Managing Fall Protection Training
Your fall protection plan must include a training program. In order to establish a quality fall protection training, you should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Train new employees about the fall protection plan, and offer training if the program changes or if there are significant changes in the plan such as the type of equipment used or if new OSHA guidelines are published.
- Consider making fall protection training an annual requirement for all employees.
- During training, ensure that employees understand the proper use of equipment via demonstration. Require that employees demonstrate the proper way to inspect, wear, adjust, and remove safety equipment.
- Provide live, personal fall arrest demonstrations. Many PPE suppliers and harness manufacturers provide this service. Consider consulting with their services to include in your worksite safety training.
Not only can employees learn a lot about fall protection via these annual training sessions, but the company can also identify and adjust any training requirements. Use Safesite to track training and identify gaps in employee understanding of your policies. Not only does it benefit you as the safety manager, but OSHA mandates a proper record as well.
What Level of Training Should You Employees Have?
Fall protection training can be classified into four categories: awareness, authorized-user, competent person, and qualified-person training. Every employee may not need the same level of fall protection training, but every employee can benefit from minimizing fall hazards.
Awareness training is essentially an overview of fall hazards in the workplace. It is a more general and basic approach to understanding fall risk, and many professionals do not consider this an adequate training level for most employees.
Authorized-user training is more job-specific training for individuals who need to understand fall protection for their regular on-the-job activities. This training will ensure that individuals know and understand OSHA standards and teach them how to be in compliance with those standards.
Competent Person Training
Competent person training is geared more toward supervisory-level roles. This training ensures that individuals have an understanding of all types of fall hazards in the workplace as well as appropriate measures for protection. This type of training would prepare an individual for how to suggest changes or additional training in the event that a new fall hazard presents itself.
Qualified Person Training
Qualified person training is the highest level of fall protection training available. It usually requires that the person possess a higher-level degree or specialized training. Ultimately, this person would be able to address technical issues that may arise. It is up to the employer to do their due diligence to identify if an employee is considered a qualified person.
How to Choose a Trainer
A company must do its due diligence to find a reputable fall protection trainer. You should rely on certifications, reputation, and the course overview to help you identify which trainer is most likely to reach your needs. You can rely on internet searches or peers in the industry to direct you toward the top trainer professionals. Make sure that there is a measurable outcome for the training and that it matches up well with your company’s goals.
Other considerations to keep in mind:
- The trainer should have adequate experience and proper training.
- There should be an on-the-site training, or a facility larger enough to have hands-on training experiences.
- The student-to-instructor ratio should be kept low for better learning experiences.
- Hands-on practice should be a requirement for the training experience.
Overall, you should evaluate the experience for your employees and consider how well the training will prepare your employees for avoiding, identifying, and remedying fall hazards in the workplace. Students should leave the training program with a thorough understanding of fall protection and more confidence in their abilities.
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