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Defining federal guidelines for workplace safety training, Part 2

As we covered in a recent blog post, safety training is often one of the most critical components in creating a healthy work environment. In addition to providing a safe physical environment and safety equipment, employees may need clear direction as to how they can operate safely within their job role.

Standards for workplace safety, and the training requirements that are derived from these rules, are divided into distinct categories. Most industries fall into the general category, which was subject for discussion in the other post. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has defined specific rules for three industries.

In addition to general industry, OSHA provides safety guidance in the following professional spheres:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Maritime

Of course, every workplace might have safety concerns -- even a company filled with cubicles. Still, federal workplace safety officials have determined that the work environments for the three aforementioned industries have unique concerns. For example, the harsh outdoor working conditions that can exist in the agricultural industry may require specific guidance to keep workers from falling ill or suffering physical injuries.

As employers in the agricultural, construction or maritime fields develop a safety program, they are obligated to pay attention to the specific safety standards. Given the higher levels of risks that may exist in these work environments, safety isn't something that should take a backseat to profits or other interests.

When on the job, workers are certainly expected to perform their job to meet employers' expectations. At the same time, employees can't be expected to be entirely successful in their role if they are not in a supportive environment in which health and safety are top priorities.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "OHSA Standards," accessed June 27, 2014

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