Safety Training International

Online OSHA Training & Workplace Safety

How to Use Webinars for Successful Training

Employee training is a task that usually comes under the supervision of managers. Each division, whether accounting, advertising, sales or customer service has needs specific to the service they render for the company. You need training seminars that teach the skills necessary for your employees to become more productive in their jobs, and that help foster collaboration and communication. One delivery option that provides flexibility in training are webinars. Webinars can be your key to developing leadership skills in your workplace.

A training Webinar is an online seminar. You log on at a particular time, and you will get to see a seminar on the Internet. Many training seminars are offered with a telephone number included, so that you can also call in and have an opportunity to interact with the trainer.

Online classes or webinars offer several advantages to in-person presentations. You are not limited to only local speakers for one. Nationally recognized trainers are available because with Internet access you are no longer limited by geography. An Internet presentation can be much more cost effective when you wish to have trainers give a presentation, but they live across the country from your offices and getting them there would make the training too cost prohibitive. Anyone with Internet access can participate in a webinar.

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Many managers appreciate the flexibility that comes with webinar presentations. You can provide a specialized training for a select group of employees, or even individual trainees, or you can train a large group when you use an online training. A computer hooked to a projector and an amplified speaker telephone makes online seminars for large groups a snap. Training in a group setting also has the added benefit of facilitating greater collaboration and communication among employees, an excellent result when teams use the skills learned at the seminar to more effectively function in a small-group dynamic.

Employees who are receiving the training get much more out of a presentation that has been not only presented live, but is also recorded. Most educational experts agree that learning is best accomplished in a circular rather than a linear manner. A student needs to take in a new idea more than once for it to become permanently ingrained. Unlike a live presentation where you see it one time, material can be repeated as many times as desired when it is recorded and available to your employees online. Employees can then learn at their own pace, an added boon to increasing the effectiveness of the delivery method for all employees.

All of the different learner types can be well accommodated through the webinar delivery method. People who learn by listening, watching or doing themselves will have ample opportunity to learn with webinar training.

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December 31, 2008 Posted by | Business, Economy, Education, Health & Safety, OSHA Compliance, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Locking In Safety…

Understanding and implementing OSHA-approved safety measures

Last year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued more than $750,000 in citations to the metal fabrication industry for equipment-related safety violations. This includes tool usage and guarding issues, control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), and electrical safety. These citations do not begin to account for the total cost to metal fabricating shops when considering associated property damage, medical costs, workers’ compensation and insurance increases, lost work time, and lawsuits that often go along with the citations. To avoid equipment-related incidents, you must understand OSHA requirements and have safety programs in place, including those pertaining to tool safety and machine guarding, lockout/tagout, and electricity.

Tool Safety and Machine Guardingmachineguards

Safe tool usage and machine guarding violations were the most frequent and costly citation areas last year. The first thing that you must do is assess the specific hazards by evaluating each piece of equipment. If the machine is new, determine all points of operation, pinch points, and areas that require protection. Ensure that all required guards are in place, and replace any missing guards before allowing anyone to use the equipment.

If you have an older machine that needs guards, you must first determine if the machine is still made. If it is, contact the manufacturer and ask for information on the current guards supplied with new machines. Purchase or replicate the new guard configurations to provide protection, and discard any equipment that cannot be guarded adequately.

After you have assessed the hazards and have adequate guards on your equipment, you can then develop your safety program. Equipment operators must leave the guards on at all times unless the equipment is locked out. Include in your safety program your policy on removal of guards, including who is authorized to do it, and the required lockout/tagout procedures. Also include discipline for employees who remove or bypass guards.

Next, explain the function and purpose of the guards to each employee. Managers and employees must be familiar with the proper guards so they can recognize when something is missing. Without knowledge of the safety program and the purpose and function of the guards that protect them, employees are more likely to bypass or remove them. Remember that a successful training program is always time and money well spent; studies have shown a $4 to $6 return for every dollar invested in safety and health.

Lockout/Tagout Safety

tagoutFailure to follow safe lockout/tagout procedures also accounted for a significant percentage of citation dollars. An effective lockout/tagout program is especially critical because the type of accident it is meant to prevent typically is severe and can result in crushing, amputation, struck-by, or electrocution injuries. OSHA requires you to identify the practices and procedures necessary to shut down and lock out or tag out machines and equipment; provide locks; and train employees on their role in the lockout/tagout program. Also, conduct periodic inspections to maintain or enhance your hazardous energy control program. The No. 1 citation in this area is lack of an effective written program.

Assess hazards by first identifying the lockout requirements for each piece of equipment used, serviced, and maintained at your facility. All energy sources must be documented, including direct and hidden sources. Documentation must include the hazard posed, the magnitude of danger, any special or unusual conditions, and the correct isolation methods and required devices.

About 95 percent of all lockout/tagout citations involve companies’ failure to have a formal program in place. The energy control or lockout/tagout program must be written and must include your hazard assessment, devices to be used, personnel authorized to perform lockout/tagout, enforcement policy and training methods, and the method for auditing and updating procedures. You must develop written procedures for shutting down and locking out each machine. Except in emergencies, each lock/tag must be removed by the person who put it on, and each employee must have his or her own locks and tags. Make sure your written program accounts for situations when servicing lasts longer than one shift, when contractors are involved, or when a group of employees services a piece of equipment.

The training program must consist of effective initial training and periodic retraining. You must have certification that training has been given to all employees covered by the standard. The training each employee needs is based on the relationship of his or her job to the machine or equipment being locked or tagged out. OSHA identifies three types of employees: authorized, affected, and other.

