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How to Train Employees to Identify Risk Factors and Comply with Laws & Regulations

How to Train Employees to Identify Risk Factors and Comply with Laws & Regulations

The last thing you want is for your employees to be uninformed about compliance risks. You don’t want your employees asking themselves whether something is compliant or not on the job. Instead, you want your team to be knowledgeable and proactive. If they can spot common risk factors and typical sources of violations, they will not have to stop working due to their confusion. More importantly, they will not proceed despite the risk and make an expensive, possibly life-threatening mistake.

This guide will prepare your personnel to know core compliance risks and how to address them. That way, everyone in your organization is on the same page.

Top 10 Compliance Risks: Safety & Environmental

Let’s look at the top 10 compliance risks for both safety and environmental compliance.

Top Safety Compliance Risks

OSHA released the most common violations for 2020, along with the statutes and the number of instances for each. Here are the top occupational health and safety compliance risks:

  1. Fall Protection — General Requirements 

    This section discusses general concerns related to the types of fall protection systems employers must provide.

  1. Hazard Communication 

    This section is intended to ensure that there is a proper classification of all hazards in chemicals, whether they are imported or produced in the US. Plus, it details the proper distribution of hazard classification information to employers and employees.

  1. Respiratory Protection 

    • 2649 instances
    • 1910.134

    This section discusses the importance of preventing atmospheric contamination in order to ward off occupational respiratory diseases. It outlines engineering controls to be used and respirators that must be provided to workers if they are not in effect.

  1. Scaffolding

    This section discusses the safety guidelines for scaffolding. (Note that this section does not apply to aerial lifts, which have their own section, 1926.453.)

  1. Ladders

    Whether you make ladders on the job or purchase them, this section’s requirements apply to necessary safety procedures.

  1. Lockout/Tagout

    This section has to do with the danger to employees of any equipment that may release stored energy or start up unexpectedly. Requirements for the maintenance of equipment and machines in this category are provided.

  1. Powered Industrial Trucks

    Whether specialized industrial trucks are built with internal combustion or electric engines, this section provides the proper guidelines for their use, maintenance, design, and fire protection.

  1. Fall Protection – Training Requirements

    This section specifically discusses the need for fall hazard training for relevant employees. Training must enable employees to know when a fall hazard is present and the steps to minimize the risk of falling.

  1. Personal Protective and Life-Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection

    This section goes over the face and eye protection requirements to shield against flying objects and other hazards.

  1. Machine Guarding

    Flying chips, rotating parts, and ongoing nip points are examples of machine hazards. To control these hazards, this section discusses requirements for machine guarding — whether with barrier guards, electronic safety devices, two-hand tripping devices, or any other method.

Top Environmental Compliance Risks

The top ten environmental compliance risks are as follows:

  1. Labeling either nonexistent or improper
  2. Expired paints not being managed correctly
  3. Failure to consolidate waste of facilities that are nearby
  4. Improper training in emergency preparedness or hazardous waste management
  5. Not keeping records of all hazardous waste determinations
  6. Using the drain to dispose of hazardous waste
  7. Failing to meet requirements for underground tank storage
  8. Open hazardous waste containers
  9. Not obtaining and retaining required manifests for hazardous waste
  10. Noncompliance with regulations for hazardous waste generation.

Top 10 Compliance Risks Solutions

Here are solutions to compliance risks. These solutions both address some of the risks mentioned above and generally help you to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere:

  1. Beyond Zero Accidents — While it is certainly positive to avoid all accidents, you have to extend your compliance risk management beyond that. After all, many of the penalties from the EPA and OSHA are on procedures and written programs (such as process safety management or hazard communication).
  2. Assessment — Beyond addressing those especially prevalent risk areas above, you need to know exactly what your risks are. You can determine safety, health, and environmental hazards to your operations through an EHS risk assessment.
  3. Emergency Response and Contingency Plan — Often, the storage of hazardous chemicals necessitates a plan for emergency response. This plan must be regularly reviewed.
  4. Team Cohesion — You want your personnel to follow the emergency response plan and otherwise maintain compliance.
  5. Emergency Response Plan Training — Another cornerstone of strong emergency response is proper training.
  6. Fall Prevention Training — Make sure your team knows how to avoid falls.
  7. Hazardous Waste Management Training — Personnel who interact with hazardous waste must know how to handle and manage it.
  8. Lockout/Tagout Training – Knowing the correct procedures can save lives.
  9. Engagement — By providing training and ensuring it is engaging, you make sure everyone knows how to respond to risks.
  10. Customization — Finally, you need to make sure your compliance and training program is not cookie-cutter but perfectly fits your situation.

Our Safety Training and Compliance Solutions 

It’s critical to have robust health, safety, and environmental training and environmental compliance to counteract compliance risks. AOTC’s safety and compliance courses help your team recognize risks that could lead your company to regulatory violations. We help you be proactive and effective with environmental and safety training and compliance.

For your training to be effective, you first have to know exactly what your risks are. As indicated above, you can reveal them through a compliance risk assessment. What is a compliance risk assessment? It’s a general workplace environmental, health, and safety assessment that determines a business’s key risks. It takes into account any steps the organization is taking to reduce those risks.

Training by Industry

At AOTC, we provide training services to private, commercial, industrial, municipal, and federal government clients. Our training programs incorporate numerous tactics to engage people and feature exercises, multimedia presentations, and competency evaluations to ensure success.

Our classes are designed so employees can comprehend and duplicate critical environmental health and safety competencies. As with our safety training and compliance programs, the result of our environmental compliance training courses is that everyone on your team is on the same page – reducing the risk of injury and compliance violations.


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