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OSHA: Employees need hands-on training, not just online training

OSHA requires that employee training must result in mastery of the training material. Recently, the safety organization stated that for this reason, online and computer training alone does not suffice. Workers in Florida who rely on their computers and smartphones on a regular basis may disagree, but they will likely agree that online training gives few opportunities for workers to ask questions of qualified trainers.

Even delayed and limited interaction are unacceptable, OSHA says, because they can hinder the worker's ability to learn and retain the information. OSHA recommends hands-on training with a qualified trainer. Workers will then be handling the actual equipment found on the job site, and trainers will be able to tell when workers have grasped all the proper techniques.

Workers should receive this hands-on training when it comes to performing tasks, using specific tools and wearing the right personal protective equipment. Again, online training is not enough, but the hands-on training acts as a supplement.

Employers, for their part, must review OSHA training standards to ensure that they are in compliance. They may, after all, be misled by the fact that OSHA offers dozens of videos and computer-based training programs on its website. Not only that, but many private companies also offer videos and computer-based programs to cover various OSHA topics.

Inadequate training is the indirect cause of many workplace accidents. That's why injured employees should understand that they can file for workers' compensation benefits after achieving maximum medical improvement. These benefits provide wage replacement and cover all medical costs as well as short- or long-term disability leave. No one's negligence needs to be proven; however, employers may try to deny coverage in certain instances. Legal counsel could help a worker file an appeal if such a problem arises.

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