With an extensive mental database at their disposal, workers can safeguard themselves from the anticipated hazards of their occupations. While many of the methods that workers use to avoid hazards derive from common sense, some are not as intuitive, and proper training is required to prepare them substantially. ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 – Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training covers a standard practice for carrying out safety, health, and environmental training by creating a general structure to be used for the process.
Prior to the initial publication of the ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 standard in 1998, safety, health, and environmental training had been addressed specifically by only a few federal regulations in the United States. These still-in-use requirements are constrained by their limited scopes, which simply identify the technical topics that need to be covered in a training course. These topics include asbestos, hazard communication, and storm water management.
For example, OSHA requires, through 29 CFR § 1910.1001(j)(7), that employees participate in asbestos safety training instituted by their employer if they are exposed to asbestos fiber levels at or above the permissible exposure limit. It further stipulates that the workers must undergo refresher training after a certain time has passed, but requires no specific information about the training itself.
ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 provides employers with the means to carry out this training, touching upon all facets of the training process. This begins with its development, and the standard details many recommendations for identifying learning objectives, designing a suitable course structure, and establishing the physical location for the program.
Then, for the delivery of the training, ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 addresses the manner in which the instructor can present the subject matter to the trainees, carefully meeting the learning objectives established during the development stage of the process. The instructor can deliver this information to the trainees in many ways, and the standard elaborates on potential technology to consider and how their usage depends on factors like cost and purpose.
For evaluation, the standard’s framework provides methods for assessing the knowledge acquired by participants, including written tests, oral examinations, and on-the-job demonstrations. Upon completion, the participant is awarded a certificate indicating his or her competency. It is also important that the training procedure itself be evaluated alongside the participants, so that it can be improved for use in other workplaces in the future.
To better facilitate its use, the ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 standard is structured into two columns; the left side contains the actual content of the standard, while the right is designated “Explanatory Information” and is composed of details that are meant only to clarify the standard. Users should be aware that the right column is not part of the actual standard, but they should still refer to it for any assistance.
Owners of the past versions of this standard should be especially attentive towards the Annexes of the document, as they have undergone many revisions in this new edition to meet current industry needs.
ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 – Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training is now available on the ANSI Webstore.