Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beer and OSHA safety training don't mix

Last week, New York city mayor Michael Bloomberg called for a federal crackdown on fraudulent construction safety programs after a New York Daily News investigation exposed some dangerous practices.

Undercover Daily News reporters found that trainers were teaching 10-hour federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) courses in two hours. During breaks, some students allegedly drank beers at the bar below the training classroom.

"It's very worrisome. We depend on OSHA to train the workers here so that you're safe when you walk by a construction site, so that the people who work on that site are safe," Bloomberg said.

In a recent MSNBC article, “Would You Like a Beer with That OSHA Training?” the author chronicled how New York has been “dangerously negligent” in carrying out the mandatory safety training.

“Cheating is rampant. I hear lots of stories about guys getting OSHA cards in the back of a bar,” Martin Daly, head of training for the District Council of Carpenters told The News.

The $125 safety course was designed to prevent the types of construction accidents that have killed 19 people and injured 181 others last year alone.

But The News reporter found that instead of fostering, discussing and outlining procedures to deal with live electricity or prevent falls the course trainer simply showed the class a few videos and slideshows.

This attitude toward workplace safety isn’t an isolated occurrence. Studies show that negligence and cutting corners on safety training is a growing national problem.

According to a December survey of workers in the mechanical, electrical, facilities, utilities and plumbing (MEP) fields, almost half of respondents said their employer did not have a budget for training in 2009. One in four workers could not remember or had not been trained yet in a work-related safety procedure or process.

As a result of the recession, businesses have been cutting training and important safety initiatives out of the budget. It’s a decision that puts employees in danger of serious injuries and has businesses risking serious OSHA fines.

Read some of our related posts on the dangers of cutting safety initiatives out of the budget and how to save money on employee training:

Investing in leadership development during a downturn

Recession-proof employee training tips

Is our economy causing more workplace injuries?

Employee training and the 2009 budget battle


Peter Altuch said...

OSHA safety training is serious business for workers and employers. While an osha 10 hour training course with an authorized OSHA safety trainer can result in a positive experience, it can always be subject to the abuses like those reported...another alternative is to use online osha safety training that is reviewed and accepted by OSHA for online distribution....this way you know that the content will include the required training...what's more, students must pass a test for each section with a minimum score of 70% which ensures that your employees are absorbing the training...While some live courses are taught for a flat price regardless of students, online training is licensed per student and you will be able to receive a discount for groups...Spanish speaking employees can take the osha 10 hour course in their native language as well.

OSHAPro said...

Since becoming required by the state of New York (as well an MA, NH, CT, & RI), OSHA training is one of the types of learning that has really taken off. A person may receive their OSHA 10 or 30 hour training card by taking their online OSHA 10 hour training and 30 hour training courses at sites like or at . They receive quality training accepted by OSHA for online delivery, and receive the same exact OSHA wallet card as if they took the course live. This has really opened the door for many companies who could not justify an on site class due to cost or logistical challenges, and has really helped out individuals who wanted the OSHA training just for themselves. Very economical when compared to on site OSHA training, too.

anonymus said...

OSHA Training is a serious business and so enrolling into a proper course is very much important which would lead to generation of great learners. One of the good training courses are which is available to achieve what you want.

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