How to Be OSHA Compliant

July 21, 2022 | Activate Learning | 12 min read

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly known as OSHA, is responsible for protecting worker health and safety in the United States. In fact, most employers and employees are required to follow OSHA standards – or risk steep penalties and the potential for serious occupational injuries or illnesses.

For compliance professionals looking for a quick list of training courses that will enable you to be OSHA compliant, you may be out of luck. OSHA doesn't necessarily know what standards are applicable to each worksite, so figuring out who needs what training, and when, falls to individual organizations.

That’s where we can help relieve some of the burden.

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Prepare Your Organization to Mitigate Risk from Common Safety Violations

Skillsoft’s Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) compliance courses help employers meet the requirements defined in OSHA standards and help to keep workers injury and illness free. But because we offer more than 1,000 EHS courses in 15+ languages, it can be a challenge to figure out where to start.

One recommendation is to review OSHA’s annual list of the top ten most frequently cited safety violations following inspections of employer worksites.

This list is comprised of the most common areas in which organizations fall short when it comes to workplace safety, and it provides a solid starting point to find and fix potential risks in your organization – before OSHA arrives on the scene.

Here’s the most recently updated list:

Fall Protection

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for one-third of all deaths in the industry?

One way to mitigate this risk is to provide EHS training to employees who might be exposed to fall hazards. The intention is to provide them with the ability to recognize such hazards and utilize control measures to minimize their risk.

Check out Skillsoft’s fall prevention training course here.

Respiratory Protection

There were more than 2,500 respiratory protection violations last year, alone. That’s why it is imperative that your employees understand how to use respiratory protection so that they are protected from hazardous airborne contaminants in the work environment.

A thorough compliance training course can help workers:

  • Distinguish between employee and employer responsibilities for respiratory protection
  • Identify the nature, extent, and effects of respiratory hazards to which they may be exposed
  • Specify the operation, limitations, and capabilities of respirators
  • Identify respirator selection, use, and inspection procedures and practices
  • Recognize proper respirator maintenance, cleaning, and storage practices
  • Identify respirator malfunction and follow-up procedures

Check out Skillsoft’s respiratory protection training course here.


Falls from ladders account for 300 deaths and more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries every year. To combat potential injury, train your employees on the safe use of portable and fixed ladders. Every employee should know how to identify hazards related to the general use of ladders, and how to control these hazards.

Check out Skillsoft’s ladder safety training course here.

Hazard Communication

More than 8,700 chemicals are produced or imported into the U.S. each year, and employers are obligated to provide information and training to their employees about any hazardous chemicals that cross their path. Your organization should acquaint employees with the precautions necessary to safely use, handle, and store hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

Check out Skillsoft’s hazard communication training course here.


65% of workers in the construction industry work on scaffolds frequently. As such, you need to prioritize training your employees to recognize the hazards associated with scaffolds being used on work sites and understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards.

Proper compliance training can help your employees to identify:

  • Hazards commonly associated with scaffolding
  • General scaffolding requirements and safety considerations
  • Specific precautions to take when working with scaffolding near power lines
  • Safe work practices that prevent falls from scaffolding
  • Safe work practices that prevent objects from falling from scaffolding

Check out Skillsoft’s scaffolding safety training course here.

Fall Protection Training

Fall hazards are common on construction sites and in general industry environments. Employers must use a combination of control measures and personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of their employees. Workers performing tasks that are at risk of fatal falls or serious injuries need to be able to recognize fall hazards, identify control measures, and follow applicable procedures to minimize their risk. OSHA requirements make no difference if employers do not train their workers. In fact, OSHA lists three simple steps to prevent falls: plan ahead, provide the right equipment, and train workers.

Check out Skillsoft’s fall protection training course here.

Control of Hazardous Energy

Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. That’s why it is so important to train employees on how to control hazardous energy and work under the protection of a lockout/tagout program.

Every employee should understand lockout/tagout practices and the significance of lockout/tagout devices. This includes being able to define and describe terms and techniques commonly used in a lockout/tagout program and recall standard lockout/tagout procedures.

Check out Skillsoft’s lockout/tagout training course here.

Eye and Face Protection

Wearing proper eye protection can prevent 90% of all eye injuries, so every worker should be familiar with the various types of personal protective equipment (PPE) specifically designed to protect the eyes and face. Based on the unique hazards present in their workplace, the goal of training with respect to this topic is to help workers:

  • Recognize the steps employers take to ensure employees are provided with appropriate protection while performing their jobs
  • Identify the type of eye and/or face shield protector best suited to protect their eyes and/or face against specific types of workplace hazards
  • Identify steps to take to maintain eye and face protection
  • Identify techniques for ensuring eye protection is clean and sanitary

Check out Skillsoft’s eye and face protection training course here.

Powered Industrial Trucks

Up to 100 workers are killed every year in forklift accidents, a number that has increased almost 30% within the last decade. All employees who work with or around power-propelled trucks (forklifts) that are used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials can benefit from learning about the associated health and safety concerns.

Employees should be able to explain the purpose of the Powered Industrial Truck standard (29 CFR 1910.178); define operator training requirements; distinguish between the different types of powered industrial trucks; recognize general engineering principles associated with powered industrial truck safety; distinguish potential occupational health and safety concerns associated with the use and maintenance of powered industrial trucks; describe safe loading and unloading methods; and identify general inspection and maintenance procedures. Are you confident that your employees can do this?

Check out Skillsoft’s powered industrial truck training course here.

Machinery and Machine Guarding

Workers who operate and maintain machinery suffer approximately 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, and abrasions per year. In order to minimize the number of injuries, they must know how to identify:

  • Particular areas where mechanical hazards exist in machines
  • The mechanical point on a machine where hazardous actions are most likely to occur
  • Actions that can result in injury

And they must be able to recognize:

  • The minimum requirements that must be met by all safeguards
  • The advantages of various types of guard construction
  • Descriptions of different types of safety guards and devices

Check out Skillsoft’s machine guarding training course here.

Online training courses related to these – and other critical EHS compliance requirements – are fundamental to preventing on-the-job injuries and illnesses. And while the courses referenced above are not an exhaustive list of training on each topic, they do serve as a good starting point for your organization.

Reach out to Skillsoft today to learn more about our EHS training courses and how they might help improve on the job safety and ensure your organization better adheres to OSHA standards.