Safety Blog Series: Part 3 | You’ve Got the Job. Now What?

Safety Blog Series: Part 3 | You’ve Got the Job. Now What?

Jill James

Jill James

Chief Safety Officer

Jill James brings an unrivaled perspective on risk, regulation and liability. With 14 years of experience as a Senior OSHA Safety Investigator with the State of Minnesota, and nearly a decade in the private sector as a safety program manager, Jill is a passionate advocate for training ROI.

Watch the What I Wish I Knew When I Start in Safety Webcast

Hey, you came back!

Thanks for sticking with this. The first two posts of this series (Part 1, Part 2) set an important, albeit daunting, foundational pieces of this safety job.

My goal for the remainder of the series is to give you deployable tools to pull this job together and help you not reinvent the wheel. In fact, I hope to give you the whole wheel; you’ll just need to push it a little and let the momentum take hold.

Ready?

Let’s see if I can tap into my intuitive qualities and read your mind...

“What subjects must I provide safety training?”

Did I get that right?

Wait, I feel more questions

“What subjects are mandated by OSHA?”

“What’s the frequency required for training?”

Great! I read your mind. Safety people are so intuitive with one another; must be why I love this work!

Take a look at this graphic please . . . scan it for 30 seconds, don’t try to digest it now, then keep reading; we’ll come back to it.

Training Requirement Checklist

I wrote that checklist. There are 45 safety training subjects on it pertaining to what OSHA calls; General Industry employers (see Part 1 of this series for General Industry definition).

Here’s what is special about that list: The first three columns are subjects linked to a Federal OSHA law that uses the words “shall” or “must” (mandatory) provide training if you have exposure to that hazard topic. The last column are topics for which employers often provide training however, they are not connected to a “shall” or “must” training provision in a particular federal OSHA law, making them a best practice but not required unless your state has a special provision.

How do I know those 4 columns are correct?

Well, I hunkered-down with a lot of coffee and mustered all of the patience I have and read this document. All 270 pages of it. I pulled out the parts pertaining to general industry settings, laid the printed pages out all over my dining room table, chairs and kitchen counter (because I am a visual and tactile learner plus needed to stay awake reading regulatory stuff so this kept me moving around), then I grabbed a highlighter and my paper copy of the 29 CFR 1910 and crossed-referenced and double checked the work of the OSHA publication against the law, because I am anal-retentive like that. What you see in the image above and the work I am sharing with you in the remainder of this post is a result of the work I did in my dining room and kitchen.

The first three columns in the checklist above are further broken-down by my professional judgment. The topics covered in column one will generally apply to most workplace settings. I didn’t say all, but most of you reading this will more than likely need to train on the topics in column one. The topics in the second column will apply to many of you reading this, and the third column topics will only apply to some of you in certain industries.

That’s a little helpful right? Now you know what is linked to mandatory training and what is not. Plus I did a little professional guess work for who needs what.

But, now you want 100% certainty right? If you are going to assign training subjects to your employees, you want to know you didn’t miss anything AND that you weren’t overzealous in assigning that which you do not need, right?

Okay, so let’s do that.

About a year ago, I decided to write a presentation around those 45 safety training subjects. During the presentation, I describe what sorts of jobs, occupations or departments each training subject applies to as a prompt to get you thinking about your workforce and their hazard exposures.

The genius people in my Marketing Department developed an interactive tool allowing participants in the presentation to score themselves on what training they already had in place, what training was missing and which training subjects they needed to dig deeper to find out if anyone really does work with formaldehyde as an example.

Throughout the presentation, you are recording your own situation, taking notes as to which departments or groups of people training topics apply. When you are complete, the information you recorded is processed and returned to you in a comprehensive report describing what you need, who needs it, a short description of the training subject and includes the training frequency as required by the OSHA law.

We call the presentation T4C or Training for Compliance. I started doing the presentation at ASSE conferences across the country and additionally turned it into a live or recorded webcast which we provide free to anyone who wants it.

Here is a link to the latest recorded version of the webcast. It allows you to record your answers. It’s an interactive tool and takes under an hour to complete.

Just think, in under an hour, you will know exactly what you need to be training on without reading the entire 29 CFR 1910 cover-to-cover!

Hold on. I need to stop myself. I sound like a cheesy advertisement in those last few sentences; yuck.

Here’s the deal...

As a safety professional, I was getting weary of walking employers through figuring out what they needed for training one by one. The sound of my voice was a broken record in my own head asking the same set of questions over and over and I’ve been at this gig 20 years! Plus everyone wanted me to send them a report with my notes and recommendations. I figured there had to be an easier, faster way that would free-up my time thus, the birth of T4C. I guess I invented it to prevent my voice from getting hoarse and out of fear of becoming one of those people who turn into some robot who hates a repetitious job.

As it turns out, it was totally worth reading those 270 pages!

There are two bonuses I wasn’t expecting as a result of this work:

  1. Appreciation from people who participated in a live presentation or a webcast. Many of you have opened that huge OSHA document, took one look at it and closed it. You understand fully the source I used for this work.
  2. Safety professionals and HR Directors are assigning T4C webcast to department leads to complete for individual work groups. A T4C participant doesn’t need to know safety to complete the exercise; they only need to know the type of work their employees perform. Some larger employers have also asked me to come to their workplace to do the presentation live for department leads as a big group. This has been especially helpful for safety professionals and HR Directors who are having difficulty getting department leads or operations persons to believe they really have to do this safety training stuff. You know, that old adage . . . It’s hard to be a profit in your own land.

I’m excited for you to give T4C a try and for you to get your report back!

When you’re done, give me a shout with your questions, I’d love to hear from you!

What I Wish I Knew When I Started In Safety Webcast