The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers train and educate all members of their workforce on how to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions at their worksites.

Specific areas to be aware of include:

Substance Handling

  • Employees whose jobs require them to handle or use harmful substances must be instructed in their safe handling and use. Training must include awareness of potential hazards, as well as personal hygiene and protective measures.
  • If their job calls for the use of flammable liquids, gases or toxic materials, workers must be instructed in proper materials handling and made aware of specific requirements outlined in various subparts of OSHA’s training and education guidelines.

Plants and Animals

  • At job sites where harmful plants or animals may be present, employees must be trained in potential hazards and how to avoid injury, as well as proper first aid procedures to be administered in case an accident occurs.

Confined or Enclosed Spaces

A confined or enclosed space is defined by OSHA as “any space with limited means of egress that is subject to the accumulation of toxic or flammable contaminants or has an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.”

  • Employees who must work in such areas must be trained in the nature of the potential hazards involved, as well as necessary precautions and the use of protective and emergency equipment.,
  • Confined and enclosed spaces include but are not limited to storage tanks, process vessels, bins, boilers, ventilation and exhaust ducts, sewers, underground utility vaults, tunnels, and pipelines.
  • Also falling under this category are pits, tubs, vaults, vessels and other open-top spaces that are more than four feet deep.

Importance of OSHA Training

OSHA training is most effective when integrated into your overall employee training process and interwoven into performance requirements and job practices. Your training program should reflect the needs and characteristics of your particular workforce.

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