Answer: At Least Annually
Every employer knows that before workers get on the job, they need to have a full understanding of all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required training. OSHA training ensures productivity while maintaining safety standards, and all contractors should anticipate both initial and annual training on a variety of topics.
Why Trained Annually?
You figure once you know it you shouldn’t have to endure it all again, right? Not necessarily, as OSHA requirements consistently update at least yearly in order to maintain and ensure full compliance and understanding. The industry is always evolving, both in technology and knowledge, and as this evolution continues, safety measures have to keep up.
Training you can count on having annual refreshers include:
- Asbestos. Both general industry and construction are updated annually on the handling and removal of asbestos.
- Blood borne. In an effort to avoid the spread of blood borne pathogens such as Hepatitis, the correct and safe handling and removal of bodily fluid (blood, urine, vomit, etc.) is covered annually.
- Toxic and hazardous substances. Provided they are present within the workplace, review of how to handle (or avoid) hazardous waste and substances is reviewed annually. This training can extend to a variety of substances, and some are covered regardless of the job site, while others are covered when specific jobs or scenarios could put a worker in a situation where exposure is possible.
- Emergency response. Procedures for handling emergency response such as your emergency response plan, PPE (personal protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, etc.) and emergency procedures.
- Fire extinguishers. Both the operation of and location of fire extinguishers on the premises are expected and refreshed annually.
- Hearing protection. Or, noise exposure is reiterated on an annual basis to ensure all workers on premises can identify noise protection equipment, are aware of how they operate, and when they are needed/required.
Some OSHA training is undertaken once a job is initiated, and does not require an annual refresher. A worker can expect orientation training immediately upon entering a work site for the first time, and if not, the worker should insist on receiving appropriate training.
NEVER undertake a job you have not been appropriately trained for.
Beyond the basics, there are numerous incident and job-site-specific training requirements that will be handled according to your assigned workspace. To review the list of OSHA training requirements more in-depth, view them here.
Maintaining Safety During Your Career
Understand that while reviewing OSHA training can be an exercise in patience as well as memorization, it really is entirely necessary. It only takes a single incident of negligence to place a worker in danger, and a single moment of lapse can leave a worker crippled or permanently harmed.
We would ask that you please take safety as an absolute priority, and take your training to heart. A moment of pride is in no way worth long-term bodily damage or even a fatality.