Help Staff Achieve EHS Training Obligations

Ellen Rathbone image

by Ellen Rathbone
Regulatory Specialist
St.Germain Collins | Sentry EHS®

Keeping up with the various environmental, health and safety (EHS) training requirements is always a challenge.  Training can be unpopular with both management and employees and seen as a distraction from the work at hand, but fail to train and your employees may make mistakes than can harm themselves and other employees and cost the company in fines.

Keeping training up-to-date though can not only avoid penalties, it can help employees be safer and more productive as well.  Often training serves as an opportunity for staff to discuss policies and procedures, to better understand why things are done in a certain way, and to brainstorm better ways of working together.  Convincing them of all that is a tall order.  Therefore, here are some tips for keeping training fun and relevant.

Tips for productive training programs:

  • – Develop an effective method to track training for employees.  Consider using Sentry EHS to set reminders for when to train your staff.  Or if your company uses human resources software to track employee data, see if they have a module to track training. When all else fails, a good spreadsheet can help keep track of requirements.
  • – Make sure all employees are accounted for.  Add new employees and remove old ones from the list.  Review job descriptions to make sure each employee is receiving the training sufficient to meet their needs and to meet regulatory requirements.
  • – Review your training schedule annually.  Check to see if a change in company operations prompts new training requirements.  See if new employees have received the training they need.  And verify that your budget is adequate to cover your training needs.
  • – Announce the agenda and duration up front and stick to it, demonstrating that you respect the trainee’s time.
  • – Encourage trainee participation, ask discussion questions, give small prizes (think chocolate) for participation.
  • – Scheduling training that includes lunch is great for shorter trainings, but avoid scheduling into the mid-afternoon slump.
  • – Have a quiz, but be sure your training sets everyone up to do well.
  • – Keep careful records of your training programs, who attended and what information was included.  If you are going to invest in training, you definitely want to be able to show that you are in compliance.

The table here includes many regulatory training requirements which may apply to your company.  Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list. For assistance determining what training is required, and what training options are available, please contact us or call 207-591-7000 x19 to speak with me about your particular needs.