This is the last of RiskSmart’s Safety Series discussions (see Tips #85-#88 to see the previous posts). These will be consolidated into an e-book shortly and made available to subscribers.

Two final elements of any safety plan are training and recordkeeping. These are not afterthoughts, but essential foundations and where the plan must start.

Successful Training?

“Training” is talked about all the time, but often results in useless, time-wasting activity. “Didn’t he/she take that electrical safety course? How could they be so dumb?”

Anyone experienced with adult learning knows the key elements of success:  management involvement (not just support), interactive sessions with active discussion and worker stories, and take-always that serve as memory-joggers during a workday.

  • Management must be actively involved in actual training sessions – show up for tailgate or toolbox meetings; show you are really interested and concerned, use your own words, listen, and walk the talk.
  • Interactive training is when there are exercises, input from different workers and stories volunteered about when “OMG, that almost happened to me.” An experienced worker sharing his/her near -miss can have huge impact.

Recordkeeping can be a Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card!

Good documentation is critical – in a myriad of ways.

  • You need to have training records for each course and worker to confirm what was discussed and who was there. Noting a worker’s input and stories can also show it was not a “remote” session.
  • Create notes to file for each worker – noting positive and need-improvement comments and follow-ups show pro-active, constructive management.
  • Keeping training records and certifications up to date can avoid hassle and lost -time on the site and with any incident analyses or accident investigations.

Good, positive records can boost morale – especially when you remember someone’s input, story or safety alert to protect others. They can also mitigate liability in the event of a serious lawsuit. This should never be “just” an admin task.

Get Moving and Get Help

If you’ve followed this series of tips you know this is not a time to procrastinate. So many clients tell me, “I worry about safety every day, but ….”  They still haven’t started their plans, or training sessions, or discussions with workers – nothing except worry. That inaction could be worth fines, penalties, and even shut-downs.

Ask who is interested and might be willing to help; delegate some small project pieces. There are lots of available resources for all participants:

  • OSHA ( is chock full of information: Training, regulations, alerts, newsletters, and FAQs.
  • OSHA Consultation Services are free and offer confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses – completely separate from enforcement.
  • Some insurance brokers and insurers offer inspection and prevention services.
  • Independent consultants often have expertise to lead and implement projects.

Do you need a sample IIPP or help navigating the OSHA website or consultation services? Call or email Charles (510-685-3883 | to talk about your unique concerns or questions.