What Do You Mean By That? Use And Misuse Of EHS Training Terms

Jonathan A. Jacobi

Jonathan A. Jacobi, MS, CSP, CHST Senior EHS Manager, PureSafety

More companies are realizing that EHS Training delivers benefits beyond compliance, including improved productivity, quality and competitive position. Instead of a “cost center,” EHS training is being viewed as a business investment – and EHS professionals are being asked to produce and document results that show it is a good investment.

OSHA standards for specific topics (fall protection, ladders, scaffolding, cranes, rigging, excavations, trenching, etc.) further clarify the minimum roles and responsibilities for those deemed competent or qualified. However, employers ultimately must determine what competent and qualified should mean in their specific setting. Employers also must ensure that competent or qualified employees not only have the knowledge, but also the demonstrated abilities (identifying hazards, using equipment, etc.) and the organizational authority (being able to stop a dangerous job, allocate/mobilize resources, etc.) that OSHA requires.

Select vendors may be equipped to provide site-specific, performance-based training to support the knowledge and ability aspects of OSHA definitions. But you should be wary of vendors claiming to offer turnkey training solutions that make someone competent, since only employers can make this determination and grant the organizational authority that OSHA requires. Read the rest of this article at EHS Today.