Many fall protection training programs offered today are highly focused on regulatory requirements or exclusively on equipment. But, the most effective training covers these topics and much more. When looking for or evaluating training options, it is critical to understand the content of training needed to maintain safety and foster continuous improvement for your fall hazard program.
At least four different sources provide fall protection training:
1. Equipment manufacturers
3. National, regional and local conferences
4. Fall protection consultants
Each source provides valuable training information, but advantages and disadvantages exist for each option.
1. Equipment manufacturers know their equipment better than anyone, but have a natural bias to fall protection solutions that involve their products. Remember, a fall protection program is much more than personal protective equipment.
2. OSHA training is based on the regulations, is consistent throughout the country, and is available from a number of sources. But, this training will focus on sheer compliance, not necessarily elements of a managed fall protection program. Remember, fall fatalities increased 28% from 1995, the year after Subpart M was released, to 2007. Even with a focus on fall protection, something isn’t working with how we handle fall protection.
3. Conferences are a way to gain information and knowledge on fall protection, but the speaker must be credible and selected based on their qualifications. This training also typically requires travel expense. Sometimes, this can be hit or miss in terms of applicability and effectiveness.
4. Consultants can bring a depth of knowledge from seeing a variety of situations and solutions in the field, but qualifications are not always consistent. This source provides the largest variation in content, so you must be clear on your expectations before engaging a fall protection consultant for training. . Again, what are their qualifications and references? Do they have IACET accreditation?