Resources - Education and Training

Trainer Roles and Responsibilities

Role = Vision: Responsibilities = Mission

The "role" is some kind of label (a noun) that describes who you are. It's a one-word vision statement. You may be an employer, a manager, supervisor, trainer, a safety committee member. Each role play confers certain responsibilities and expectations: Your mission. It set certain boundaries of acceptable behavior. A popular superstar may behave in a manner that you or I would not consider appropriate because, well, that's what they are.

Safety trainers perform many roles

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) study, Models for Excellence, listed the following roles that trainers typically perform:
  • Evaluator. Identifying the extent of the impact of a safety training program.
  • Group Facilitator. Managing group discussion and group process.
  • Individual Development Counselor. Helping an employee assess personal safety competencies, values, and goals.
  • Instructional Writer. Preparing written learning and instructional materials.
  • Instructor. Presenting safety information and directing structured learning experiences.
  • Manager of Training and Development. Planning, organizing, staffing, controlling safety training and development operations/projects.
  • Marketer. Selling safety training and development viewpoints, programs, and services.
  • Media Specialist. Producing audio-visual materials for safety training.
  • Needs Analyst. Defining gaps between ideal and actual safety performance and specifying the cause of the gaps.
  • Program Administrator. Ensuring that the facilities, equipment, materials, participants are present and that program logistics run smoothly.
  • Program Designer. Preparing objectives, defining content, and selecting and sequencing activities for a specific safety training.
  • Strategist. Developing long-range plans for safety training and development.
  • Task Analyst. Identifying safety-related activities to attain specific results.
  • Theoretician. Developing and testing theories of learning, training, and development.
  • Transfer Agent. Helping individuals apply new safety-related learning to their work.

ANSI Z490.1 Instructor Qualifications

According to ANSI Z490.1, trainers should be "competent" in developing and implementing the various elements of a safety training program. Trainers can gain competency by achieving an appropriate level of technical knowledge, skills, and abilities in the subjects they teach. They can gain these skills through training, continuing education and, of course, on the job experience.

Trainers should be competent in effective safety training delivery techniques and methods that are appropriate to the employee learning preferences. They should be able to apply adult learning principles appropriate to the target audience and the learning objectives.

It's important to document trainer competency by maintaining course completion certificates, experience records, licensing, and other documents. The methods used to document trainer competency is left to the discretion of the employer.

Source: ANSI/ASSE Z490.1

OSHA Guidelines for Instructor Competency

OSHA's safety and health requirements frequently use specific terms to identify the different categories of workers who must meet specific training requirements.
  • A certified person has successfully completed specialized training and that the training has been certified in writing by a professional organization.
  • A Designated person has received extensive training in a particular task and is assigned by the employer to perform that task in specific operations.
  • An Authorized person is permitted by an employer to be in a regulated area or assigned by an employer to perform a specific task or to be in a specific location at a jobsite.
  • A Competent person is someone who has broad knowledge of worksite safety and health issues, is capable of identifying existing and predictable worksite hazards, and has management approval to control the hazards.
  • For instance: Only a competent person can supervise erecting, moving, or dismantling scaffolds at a worksite, for example.
  • A qualified person is someone who, through training and professional experience, has demonstrated the ability to resolve problems relating to a specific task or process For example, an individual may be qualified to perform electrical circuit tests but not qualified to perform hydraulic pressure tests.

Instructors should be deemed competent on the basis of:

  1. previous documented experience in their area of instruction,
  2. successful completion of a "train-the-trainer" program specific to the topics they will teach, and
  3. an evaluation of instructional competence by the Training Director.

1910.120(e)(5) Qualifications for trainers. Trainers shall be qualified to instruct employees about the subject matter that is being presented in training. Such trainers shall have satisfactorily completed a training program for teaching the subjects they are expected to teach, or they shall have the academic credentials and instructional experience necessary for teaching the subjects. Instructors shall demonstrate competent instructional skills and knowledge of the applicable subject matter.

Instructors should be required to maintain professional competency by participating in continuing education or professional development programs or by completing successfully an annual refresher course and having an annual review by the Training Director.

The annual review by the Training Director should include observation of an instructor's delivery, a review of those observations with the trainer, and an analysis of any instructor or class evaluations completed by the students during the previous year. Source: 1910.120 App E, Training Curriculum Guidelines - (Non-mandatory)

Source: OSHAcademy

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Copyright ©2000-2019 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).