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Safety Training

UTK Environmental Health & Safety Program AD-050

This program outlines training requirements and methods to achieve training.

Effective Date: 04/22/1998
Revision Date: 06/28/2013

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Purpose, Applicability, and Scope


To establish a program to provide guidance for required safety and health training.

Applicability and Scope

This program shall apply primarily to all employees and secondarily to students of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.

This procedure covers all employees and students on the Knoxville campus.  University employees and students engaged in off-site, university-sponsored activities are also covered. This procedure shall apply to visiting professors who are here more than 30 days. Contractors performing work on university property or university leased property are not covered by this procedure.

Definitions and Abbreviations

DOT – Department of Transportation

EHS – Environmental Health and Safety

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency

HR128 – Human Resources standard 128

OSHA- Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Safety – for the purposes of this document it shall include safety, industrial hygiene, environmental compliance and safety standards addressed under DOT

Roles and Responsibilities

Employee’s role:

  1. Participate in training, including asking questions to clarify subject matter when necessary
  2. Follow the processes and procedures that were communicated during training
  3. Report any problem to their immediate supervisor where training was deficient or incorrect
  4. Complete all required training

Supervisor’s role:

  1. Ensure staff attend training programs and complete required training annually
  2. Identify training requirements for their employees
  3. Contact EHS if there are any questions regarding safety training
  4. Provide job-specific training
  5. Maintain records of department training

Environmental Health and Safety’s role:

  1. Develop and promote safety training on campus
  2. Deliver training to the extent feasible
  3. Review training content upon request from departments
  4. Answer questions regarding training and interpret regulations related to training
  5. Maintain records of training conducted by or coordinated by EHS department


General Requirements

Each college or administrative division head shall establish a suitable health and safety training program designed to instruct all employees and students in the techniques for recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions.

EHS is available to assist departments identify training needs, review content and present programs.

Appendix A contains a list of required training programs and refresher frequency.

Note that safety training may be necessary when:

  1. New tasks are assigned (which include new or different hazards)
  2. An employee transfers to a different job
  3. New hazards are recognized.
  4. New regulations or standards are developed that have a training component
  5. The employee demonstrates a lack of understanding of applicable safety policies, procedures, guidance documents or alike

New Employee Orientation

New employees shall receive appropriate safety training, which is generally required before the individual undertakes a task covered the by that standard.

Departments are encouraged to address safety subjects (tasks, chemicals, process, equipment, procedures, hazards, etc.) specific to their employees before the employee starts work. Note that in many cases safety regulations require training specific to the hazard.


Sources of Training

Training can be provided by any one of the following:

  1. Department
  2. Traditional classroom from EHS upon request
  3. Skillsoft
  4. Self-study format available from EHS online
  5. DVD from EHS
  6. Self-study modules (paper copy) available from EHS
  7. Outside vendors

Note that EHS is available to review the content of training to determine if it meets regulatory requirements.

Refresher Training

Most safety training requires an annual refresher.  In programs where there is no specified frequency for retraining it is suggested that a three-year interval be observed.

Note that refresher training may be necessary when the following occurs;

  1. The employee demonstrates a lack of knowledge in the subject
  2. Equipment, processes or procedures related to this subject change
  3. New or revised regulations are promulgated

Verification of Employee Knowledge

It is imperative that the person receiving the training fully understands the information presented relative to his or her activities.  Departments shall make provisions for employees who have limited reading skills or where English is not the employee’s primary language.

One suggested approach to document that the employee understands the training is by a quiz or test.  These tools also offer an opportunity to reinforce key points of the subject.  A minimum score of 70% is deemed acceptable to pass a safety quiz or test.

Specificity of Training

Training provided by EHS to departments on campus is by its nature somewhat general.  These programs fulfill most regulatory requirements. However, some safety standards require additional training that is specific to the department, equipment, building, substance, process, procedure or other circumstance. Training to this degree is the responsibility of the employee’s supervisor and department.

Qualification of Instructions

In some cases regulations specify a certain level of training or certification for instructions.  Contact EHS if there are questions about instructor certification or qualifications.

Laboratories and Shop

Laboratories and shops (wood shops, machine shops, etc.) have a unique set of hazards and are heavily regulated by OSHA.  EHS may make available a classroom program for employees who work in shops during the summer.    The following programs are applicable to shops:

  1. Fire Safety
  2. Fire Extinguishers
  3. Emergency Action Plans
  4. Hazardous Waste Minimization
  5. Electrical Safety including Lockout/Tagout
  6. Hazard Communication
  7. Personal Protective Equipment
  8. Respiratory Protection (may be applicable depending on risk)
  9. Hearing Conservation (may be applicable depending on risk)
  10. Welding, Cutting and Brazing (may be applicable depending on risk)

Training applicable to teaching and research laboratories generally includes the following:

  1. Fire Safety
  2. Fire Extinguishers
  3. Emergency Action Plans
  4. Hazardous Waste Minimization
  5. Electrical Safety
  6. Chemical Hygiene Plan
  7. Personal Protective Equipment
  8. Respiratory Protection (may be applicable depending on risk)
  9. Substances found in 29 CFR 1910.1003 through 1910.1052 – where applicable


A record of all training activities will be maintained in the department files, except for records kept in IRIS.  Note that safety training taken through Skillsoft entered as part of HR 128 will be maintained in IRIS.  All departments are encouraged to use IRIS as a central means of recordkeeping.    Departments who provide safety training for university staff and students should retain the following records:

  1. Training topic
  2. Agenda
  3. Name of instructor(s)
  4. Names and affiliation of all trainees
  5. Length of the session
  6. Any quizzes or tests

Note that record keeping in IRIS may be different and requires employee ID number.

Records must be kept for at least three years.  Consult the Records Retention for Safety, Health & Environmental Protection found in the Safety Manual for additional details.

Regulatory Drivers and References

OSHA 29 CFR 1910  General Industry

OSHA 29 CFR 1926  Construction


DOT 49 CFR Appendices


AD-050 Safety Training (downloadable pdf)

Appendix A – Required Training Programs (see Training Courses)

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