1. Authorized employees are those responsible for implementing the energy control procedures to perform service and maintenance. They must understand the need for lockout/tagout procedures and be able to recognize hazardous energy sources. They also must have a clear understanding of the means and methods of controlling the various types of energy sources and how to verify that each energy isolation is effective.
2. Affected employees are those who operate or use equipment on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under lockout, or those who work in an area where servicing or maintenance is performed. Affected employees must ensure that they can recognize when a lockout/tagout procedure is being implemented. The goal of this training is simple: Whenever there is a lockout or tagout device in place on an energy-isolating device, the affected employee must leave it alone and make no attempt to operate the equipment.
3. All other employees must be able to recognize when the control procedure is being implemented and understand that they must leave lockout/tagout devices alone and not attempt to energize or operate the equipment.

site-meetingRetraining must be provided whenever there is a change in job assignments, machines, equipment, or processes that present a new hazard; when there is a change in energy control procedures; inadequacies are present in employees’ use of the energy control procedure; or at least every three years.

Periodic inspections must be performed annually on each energy control procedure at your site, and the employer must certify that the periodic inspections have been performed. The certification must identify the particular machine, the date of the inspection, the employees included in the inspection, and the name of the person performing the inspection.

Electrical Safety

An average of one worker dies from electrocution on the job every day. Even low-voltage or low-current shock can cause serious harm or death. All of the equipment in a metal fabricating shop operates on 110 V or more and is capable of causing electric shock, burns, or electrocution.

Check your tools and equipment to ensure that the ground prong is present and that cords are in good condition. OSHA requires that live parts of electrical equipment operating at 50 V or more be guarded against accidental contact. Whenever conduit or electrical equipment is in a location where it could be exposed to physical damage, it must be enclosed or guarded. Junction boxes, pull boxes, and fittings must have approved covers. Unused openings in cabinets, boxes, and fittings must be closed.

Flexible cords are vulnerable because they can be damaged by aging, door or window edge contact, staples or fastenings used to hold them in place, abrasion from adjacent materials that they may contact, and various activities in their proximity. Improper use of flexible cords or use of damaged cords can cause shocks, burns, or fire. Whenever possible, use one of OSHA’s recognized hard-wiring methods. OSHA allows flexible cords to be used only for certain applications.

Check your circuits regularly. An inexpensive tester can tell you if the ground iselectrical-6 connected and can also test your ground fault interrupter (GFI) protection. Your safety program must include policies for grounding systems and electrical shutoff device systems. Develop policies for use of ladders and scaffolding around electrical devices. Extension cords have specific current ratings that must not be exceeded or they can overheat and cause a fire without tripping the circuit breaker. Use a qualified electrician for installation and repair of circuits.

Personnel who are at primary risk of electrical hazards are arc welders, those who work with or around electric power tools and equipment, and maintenance and janitorial staff who are responsible for handling electrical issues at your facility. At lesser risk are all other personnel who work with or around other electrical equipment, including lighting, computers, coffee makers, and so forth. Training must be adequate to the needs of each employee depending on his or her specific tasks.

Employees must understand the built-in safety features of electrical systems, including insulation, ground fault circuit interrupters, double-insulated devices, grounding (both of the circuit and the equipment), guarding of live electrical parts, and fuses and circuit breakers.

Employees also must follow safe work practices, such as de-energizing electrical equipment before inspecting or making repairs, correct usage of flexible cords and extension cords, recognition of damaged electric tools and procedures to remove them from use, how to work safely near energized lines, and use of personal protective equipment.

All lockout/tagout devices (locks and tags) must have four key characteristics:

* They must be durable, meaning that they must withstand the environment for the length of the expected exposure.
* They must be standardized according to color, shape, or size.
* Devices must be substantial enough to minimize early or accidental removal.
* They must be identifiable, clearly identifying the person who applied them and warning of hazards should the machine or equipment become energized.

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December 22, 2008 Posted by | Business, Economy, Education, Health & Safety, OSHA Compliance, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Supervisors: Five Ways to Follow Up on Training

Would you like it if your employees only gave 50% effort or completed half of their tasks?

Well, if you are only scheduling and implementing training sessions for your employees, you are merely employee-trainingdoing half the job. Equally as important as these two steps is the task of following up your training sessions.

Following up involves measuring and evaluating a session’s effectiveness. Doing so will provide you with a benchmark for future sessions as well as give your employees the opportunity to tell you how they would like to change the training subject or format.

Here are five easy steps to follow up your training sessions.

1. At the end of the training session, ask each participant to commit to trying 1-3 new skills. Get the participants to write down the actions and then schedule a follow up meeting to discuss whether theses actions stuck, and why. If you do want to lead this meeting yourself just bring back the original trainer.

2. Shortly after the training, ask each participant to give you a brief summary of the two or three most important points they took away from the training. Consolidate the responses and post them in a popular location for a couple weeks.

If time passes and you see your employees reverting to their old habits, email them their responses along with any more feedback you have received.

small-business3. If appropriate, post facts or statistics related to the training after a session. For example, if your training was on customer service, post the number of sales made per week to show employees how they are improving.

4. A week or two after the training, ask participants how they have changed. If appropriate, post the responses. If participants are saying they haven’t changed, ask why and how the training can be improved next time.

5. Several weeks after a training session, send the participants a quiz related to the training’s content. Post all the responses (but separate the right and wrong answers) and award a prize to the person who does the best. For example, if your training was on speedwriting, ask each participant to write down as many abbreviations they can come up with.

Follow these steps and see the results for yourself. After all, going halfway when it comes to managing your organization’s training only cheats the very employees whose performance you are looking to improve.

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November 25, 2008 Posted by | Business, Economy, Education, Health & Safety, OSHA Compliance, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments