COVID19 has reshaped the way we work. From wearing masks to working from home, almost all industries have been affected. With employers attempting to keep employees safe by maintaining social distancing, that calls to mind one other way businesses keep employees safe, training.
While safety and health training has been available digitally for some time, it has become a more popular consideration since the pandemic. The main concern of many employers is whether these digital training programs will be sufficient to keep their workers safe and healthy.
OSHA clarified in a Letter of Interpretation¹ in 1994 that digital training can be “a valuable training tool.” However, they continue by stating that computer-based training, by itself, would not be sufficient” to meet OSHA’s training requirements. This is especially true for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HazWOPER) training. While training videos can be informative and useful, they do little to appeal to the needs of unique businesses. A key part of training is being able to ask questions, and many digital-only training programs do not allow the trainee that clarity. Furthermore, most training needs a hands-on aspect. While the future of digital training may be able to replace this, as of now there is no good replacement for classic hands-on training. While digital training can be a good tool to utilize during this hectic time, it is important to not allow it to replace those ever-important in-person training sessions. Finally, OSHA has warned about buying generic digital training programs, since those fail to meet site-specific needs that a more robust, customized training program should include. After all, what use is knowing the generic theory on an OSHA topic if the employee cannot relate it to what is seen in his or her own workplace and to their daily tasks?
Though it would be convenient, Zoom™ calls cannot replace the way employees are trained, especially when it comes to HazWOPER and many other OSHA standards. CTI offers a host of in-person training programs, all of which carefully follow OSHA (& CDC) guidelines to ensure there are no training deficiencies in the way you keep your business safe and productive.