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Focus: satisfying OSHA industry training guidelines

Saying that, "There's no problem until there's a problem," a director of training programs geared toward compliance standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration strongly cautions companies against taking training shortcuts.

Granted, the inclination to do so might be strong for some cash-strapped or otherwise constrained employers with knowledge that OSHA oversight might be lacking somewhat these days owing to limited personnel and budget cuts.

Not abiding scrupulously by the rules, though, and ensuring that employees are fully trained and qualified, is a bad ploy in several respects.

First, a conscientious employer with a safety-first emphasis would simply never engage in purposeful strategies that seek to evade training mandates. And, second, the downside for a company that does is that heavy fines and penalties are virtually certain to be assessed in the event that OSHA inspectors come calling.

In such a case, notes the training director cited above, “the house of cards you’ve built will likely come crashing down.”

Federal safety regulators have crafted specific industry training requirements for many industries, some of which are notably detailed and comprehensive. In order to meet minimum mandated standards, employers must convince OSHA inspectors that company training has closely tracked the requirements and rendered applicable employees fully qualified.

Attorneys that specialize in OSHA compliance can help ensure that in-house training programs respond fully to agency dictates and will hold a company in good stead in the event its training processes and protocols are examined by safety inspectors.

The best way to ensure such an outcome is to establish customized training programs that are precisely tailored to OSHA requirements. A proven industry training law firm can help a company set up a relevant training program and be confident that it will be looked upon favorably by OSHA officials.

Source: Rental Management Magazine, "Risk management: understanding appropriate forklift training," Maura Paternoster, May 1, 2014

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