Safety training and education in the workplace is serious business. In fact, thanks to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are required to ensure all of their employees are given sufficient safety training as well as any necessary safety equipment in order to keep their workers safe.
Many employers accomplish this by initial safety training upon hiring new personnel. However, just as many companies continue to keep their workers updated on safety practices by regular safety training meetings. Some employers even have their workers sign off after attending these meetings. But do you need employees to sign safety meetings to comply with OSHA mandates? The answer may surprise you!
What Is the OSHA Mandate?
It’s OSHA’s job to work with every employer in the United States, regardless of size, to ensure that these employers provide the highest possible standards of workplace safety for their employees. As part of this, OSHA has the responsibility to enforce a number of different requirements. However, if there’s one thing that isn’t required of them, in many cases there are no requirements for how many safety meetings an employer must hold over a given amount of time.
As there is no set federal requirement for the number of meetings an employer needs to conduct, this also means that there are close to zero requirements for taking attendance at these meetings by making your employees sign off on these meetings. However, just because there are few to no federal mandates, this doesn’t mean that you’re completely off the hook – there are many individual US states that may have more stringent safety requirements and their own regulations.
Meetings are Still Strongly Encouraged
While OSHA doesn’t require regular health and safety meetings or that employees sign off on these meetings, it’s still true that these regular training and education meetings are strongly encouraged by the federal watchdog. If you have a small business, or if you’re in a relatively low-hazard industry such as the provision of professional services, these expectations are even more relaxed. However, keep in mind that as an employer you are still required to keep your employees informed of any and all applicable safety guidelines. You also need to ensure your workers are trained appropriately as well.
Meanwhile, there are some types of employment that do require more stringent health and safety training and education. If you inhabit a high-hazard industry sector such as construction, you may indeed be required to hold regular safety meetings and to keep records of those meetings. However, if you have 10 or fewer employees, you may be exempt from these federal record-keeping requirements. Again, some states may have different requirements.
Always a Good Idea
Whether or not you need to have employees sign safety meetings to prove their attendance, it’s always a good idea to have regular health and safety training or education events with your workforce. Even if you’re not required to hold these meetings, the benefits of refreshing your workers on the most effective health and safety practices for your industry can go a long way in preventing accidents and injuries on the job.