training should not only cover which equipment to use, but also how to use it properly. A respirator is not effective if it is not worn securely, or if the filter cartridges are not changed regularly. This is a good place, too, for some hands-on learning. Have your employees practice using the equipment during their training.

    Don't forget the floors: Falls, slips and trips, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, caused more than 200,000 injuries at privately owned businesses in 2012. During safety training, employees should be taught how to clean up spills safely. They should be made aware of tripping hazards such as loose or dangling cords, wires and cables. If they work in maintenance, they should know not to leave cords or wires in the path of foot traffic.

    Revisit the topic: Learning is a gradual process for everyone. If you present your employees with a lot of data at a single safety training session, it is unlikely that they will remember all of it — especially if they don't regularly encounter all the situations that were covered. Find ways to revisit your safety training. Include a "safety tips" section in your monthly newsletter, for example, or have a light-hearted "pop quiz" at your next morning meeting, letting employees shout out answers to safety-related questions.

    Make safety training one of your business priorities. It's not only the right thing to do, it's also the cost-effective thing to do.

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  • Safety Training and Environmental Safety for Workers

    WorkersSafety training is a necessary part of an employment environment since it helps workers to remain free from harm and injury while performing their duties in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a governmental agency that mandates, educates and enforces workplace safety practices for specific fields of employment.

    OSHA creates workplace practices that are designed for different occupations including electricians, restaurant workers and hospital employees. Certain occupations that are high risk or hazardous, are evaluated by OSHA in order to find the safest and most efficient way for workers to complete their tasks. Once OSHA has determined the best practices for employees to use within a particular workplace environment they create standardized training information that they provide to employers within a chosen field. Once employers receive information from OSHA about the best safety practices to use within their field they are then required to use them within their work environment.

    Image of safety training materials See our DVDs and VHS videos available for American EHS & Medical Association materials. Spanish/English Bilingual VHS & DVD. Newest CPR, AED & First Aid Guidelines. Also, CAL/OSHA Standards, DOT/49 CFR Standards, Federal OSHA, Forklift Safety, Over 80 OSHA Safety Training Topics, Eye Safety, First Aid, Accident Prevention, Bloodborne Pathogen videos and many more. Safety Compliance Kits, Regulatory Compliance Packs, Safety Posters

    Employers are required to train their employees and enforce OSHA mandated rules within the workplace. OSHA routinely evaluates various workplace environments to ensure that people are in compliance. Employers who are not adequately training their workers or who are not enforcing proper workplace procedures can be forced to stop their operations or receive a fine until they are in compliance. Maintaining the environment is also a necessary part of workplace safety.

    All businesses have to take environmental considerations into effect when conducting business within the workplace. Factors such as waste management, hazardous waste storage and removal and illegal dumping are important aspects of any business. Employees must practice environmental safety in order to keep their communities and land free from hazardous material and pollution.

    Employers that work in fields that are directly related to the environment will train their employees how to perform their tasks without causing harm to an area. Miners are taught how to extract coal without destroying the mines and land surrounding mining sites. People who drill for natural resources such as coal and gas are required to implement the best practices for drilling these substances. Plants and factories that work with hazardous substances are not allowed to dump them in community water supplies or in unauthorized landfills. Most employers and industries do their best to follow these establish rules and guidelines.

    Employees typically learn how to safely operate machinery and they’re also given instruction on what to do if a fire or hazardous situation takes place. Employees that work in factory setting might have to learn how to safely lift and transport boxes. Individuals that have jobs that require them to work on platforms will be given safety instruction for those positions. Employees who are required to undergo safety and environmental training are usually given informational training sessions after they’re hired onto a job. Depending on the type of job that they are working this training procedure could last for a couple of hours or up to a few weeks. The main thing that employers want to do is to make sure that they’re employees have the knowledge that they need in order to be effective and safe workers.

    About Author:
    Jennifer Winget is marketing professional who started writing as a hobby and written this article on behalf of OSEA. She has written various informative articles and blogs for past five years related to business, finance, health and safety services.

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