Why Maintaining Accurate Safety Training Records Leads to a Safer Workplace
16 August 2023 - Evotix
One of the main reasons employers keep training records is to prove to regulators that employees are prepared to perform their tasks safely. But managing safety training records successfully has advantages beyond ensuring compliance. Keeping accurate, updated and organized training records is a proactive step that can help you create a safer and more productive workplace environment.
In this post, we’ll tackle what you need to know about managing training records. We’ll discuss who needs training records, the benefits of managing them well, their contents and the most sought-after record-keeping features you should look for when choosing a software solution.
Who should have a training record?
Management should ensure that everyone involved with your organization has accurate, organized and accessible training records. Yes, everyone—this includes contractors, seasonal workers and temporary workers.
When it comes to keeping training records, contractors should be treated like employees. Just like employees, their records should be kept according to OSHA’s guidelines.
The benefits of effective record keeping include:
Employers need to demonstrate that their workers are aware of the potential hazards involved in their roles and capable of employing best practices to keep themselves and their coworkers safe.
If companies can’t provide regulators with accurate training records, regulators performing an audit or inspection will assume the training in question was never carried out and issue a citation.
If your organization has an audit or inspection coming up, it’s worth reviewing your training records to make sure you can provide regulators with the relevant training records.
Well-maintained records make it easy for employers and employees to identify which individuals have been trained for certain tasks.
Having this information makes it highly unlikely that anyone will be assigned to a task they aren’t properly trained for. On the other hand, if an employee is absent, employers can easily find a replacement among those who have completed the necessary training.
Additionally, keeping up-to-date training records will also ensure that employees receive the most up-to-date training for their roles. For example, if a machine is replaced, safety training records can be checked to ensure that the employees’ training covers the potential hazards involved in operating the new machine. If the original training doesn’t apply, new training can be carried out.
Safe working environments boost employee engagement, morale and efficiency. Managing training records with expertise can boost productivity and help your organization reach business goals.
In addition, keeping accurate training records makes inspections and audits a breeze. Satisfied regulators are less likely to return for additional inspections and disrupt workflow.
What should training records include?
Detailed records should include the following:
Name of employee
Name, title and qualifications of instructor
Length of training
Format (video, in person, digital, remote instructor, etc.)
How long should you keep records for?
Under OSHA, there is no single requirement for how long organizations should retain employee training records. Instead, requirements vary depending on the standard.
Some standards, such as the asbestos standard, require employers to keep records of training for one year after an employee’s last working date. Others, such as the bloodborne pathogens standard, require employers to keep training records for three years after an employee’s last working date.
For more information on standards at OSHA, visit Training Requirements in OSHA Standards.
What should you look for in a software solution to keep training records?
Using a software solution to streamline EHS in your business is an excellent way to save time and resources. But when it comes to keeping training records, what are the advantages of a software solution?
Many organizations still use manual methods, like spreadsheets, to manage training records. But with methods like these, it’s easy to lose track of which employees are properly trained.
By providing a centralized record storage system, software solutions can provide an easy solution to this problem.
If your company plans to implement a software solution, consider the following criteria:
With an automated solution, your organization will be able to set the system to send automatic reminders and notifications when an employee needs additional training.
This reduces the chance of human error and the likelihood that an employee will miss essential training. No need to dig through piles of paperwork; an automated software solution will do the digging, sorting and filing for you.
2. Ease of use
When it comes to health and safety, we know that unless a product is simple, nobody will want to use it. On the other hand, intuitive, easy-to-use software can actually boost employee engagement.
Finding a solution with a mobile option is a great way to promote employee engagement. With user-friendly interfaces and intuitive operating systems, mobile applications can drive participation.
Remember, your employees are your most important asset. Making it easier for them to complete the necessary training will ensure they’re performing at the top of their game.
3. Specific training on certain tasks
Some software offers customizable training options and specific training on certain tasks. When choosing a software solution, check whether your options include training modules specific to the tasks your workers perform.
4. Reporting function
Most software solutions feature reporting functions that can generate a visual report in seconds from accumulated data. Reports can offer a quick overview of gaps in training and enable management to assign training to fill those gaps.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of keeping your training records accurate, organized and accessible. Compliance is important, but managing your training records can bring you additional value beyond inspections and audits.
To learn more about how you can up your training game, check out our blog: Safety Training vs. Coaching: What’s the Difference?
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