Refresher Training: Considerations in the Public Sector
- James H. Olds (City of Lakeland, FL)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- February 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 44 - 49
- 2013. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 46 since 2007
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The working world consists of two groups, the public sector, which includes all levels of government (including tribal organizations), and the private sector, which includes all other busi-nesses (including multinational corporations). While OSHA oversees and enforces workplace safety regulations in most settings, the OSH Act does not de-lineate enforcement authority over employees of the state or its political subdivisions. However, Section 18 (paragraph b) of the OSH Act allows states to assume responsibility for development and enforcement of standards relating to occupational safety or health with respect to which a federal standard has been promulgated. In short, states may adopt federal OSHA regulations or establish a state agency to enforce safety standards based on those regulations that require the same (or a higher) degree of safety.
In Florida, the state legislature created the Division of Safety to regulate safety for state employees and employees of any political subdivision of the state (e.g., counties, cities, school districts). However, on July 1, 2000, the division was sunset-ted, a term used to mean shut down via a state statute (F.S. 442).
As a result, SH&E professionals working within state agencies or their political subdivisions must enforce their own safety standards and procedures. At times, this can be challenging, particularly given con-strained budgets. However, this does not eliminate the need for personnel to attend safety training and refresher training. Professional groups such as law enforcement and electrical line workers must demonstrate proficiency in first aid/CPR each year. Additionally, safety-related requirements such as fire extinguisher training, HazCom and bloodborne pathogens affect public-service personnel and require refresher training.
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