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It’s essential that your company stays in compliance with all OSHA regulations, including those that require you to not only provide specialized employee training but to document that training. First you must understand exactly what types of training are required in the OSHA documentation regulations, and then you must find the best way to securely store your documents.


OSHA Certification May Not Be What You Think it is

Not every type of training that OSHA requires needs proof of training, but those that do have very specific requirements. Generally, OSHA refers to these requirements as “certifications.” Note that they are not certifications in the way many companies think of certifications—that is, they do not require an official office or entity to certify them. It’s up to your company to provide the proper training and to document it in accordance with OSHA documentation regulations.


Which Types of Training Require Documentation?

These are the most common types of training that require OSHA training documentation:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE training documentation)
  • Hazardous waste operations (HAZWOPER training documentation)
  • Forklift training documentation
  • Process safety management
  • Respiratory protection
  • Permit-required confined spaces
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Lockout/tag out

This is not an exhaustive list of all certifications OSHA requires, but they are the most common.


Understanding What You Need to Document

For the most part, OSHA training documentation requirements are similar from one standard to another.

Here are a few examples:

  • HAZWOPER training: OSHA requires the employers to certify that each covered employee attends and successfully completes training as set out in OSHA’s guidelines, or the employee’s competency must be certified yearly. It is the employer’s job to record and maintain the employee’s training.
  • PPE training: The employer must verify that employees receive and understand the training that OSHA requires. A written certification is required and must include the name of employees trained, the date they were trained, and the subject of the training certification.
  • Forklift training: Certification for forklift training must include the name of the employee, the date they were trained, the date they were evaluated on their training, and the person training and/or evaluating them.

Remember that the consequences of inadequate training can be significant. Companies that don’t properly document their training can face citations and fines by OSHA. Even if the particular topic you’re training for doesn’t require documentation by OSHA, keeping records helps you stay on track for future training needs.


The Wording May Change, But the Requirements Are Essentially the Same

As you’re reading the documentation requirements you’ll see that the wording varies from one standard to another, but essentially the information is the same:

  • Include the name of the employee (note that their signature is not required).
  • Include the name and signature of the trainer.
  • Note the date of the training.
  • Provide some type of proof of competency and the date of said proof. This could be the results of an evaluation or a demonstration of ability.


Your Safety Documents Must be Available and on Demand Whenever OSHA Wants Them

You have some leeway in how you choose to document your training and certification, but it must be written and it must be filed. Your company may choose to use online programs that provide both training and evaluations. Whichever system you use, you must be able to provide your safety training records whenever OSHA wants to see them.


How Long Should You Keep OSHA Training Documentation?

OSHA does not have specific requirements for how long you need to keep this training documentation, beyond requiring that you have it on file as long as you employ the person you’ve trained and certified. However, most companies keep their records for a few years. The employee may be rehired, you may have other training issues, or you may simply want to know you’re covered if OSHA needs the information for any reason.


Documenting Training Even When It’s Not Required

While OSHA doesn’t require that all training be recorded, many companies choose to document any formal safety training they do for each of their employees. Some companies also choose to go above and beyond the specifics required by OSHA by providing additional information.

Some examples of training information that you may want to keep on file include the following:

  • Previous training information for redundant safety topics
  • The date the employee will next be trained
  • The main objectives and training points
  • Information on new employees, including safety orientation content and dates
  • Detailed information on nonscheduled retraining programs due to accidents, reduction in safety performance, and other reasons


Reduce Legal Risks by Securely Storing OSHA Training Documentation

When you work hard to be in compliance with all OSHA training requirements, the last thing your company needs is to lose documentation or not be able to quickly access it when requested. eFileCabinet is here to keep your documents organized, secure, and ready at your fingertips. Keep your PPE training documentation, HAZWOPER training documentation, forklift training documentation, and others in line with OSHA documentation requirements by utilizing this comprehensive and user-friendly program.

To learn more, fill out the form on this page for a 15-minute demo.