Economical Training

There are many companies that provide training programs, seminars and videos. However, this book was designed for small companies. Large companies that provide training for large corporations charge a lot of money because their training is for large staffs. It is not unusual to pay over $1500 for a single training program. As you will learn, one video is not enough. It is likely that you will pay thousands to train your staff if you plan to acquire all the videos. Here are some ideas on how to cut these costs.

CAE Consultants Inc. specializes in written programs. Some of our plans have simple PC slide shows that can be used for training or refreshers. Call (914)963-3695 to see if we have a written plan for your industry and if it has a PC slide show. 

Insurance company is often a little-known source of FREE training and most businesses don't even know it. Even if you have a small policy with a company like AETNA for example, they will train you free of charge! Courses they provide are very comprehensive. The only requirement is that you send personnel to their site. 

Community colleges and state programs may provide additional low cost sources of training. Check all available resources in your community, including the fire department, the police, your sewage treatment and water system plants. Find out where they train and what it would cost you. 

Local business libraries, society libraries, or trade libraries or non-profit groups in your area may allow you to borrow materials for a period. 

Government training materials are generally less expensive, but not much more. For example, OSHA courses require you to travel to their site and they still run several hundred dollars. You can rent videos from certain companies, like ITS, Their videos are expensive but rentals are quite reasonable. The library of congress may allow borrowing and some State libraries may have materials they can mail to you. Check it out. Local consultants may not be as expensive as you think.

They may have materials ready and their fees to offer several courses could be reasonable, particularly if you combine this with other businesses. Work with your local technical society or chamber of commerce to see if you can do joint training with another group. 

You don't really have to go overboard either. You can use a training video, but in most cases, merely setting down with the employee and conveying the more important concepts of your program is sufficient. You can administer your own test. Just be sure that you record everything and make them sign their training completion forms. 

Where states require training, you are stuck having to take their courses and pay their license fees. In New York, for example, obtaining all of the licenses required to handle asbestos runs over $2,000. It is a way to lock people into a particular training program for which someone has contracted. It leaves some trainers out of the business. If you are a small minority business, see if you can get a grant to train your staff. 

Some states put a lot of taxpayer money in developing programs for their government and federal employees. They may have a program to allow local small businesses to share the cost. Call and check it out. Sometimes you can work a special deal with the program director. If they have empty seats in the classroom why let them go to waste? 

Protecting New Workers

New at the job  

If you are new at your job, your risk of injury is much greater than for your more experienced coworkers-. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that 40% of workers injured had been on the job less than one year.  

Why are new workers more likely to be hurt?  

BLS studies show that employees injured at work often lack one vital tool to protect themselves: information. Look at the following data gathered by BLS in various surveys: 

• Of 724 workers hurt while using scaffolds, 27% said they received no information on safety requirements for installing the kind of scaffold on which they were injured. 

• Of 868 workers who suffered head injuries, 71% said they had no instruction concerning hard hats. 

• Of 554 workers hurt while servicing equipment, 61% said they were not informed about lockout procedures.  

In nearly every type of injury, BLS researchers have studied; the same story is repeated repeatedly. Workers often do not receive the safety information they need - even on jobs involving dangerous equipment where training is clearly essential. In one BLS study of workers injured while operating power saws, nearly one of every five said no safety training on the equipment had been provided. 

This problem deserves immediate attention from both the federal and private sectors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) want to work with workers, employers, and vocational schools to increase protections for new employees. 

Employees Can't Be Penalized For Reporting A Hazard

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, it is against the law for your employer to punish you for reporting a safety or health hazard. You cannot be discriminated against, fired, demoted, or otherwise penalized for complaining to your employer about a hazard, requesting an OSHA inspection, participating in union safety and health activities, or otherwise exercising your rights under the OSHA Act. 

If you believe you have been illegally punished, you must file your complaint with OSHA within 30 days for it to be timely. OSHA can take action, including going to court if necessary, to force your employer to restore your job, earnings, and benefits. You will not have to pay any legal fees. Recent court cases awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay to employees who charged employers with firing after blowing the whistle. OSHA is very serious about this rule.  

Health Hazards Can Cause Imminent Danger 

Many people think that only safety hazards, which could cause accidents, can be considered imminent dangers. 

It is important to remember that health hazards can cause imminent dangers. Exposure to some toxic substances or dangerous fumes, dusts, or gases can cause irreversible physical harm, shortened life, or reduced physical or mental performance. OSHA may consider such hazards to be imminent dangers even if the health effects of exposure to these hazards do not become immediately apparent. 

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