Every week, we get a lot of questions concerning OSHA certification and our training programs. This blog series will hopefully answer a lot of your questions and help steer you in the right direction when choosing a training program that best fits your business.
The topic this week is OSHA certification. OSHA does not certify anything. They only create regulations/rules which employers must follow.
When OSHA states things like “The employer shall certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required by this paragraph (l). The certification shall include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation” (which is word for word stated in OSHA’s forklift regulation) they are not stating or implying employees must be certified by OSHA. Certification means documentation of the training is required to show that an employee was indeed properly trained. It does not mean OSHA will certify any employee or that anyone can be certified by OSHA to operate a forklift, aerial lift, power tool, etc. It just means employers must document training and be able to provide proof should it ever be requested.
Statements like “Get your employees OSHA certified” are a little misleading and are often used by other companies. We do not want to imply to our customers, venders, or anyone else that our training programs will “OSHA certify” them. Our training programs will assist employers in providing the necessary training to ensure employees are capable of performing the work required and to do so according to OSHA requirements. Our training programs will not provide ALL the necessary training on any subject. They should be used as part of a wider training program which could incorporate additional classroom training, supervised practical hands-on training, and other types of training to ensure employees have the knowledge and skills to work safely.
For example, you would not watch a 20-minute video on how to parachute and then go out and jump from a plane at 20,000 feet and expect things to go well. By the same token, watching a 20-minute video on forklift safety does not provide the all necessary knowledge and skills for someone to immediately go out and operate a forklift. Our videos provide very useful information and helps employees understand many of the regulations and rules concerning forklift usage. But they also need to have supervised time operating the forklift and specific training on the particular type forklift they will be operating.
The main take away today is to think “documentation” when you hear “certification” and “OSHA” in the same sentence. If you have any questions concerning this information reply back to all and ask. Your question might spur on additional questions and/or be helpful to others.
Next time we’ll cover the question “Are your training programs OSHA compliant?” The short answer is no but we’ll get into that next week.