15 Crucial Compliance Lessons

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This act was promulgated by the Nixon administration in 1970. The agency itself is a unit of the U.S. Labor Department.

The purpose behind the agency's creation was to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all workers. It has the power to both set and enforce standards. However, OSHA is also widely known due to the fact that it offers a wide range of training and outreach programs so as to sensitize the workforce about all workplace safety-related issues. Its domain includes state and the private sector throughout much of the United States, effectively making OSHA training a very important part of any company's LMS training program.

Why LMS for OSHA Safety Training
Before 1970 when OSHA was formed, thousands of people lost their lives due to job-related injuries, while many more were injured. There were disability pensions, lost productivity, and wages that hit both the private and the public sector. OSHA safety training, especially online training though a well-structured LMS, is necessary to ensure that your organization's safety record remains impeccable and all OSHA regulations are rigidly enforced. Failure to comply would mean stiff penalties as well as citations, because OSHA officers are duly authorized to pay surprise visits to check and see if your organization is in compliance of their rules. It is pertinent to note that one of OSHA's goals is to make employers accountable for any deaths or accidents at the workplace due to unsafe practices.

The following are 15 Lessons about OSHA safety compliance that are offered through online courses with the help of a well-structured LMS:

1. Hand and Power Tools. The use of portable power tools such as manual, electric as well as pneumatic power tools may prove to be dangerous. An efficient online course can easily demonstrate as to how they may safely be used so as to ensure there are no accidents.

2. Hand Safety. Hand safety is very important because most accidents occur due to improper placement of hands on powerful machinery. Hand safety guidelines are imperative for ensuring a safe environment at the workplace.

3. Forklift Operations. Because forklifts lift heavy weights (often in tight spaces), the risk of accidents is high. Training on their safety features and control elements must be provided to their operators.

4. Emergency Response. Each employee should be taught how he has to respond in case of a workplace emergency such as bomb scares, natural disasters, fire, armed gunmen running amok, and other similar situations.

5. Chemical Safety. Awareness regarding the safety as well as the security of chemicals is necessary due to the fact that many chemicals present an occupational hazard because of their inherently dangerous nature. All employees should be well trained on how to handle such chemicals as well as steps to take in case of exposure.

6. First Aid Courses. In case of an untoward incident, often the only first aid responders would be co-workers of the stricken employee. Therefore it is essential that they learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC), along with other relevant first aid courses.

7. Driver Safety. Safe driving has to be each and every employee's personal responsibility once he or she gets behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle. Properly trained and qualified drivers would go a long way toward minimizing work-related automobile accidents.

8. Electrical Safety. Electricity is one of the most hazardous substances in the world and that is why it is critically important that employees should know the do's and don'ts of working with it. They should be taught as to why they must never bypass safety measures, regardless of how important it may be to save time.

9. Respiratory Protection. Employees working with hazardous chemicals, gases, and such must have access to respirators. Moreover, they must also be taught not just why they should use them, but how to use them properly. Basic training courses on the awareness of health hazards to the respiratory system as well as how to avoid them should be part of the training program of every company that has to deal with such substances.

10. Chlorine. This substance is very commonly available in the industrial sector. However, it is so dangerous that it is even used as a chemical weapon. Awareness training of handling this seemingly innocuous chemical is necessary, along with training on how to minimize exposure, as well as what to do in case accidental exposure takes place.

11. Severe Cold. Employees may have to work in severely cold conditions; if they are not aware of the problems associated with cold stress, they might unknowingly risk frostbite, amputation, and even death. They must be taught the symptoms and conditions arising from extreme cold and what to do when faced with such conditions.

12. Hearing Protection. Workers operating in an environment where very loud noise is the norm (such as airports and shooting ranges) must be made aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to such noise on their ears. They must also be trained to use proper hearing protection equipment when working in such surroundings.

13. Welding. This is also an extremely dangerous occupation -- not only can the slightest accident expose the arc's operator to a flame that burns iron like a hot knife going though butter, but there are the ancillary hazards of lung cancer and metal poisoning. All welders must know the correct safety protocols when handling their equipment.

14. Mechanical Crane Safety. Workers who operate cranes and other heavy machinery should be made aware of the dangers inherent to such machines and must be trained in the security protocols as well as safety features of their machines.

15. Fire Safety. Workplace fires and explosions due to unsafe handling of explosive chemicals and gases are amongst the most common causes of death and personal injury as well as damage to property at the workplace. All employees must be taught how to avoid starting accidental fires and how to respond to a fire and extinguish it. Furthermore they must be taught all about fire exits (it's the responsibility of the employer to provide such exits), firefighting equipment, as well as basic handling of fire extinguishers.

OSHA inspectors are empowered by the law to perform snap checks at any workplace in its jurisdiction to see whether the organization is in violation of its safety and security protocols. Therefore, it is imperative that safety training sessions are conducted. Currently, many organizations are offering excellent online training courses though well structured LMS systems. Offering such courses to your employees would not only mean the avoidance of hefty fines and citations but also ensure that your workplace remains safe from accidents and other similar hazards.

Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He has more than seven years of experience working with the ProProfs learning management system and other eLearning authoring tools, which has given him a hands-on experience of the latest course authoring software and an exclusive insight into the eLearning industry.(For information, ProProfs, 6800 Altamor Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045, 855-776-7763, www.proprofs.com/.)

Posted on Jun 21, 2016

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