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How often should I retrain my staff to remain legally compliant?

Posted by NOSA on Mar 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM


Your workplace is ticking along, everyone has undergone the required health and safety training at some point, and it appears that everyone understands how to prevent and minimise risk. So there’s nothing more for you to do – right? Well, no actually.

As any mechanic worth his salt will tell you, maintenance is an ongoing, essential requirement to ensure things keep running smoothly. In fact, just because certain training may not be legally required, it doesn’t mean your company doesn’t need it. So here’s what to consider when it comes to retraining your employees.


7 signs your workplace may need more HSE training


  1. New government safety regulations have been implemented and they impact your workplace
  2. When your workplace needs to conduct refresher HSE training
  3. It has been a few years since your workplace has experienced a serious injury or fatality
  4. Your workplace has experienced a serious safety incident
  5. Your worker is starting a new job that builds on their ongoing safety and technical knowledge
  6. You observe workers taking dangerous shortcuts or not wearing their PPE
  7. Your workers are starting a task that they haven’t performed in a while
  8. You are introducing new equipment to a production line




Following on from this, we’ve put together a list of the areas and duties within workplace safety, and the regularity for which you need to schedule refresher training for these.

Note: These are general guidelines and do not negate or override any regulations or safety requirements prescribed by occupational health and safety legislation.





Refresher training

Asbestos exposure (general industry)

All employees exposed to airborne asbestos at or above the PEL


Employees who perform housekeeping duties in areas with ACM or PACM


Asbestos exposure      (construction)

Workers involved in Class I and Class II operations requiring the use of critical barriers and/or negative pressure enclosures


Workers involved in other Class II operations

Workers involved in Class III and IV operations

Competent person

Blood-borne pathogens

All employees with potential occupational exposure


Employees in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B core (HBC) laboratories


Confined spaces (permit required)

Employees who work in confined spaces

Whenever permit space operations change, there are deviations from the permit space entry procedures, or inadequacies in employee knowledge or use of procedures

Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations

All employees

When employee is not complying with the safety-related work practices; when new technology, new types of equipment, or changes in procedures necessitate the use of safety-related work practices that are different from those which the employee would normally use; when safety-related work practices must be followed that are not normally used during regular job duties; when tasks are performed less than once per year

Qualified employees

Authorised employees for lockout/tagout

Whenever there is a change in job assignments, machines, equipment, or processes that present a new hazard, a change in the energy control procedures, or when there are deviations from or inadequacies in an employee's knowledge or use of the energy control procedures

Affected employees for lockout/tagout

Other employees working near exposed lines or energised parts

Designated first-aid providers

Emergency response

Emergency responders, including public sector responders in states without legislation-approved programmes


Exposure and medical records

All employees


Fire brigade

All members of a fire brigade

Quarterly for interior structural firefighters

Annually for all other members

Fire extinguishers

All employees allowed to use portable extinguishers


Employees designated to use fire-fighting equipment


Fixed fire extinguishing systems

Train employees designated to inspect, maintain, operate, or repair fixed extinguishing systems

Annually review training to keep employees up to date in the functions they perform

Forklift (powered industrial truck)

Forklift operators

Every three years; or when an employee operates unsafely, has an accident or near-miss, is assigned to drive a different kind of truck, or there are changes in workplace conditions that could affect safe operation

Grain handling facilities

All employees

Annually, or when exposed to new hazards

Employees assigned special tasks



Authorised employees

Whenever there is a change in work assignment, change in machines or equipment or processes that present a new hazard, or change in energy control procedures

Affected employees


All employees for work tasks

Whenever employee is assigned a new work task, equipment, tool, machine, or vehicle

All employees for first aid

First aid every three years; CPR annually

Machine guarding

Power press operators


Forging machine operators

Noise exposure (hearing protection)

Employees with exposure above the eight-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels




When necessary, after changes in the workplace warrant it, changes in type of PPE warrant it, or when employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill

Process safety management (PSM)

Employees involved in operating a process

Every three years or when necessary

Respiratory protection

Employees required to use respirators

Annually or when necessary

Employees who wear respirators when not required


Toxic and hazardous substances (acrylonitrile)

Employees exposed above the action level


Toxic and hazardous substances (benzene)

All exposed employees

Annually if exposure is above the action level

Toxic and hazardous substances (cadmium)

All exposed or potentially exposed employees


Toxic and hazardous substances (carcinogens)

Employees where any of the carcinogens listed in the regulations are manufactured, processed, repackaged, released, handled, or stored


Toxic and hazardous substances (coke oven emissions)

Exposed employees in a regulated area


Toxic and hazardous substances (cotton dust)

All employees with occupational exposure

Annually, or when job assignments or work processes change, or when employee performance shows retraining is necessary

Toxic and hazardous substances (ethylene oxide (EtO))

Employees potentially exposed at or above the action level or excursion limit


Toxic and hazardous substances (formaldehyde)

Employees exposed at or above the PEL

Annually, or whenever a new exposure is introduced

Toxic and hazardous substances (inorganic arsenic)

All employees who are subject to exposure to inorganic arsenic above the action level


Toxic and hazardous substances (lead)

Employees subject to exposure to airborne lead


Toxic and hazardous substances (methylenedianiline 4.4 (MDA))

Exposed employees


Toxic and hazardous substances (vinyl chloride)

Employees engaged in vinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride operations









Topics: work safety, HSE, CEO, training, Budget

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