Safety organizations offer courses on a variety of topics vital to preventing injuries in metalworking facilities.

A robust health and safety program requires ongoing training for both workers and managers. From knowing best practices for lockout/tagout procedures to understanding the importance of when and how to use the right personal protective equipment, there is plenty for managers to learn.

“If you manage or are responsible for safety in a metal manufacturing facility, you know of the potential hazards that can befall workers,” notes SafeStart, a personal safety training company. “Every employee’s reaction in any situation is largely dependent upon the adequacy of their training, the company culture, their state of mind and the working environment being as safe as possible.”

Read on to learn about a few courses that could benefit safety managers in a metalworking shop.

Lockout/Tagout Training: Protecting Machinists from Stored Energy

 According to the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP), deaths that could be prevented through the use of lockout/tagout procedures account for 10 percent of all workplace fatalities.

The NASP offers an eight-hour Lockout/Tagout Course and a 16-hour Lockout/Tagout Specialist course. In both courses, participants learn to perform proper lockout/tagout procedures, how to develop a hazardous energy control procedure and the requirements for communication and training. Students in NASP courses have six months to complete the program and, if they score 80 percent or higher on the exam, receive certification.

The National Safety Council’s four-hour classes on lockout/tagout training are designed for team leaders, middle managers, human resources personnel, safety and health committee members, other employees appointed to safety and health responsibilities, or anyone seeking more knowledge about lockout/tagout requirements. With a focus on Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, the course covers the purpose and main elements of an energy control program, and enables participants to start and implement a lockout/tagout program.

Want more help with lockout/tagout? Read “5 Ways to Improve a Lockout/Tagout Program and Improve Workplace Safety.”

Safety Training Focus: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

According to the NSC, most workers who suffer eye, head and foot injuries aren’t wearing PPE. However, having managers trained in PPE use could reduce injuries and save on related costs.

The NSC’s four-hour Personal Protective Equipment Compliance Training helps facilities meet OSHA PPE requirements, detailing different types of PPE and how to use them, practical methods to ensure employee compliance and the relationship between PPE, administrative controls and engineering controls.

The NASP’s eight-hour Personal Protective Equipment Course puts the focus on protection for the eyes, head, hand and respiratory system. Participants also learn how to conduct a hazard assessment. A 16-hour Personal Protective Equipment Specialist training covers those topics, plus PPE training requirements, electrical protective equipment, fall protection, hearing protection and foot protection. On finishing the longer course, “the student will be able to perform a PPE hazard assessment, understand the requirements for payment, selection and maintenance of PPE, understand the importance of fit testing and implement effective training for employees,” says the NASP.

Safety Right at Your Machine with Machine Guarding

Moving parts on machines can pose a variety of hazards, and result in pinches, cuts and crushing injuries.

NSC’s Machine Guarding Compliance Training explains the basic concepts for machine guarding to prevent these types of hazards, as well as common causes of accidents and how to avoid them. Participants learn how to apply the regulation to specific types of equipment and how to identify hazards. In addition to machine-related injuries, the course also covers reducing workplace exposure to chemicals.

NASP’s 16-hour Machine Guarding Specialist course similarly addresses how to apply OSHA’s machine guarding standard. Participants learn to identify hazardous areas and processes, understand methods of machine guarding and how to use them, and how to implement inspection procedures. An eight-hour Machine Guarding Course is also available.


“If you manage or are responsible for safety in a metal manufacturing facility, you know of the potential hazards that can befall workers.”

Don’t Sleep on Electrical Safety

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 154 workers were killed due to exposure to electricity in the U.S. in 2016. The NASP’s eight-hour Electrical Safety Course covers the principles of electricity, common electrical hazards, workplace regulations and safe work practices. A 16-hour Electrical Safety Specialist course includes a review of the National Fire Protection Association’s 70E standard, which fleshes out how the performance-based standards in OSHA’s requirements should be met.

The NSC also offers an Electrical Safety Compliance Training Course that covers the elements of OSHA’s Electrical Safety Regulation, as well as types of electrical injuries and ways employers can protect those working on or near electrical conductors and equipment.

Safety Managers Play Key Role in Workplace Training

SafeStart notes managers play a key role in improving safety in metalworking facilities.

“Metal fabrication and manufacturing is one of the toughest industries to develop elevated standards of safety because the work occurring on the floor is very high-risk,” writes SafeStart. “It’s important for managers to initiate safety conversations (contributing to better safety awareness), nurture a positive safety culture and ensure working conditions are as free from hazards as possible.”

Want to learn more? Safety courses are available online, sometimes on-site, and at annual safety conferences, such as the National Safety Council’s Congress & Expo, taking place this week (Oct. 22-24, with classes beginning Oct. 20 and running through Oct. 26) in Houston. Besides general courses on creating a safety culture or structuring an effective safety program, the expo includes a variety of more specific courses, including sessions on lockout leadership, electrical safety, hand protection and more.

What do you look for in a safety course for your shop? Share your experience.

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