Employee safety training usually isn’t the first thing that a CEO or business owner thinks about when he/she wakes up in the morning. However, it can often be the difference between business as usual, staring down millions of dollars in OSHA citations or worse, an incident that got an employee injured or killed. The good news is that there is so much training available today that it should be easy for employers to bring their employees up to speed on the information they need to ensure a safe workplace, right?
Unfortunately, if the answer were yes, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today. In fact, over the years I have gotten questions from stakeholders all over the country asking such questions as: What do my employees need to be trained on? What type of training is acceptable? How often do they need this training?
As we head into National Electrical Safety Month here in May, it is important that we pause to think about items like this.
I recently did a webinar for EC&M magazine that broke down the requirements for training found in NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. View the full webinar here.
In this webinar I went through what training does NFPA 70E require for qualified persons? How about unqualified persons? I also explored some of the ups and downs of the current training landscape and explored some new frontiers that electrical safety training is entering.
In this day and age of instantaneous access to information, we should and must be able to answer all of the questions surrounding electrical safety training so that no workplace is left in the dark. (Yes, that is a little bit of electrician humor because if your electrician is lying on the ground after getting shocked, who is left to connect the lights?) In all seriousness though, we do have the ability to get information into the hands of those that need it almost instantly today and there really is no excuse for not knowing anymore. When it comes to electrical safety in the workplace, there is so much information available and more ways to consume it than ever before. However, none of that matters without making an effort. You shouldn't view training as something you are being forced to do; consider taking the necessary training because you know it will help keep you and others around you safe while at work.
Through continued engagement in the electrical safety culture we CAN make an industry shift from taking safety training because we have to, to taking training because we need to know how to make a safe workplace. At NFPA we are happy to continue with resources that can help, such as the above mentioned webinar and the various other channels with which we try and get information out to the world.
Check out the webinar, leave a comment, ask a question, and spread the word. Also, make sure to follow me here on NFPA Xchange as I plan to roll out a series of blogs during the coming weeks in the spirit of National Electrical Safety Month; your interaction and engagement is what keeps us going at NFPA!