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What Does OSHA Say About Online Training? [in 2022]

September 7, 2022

Online Training Graphic with Logo

You may be wondering how online safety training can benefit your workplace. After all, if it matters in your day-to-day operations, you want to ensure that all employees are up-to-date with the latest safety trends to keep employees safe and all equipment in order.

Employers understand the critical nature of safety, so how can you convey that to your entire team? OSHA recognizes effective training modules with interactive computer-based training that help engage employees in the training program.  Sometimes, online safety training is just easier for employees, easier for managers to track progress, and easier for businesses to stay compliant with their training programs.  (By the way, we do offer an Online Safety Training system that you should check out).

So what does OSHA say about online training? Let’s discuss…

Why Are Occupational Safety and Health Training Programs Required?

Does OSHA require employers to provide training? Yes, they do. And now, these can even be done online.

But how can computer-based training programs help meet OSHA’s worker training requirements? Basically, the same concepts that can be taught in person can be taught in an online environment (Covid helped teach us that).  Safety concepts, safety tips, and OSHA requirements can all be taught through an online safety portal.  Of course, you can also supplement the online training with hands-on training at your facility (and you should!).

These programs are designed to train employees according to industry standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) so that all employees are safe. OSHA’s training requirements are meant to be completed in a timely manner so that all employees have the proper knowledge before stepping foot into the field.

Trainees that work through the self-paced education take part in an effective method of instruction that provides invaluable information before the hands-on training begins. By familiarizing oneself with compliance assistance resources, an employee can be more prepared for their initial encounter with machinery in the workplace.

Employee Training Road Sign

Does OSHA Accept Online Safety Training Certifications?

Of course! OSHA’s worker training requirements can be completed online through approved programs. As long as the instruction meets OSHA standards, the format in which the training delivery is received doesn’t matter. The administration believes in interactive and hands-on components to provide training and comprehensive education to both employers and employees.

OSHA states that an online training program is a valuable training tool in combination with a traditional, hands-on safety program. These online programs are considered additional materials that will prepare employers and employees to face certain scenarios with more preparation than standard training itself would.

OSHA’s view on self-paced, online training is that it is a comprehensive addition to hands-on components in the workplace, making it a valuable part of the overall training program requirements.

Benefits of an Effective Online Health Training Program

The benefits of an online safety training program go beyond the initial modules and education. Safety and health training educates workers on OSHA standards and how they can continue to uphold them on the job. Effective safety can only be in place when trainees have completed their coursework and understand the safety concepts thoroughly.

Online safety training allows employees to get the information they need from a safe location without being in the field. This enables them to review the lesson material before putting it into practice. An online training module is recommended for those who wish to supplement traditional methods with an additional, engaging course that assesses the safety training comprehension of the employee.

Additionally, online instruction allows employers to view the employees’ progress and track who has completed the necessary modules to continue working. Online safety training can also be repeated as needed to meet OSHA guidelines and maintain safety standards in the workplace.

Online Training Graphic

How Can I Satisfy OSHA Training Requirements Online?

Knowing what OSHA believes about online instruction modules, what can you do to help meet the criteria for satisfaction? Compliance is essential for all employers and employees to meet with online training. One way to ensure compliance is to keep a careful eye on deadlines and meet them before they pass.

Completing coursework will allow you to act in compliance with OSHA standards, even if you are focused on online modules and content. Knowing this, OSHA regulations also state that computer-based training alone is not sufficient to satisfy all requirements. In some cases, a traditional, interactive experience is necessary to ensure that proper procedures are being followed to the letter so that all employees are safe on the job.  “Hands-on” training is necessary, and in these cases the online training is just step 1 to the employee’s learning journey.

Help And Resources About Online Training Programs Acceptable by OSHA Regulations

Are you worried about meeting the OSHA standards and upholding safety in your workplace? You’re not alone! That’s why there are resources you can use to help stay on top of things. OSHA provides different guides and outlines for you to review when you need a refresher course or when standards are updated to reflect current safety concerns.

Advisers and e-tools are available for your use to determine the best course of action for your workplace. Not all companies will benefit fully from an online component, but you can experience a decrease in potential workplace hazards when all employee knowledge is reinforced regularly. Having resources on hand to evaluate before making crucial decisions and decrease that risk further!

OSHA Definition

Web-Based Training Tools

When focusing on health and safety topics, these web-based programs are designed to supplement additional learning on the job. This includes best practices and answers to user questions that are frequently asked. Graphic menus are utilized and illustrated to allow for a seamless and engaging experience during the process.

Expert advisors are available for consulting on any necessary modules to ensure comprehensive understanding before completion. A combination of the two allows all interacting with the platform to get the information they need without the hassle of tracking down the proper officials on-site. Instead, at the comfort of one’s computer, this information can be accessed quickly and securely.

Video-Based Training Tools

These work very well for employees because safety concepts can be taught with visuals, examples, etc.  With this approach, visual learners may have an easier time understanding the concepts presented to them.

Additionally, having videos prepared is more engaging than reading a document on one’s own. With the video tools at your disposal, expert discussion of prevention can be easily accessed from the comfort of the computer without the risk of accidental deletion. An overview of these videos can be helpful to all employees seeking assistance or further clarity with certain procedures or safety measures.

OSHA Infographic

What a Blended Approach Looks Like

Is online safety training effective? Yes, but a blended approach is often necessary.

A blended approach takes the best from both traditional and online settings, allowing each to complement the other and fulfill the employees’ education requirements to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards. Doing so is comprised of on-the-job work as well as fundamental coursework from a computer.

One form of education without the other creates a gap in understanding that is difficult to overcome. Just as people have different approaches to learning, there needs to be an adjustable approach to teaching so that all employees can adapt and learn the necessary skills to stay safe on the job.

Having a multi-faceted approach allows for more flexible and comprehensive education to take root, further developing the overall working environment towards the goal of safety and compliance with standards.

The Bottom Line:

When it comes down to it, having online training modules is a benefit to employees because it supplements the traditional training content and reinforces critical concepts that are necessary to know. Feel free to use OSHA-provided resources to evaluate the situation and make the right call for your company and workers.

Consider implementing an online training program for your workers today so that they are prepared to face tomorrow head-on!