As your organization’s employee count grows, so do compliance-related tasks. All of a sudden, OSHA compliance training completion becomes a full-time job. Before that happens, you need to find more efficient processes, from vetting courses and tracking regulation changes to being able to provide proof of completion during an OSHA inspection.

Technology will likely play a huge role in increasing efficiency, but for best results, it should be combined with healthcare expertise. MedTrainer’s policy experts have helped thousands of healthcare organizations identify and streamline their required training. In this blog post, I’ll share insight from them on the OSHA standards that require education and ideas for increasing efficiency for even the largest healthcare teams.  

OSHA Compliance Training Required for Healthcare

Most healthcare clinicians and administrative staff must complete training required in six OSHA standards. Employees must be training on the risks of the job before they start working in a position that could put them at risk. The exact requirements may vary depending on the specific services your organization provides, the care setting, and the employee’s role. OSHA staff training should also be catered to the populations served by your organization. For example, if the organization experiences a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and other highly transmissible diseases, training should cover these topics.

OSHA Training Required for Most Healthcare Employees

Course Topic Applicable OSHA Standard
CPR and Basic Life Support Minimal acceptable first aid and CPR training requirements.
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)

Airborne and Droplet Diseases

The employer shall train each employee exposed to bloodborne pathogens at the time of initial assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may take place and at least annually thereafter. **An infection control plan and training on your organization’s infection control plan is also required.
Disaster Preparedness The employer must designate and train employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of all building occupants. **A disaster preparedness (or emergency preparedness) plan and training on your organization’s plan is also required.
Fire Safety and Fire Extinguisher Types Where the employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use in the workplace, the employer shall also provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage firefighting. The employer shall provide the education upon initial employment and at least annually thereafter. **Training on your organization’s plan is also required.
General Safety Orientation The employer shall instruct each employee to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury. 
Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers Respiratory protection employers must provide training who are required to use respirators. The training must be comprehensive and understandable and recur annually, more often if necessary.

OSHA Training Required for Select Healthcare Employees

Course Topic Applicable OSHA Standard
Formaldehyde Safety Required for staff who handle formaldehyde. The employer shall assure that all employees who are assigned to workplaces where there is exposure to formaldehyde participate in a training program, except where the employer can show, using objective data, that employees are not exposed to formaldehyde at or above 0.1 ppm, the employer is not required to provide training. Employers shall provide such information and training to employees during initial assignment.
Hazardous Communication and Chemical Safety (HAZCOM) GHS Standard Required for staff that handle hazardous waste. Employers shall provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment, and whenever a new chemical hazard the employees have not previously been trained about is introduced into their work area. Information and training may be designed to cover categories of hazards (e.g., flammability, carcinogenicity) or specific chemicals. Chemical-specific information must always be available through labels and material safety data sheets.
Identification of Regulated Medical Waste
Lock-Out/Tag-Out Required for staff that handle medication, equipment and other items that need to be secured. Required for an employee whose job requires him/her to operate or use a machine or equipment on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under lock-out or tag-out or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such servicing or maintenance is being performed.
Preventing Needle sticks and Other Sharps Injuries Required for staff that handle sharps and needle sticks. 

Ideas To More Efficiently Manage OSHA Compliance Training

With high turnover rates and staffing shortages, many healthcare managers are tempted to delay OSHA training completion. Instead of delaying this training and risking non-compliance, here are a few ideas for completing it more efficiently.

Offer Online Training

If you aren’t already offering online courses for staff, that’s an easy place to start — but don’t rely on YouTube! Online courses are easier for employees to complete at their convenience and more efficient for program administrators. Using a learning management system (LMS), you can automate many manual tasks, including annual assignments, reminders, and completion certificates.

Automate Initial OSHA Training

OSHA requires training to be completed within 10 days of hire. Instead of waiting until the new hire’s first official day, assign online training courses as soon as a contract is signed. Choose compliance software that offers automated new hire onboarding. When you add a new employee, training (and new hire paperwork and policy acknowledgments) can be automatically assigned based on the employee’s role, location, and department. This removes the manual tasks of compiling and sending the training requirements so the new hire can get started more quickly. See how it works.

Combine Requirements and Refresher Training

OSHA training must be completed annually. However, this can be considered “refresher” training and savvy healthcare organizations combine multiple topics into one course to reduce redundant training time for employees. MedTrainer offers a course that can be used for this “refresher” training and includes the required information on general safety, airborne and droplet diseases, hazardous communication, identification of regulated medical waste, bloodborne pathogens, PPE, needlestick safety, and incident reporting. For initial training, select courses that meet multiple regulatory requirements – for example, a disaster preparedness course that meets both OSHA and CMS guidelines so employees don’t have to take two separate courses.

Stagger Annual Training

In large healthcare organizations, assigning required OSHA compliance training to all employees at once isn’t possible, but managing a staggered training schedule can be a lot of work! Use a learning management system that offers automated reminder emails that notify admins and employees when training is due.

Leave the Research To Someone Else

It can be incredibly time-consuming for an employee or team to stay up-to-date on changing regulations. In addition to federal OSHA regulations, most states also have worker safety rules to follow, such as Cal-OSHA in California. Instead of using an in-house team to complete this research, choose an LMS vendor who focuses on healthcare and stays up-to-date on policy changes. The best healthcare learning software creates courses agilely so they can change classes in one to two weeks if needed, and gaps in training coverage can be filled quickly.

Implementing a More Efficient Process 

As you’ve likely discovered, finding OSHA courses isn’t that difficult. It is difficult to know the courses required for each role in your healthcare facility, ensure they’re specific to the healthcare industry, and be confident they satisfy regulations. It might come to a point where you’d like to delegate that responsibility to someone else.

MedTrainer has nearly 1,000 healthcare-specific courses with policy experts who ensure the courses are updated with the changing regulations. Many large healthcare organizations license MedTrainer courses to free up staff time for other projects. In many cases, this is a more cost-effective solution. MedTrainer also offers an enterprise-grade learning management system. Since it is designed for the healthcare industry, it includes everything you need to remain compliant.

Learn more about MedTrainer.