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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 14

Safety and Health Training

Instruction.  Changes to this chapter were made so that the requirements match the requirements in the referenced chapters and in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.  The Web-based safety orientation training requirements were included.

1.  Purpose. To specify the minimum requirements for safety and health training for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees and employee representatives.

2.  Scope.  This policy applies to USGS employees and individuals under personal services contracts (e.g., student services acquired under purchase orders citing 43 USC 50d as authority for the award). All other contractor employees are responsible for following the policies of their employer.

3.  References.

A.  29 CFR 1960, Subpart H, Training.

B.  OSHA Publication 2254, Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines.

4.  Requirements.  The USGS will develop and implement safety and health training plans that encompasses the following:

A.  Employees will receive orientation training in the safety and health program, including their rights and responsibilities and information on the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Executive Order 12196, 29 CFR 1960, this document, and other applicable regulations.  Safety orientation is an initial, one-time training requirement.  The following groups of employees are required to complete initial safety and health orientation training:

(1)  Executives (GS-14 and above).

(2)  Supervisors (GS-13 and below).

(3)  Employees with non-administrative duties (e.g., working in non-administrative areas in the field or laboratories).

(4)  Employees with administrative duties (e.g., working in administrative areas).

(5)  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators.

B.  USGS employees must be given specialized on-the-job or classroom training to provide them with the knowledge and skills to perform hazardous work activities safely and to respond effectively to fires, injuries, or other types of emergencies.  For high-hazard tasks (e.g., using explosives), certification must be carried out by certified examiners. 

C.  Records documenting formal classroom training and certification for high-hazard activities must be maintained at least 5 years. Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC) and occupational health officers and supervisors will be given appropriate hazard recognition training within 6 months of being selected for the task. Safety and health committee members should be given similar training.

D.  Formal training and certification programs will be evaluated periodically.

5.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinator Training.

A. Regional Safety Manager or the Regional Safety Officer shall provide CDSPCs with an orientation to the USGS safety program within 90 days of their appointment to the position.  This orientation will review basic duties and responsibilities, organization, available resources, and USGS safety policies. This can be met through online USGS CDSPC Orientation Training hosted within the DOI Learning Management System.

B.  A USGS safety orientation package has been developed by the Bureau Safety Manager and the Regional Safety Managers to facilitate meeting this requirement.

C.  Within 6 months of appointment, CDSPCs shall receive a minimum of 24 hours of additional training from one of the following sources:

(1)  OSHA Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinator/Officer Course 600, 6000, or equivalent.

(2)  DOI Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinator/Officer Course.

(3)  OSHA sanctioned 10-hour 1910/1926 Standard Overview Course.

(4)  DOI Annual Safety and Health Seminar.

(5)  CDSPC training conducted or sponsored by the Regional Safety Manager or Regional Safety Officer and approved by the Bureau Safety Manager.

(6)  Any basic safety management course offered by an accredited college, university, or Federal agency.

(7)  Any safety management seminar or class sponsored by a professional safety organization (e.g., American Society of Safety Engineers).

D.  After the initial 24 hours of formal training, CDSPCs shall receive a minimum of 16 hours per year of additional formal safety training.

E.  The Department’s Safety and Occupational Health Seminar will provide training for full-time and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators, health officers, managers, supervisors, employees, and employee representatives.

6.  Employee Training Requirements (see Appendix 14-1).

A. Access to employee exposure and medical records. Annually, employees must be informed how and where to access medical and exposure records in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1020.

B. Animal Awareness.  Employees working in field locations where dangerous wild animals may be encountered shall receive animal awareness and avoidance training. Training shall include: types of dangerous wild animals, behavioral traits, recognition of signs of animal activity, how to avoid attracting or provoking, and how to react if attacked. Training shall be provided before work begins in such locations and at least every 3 years thereafter.

C. Asbestos. Employees who perform housekeeping activities in public and commercial buildings who may be exposed to asbestos fibers must receive awareness training annually.  Employees who repair and perform maintenance operations where asbestos- containing materials or presumed asbestos-containing materials are likely to be disturbed must receive training that is consistent with the Environmental Protection Agency requirements for the training of local education agency maintenance and custodial staff as set forth at 40 CFR 763.92(a)(2).

D. Aviation Training.  Employees whose work assignments involve transportation in noncommercial aircraft shall receive initial training prior to the first such flight and refresher training every 3 years as specified by the Aviation Management Directorate of the National Business Center and Chapter 27 of this Handbook.

E. Bloodborne Pathogens.  Designated first-aid providers will receive training upon initial assignment and annually thereafter in the hazards and prevention of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. This training may be in conjunction with first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. All designated first-aid responders shall also be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment.  If they render assistance in a first-aid accident, they shall be offered the hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours.  Should first-aid responders experience exposure to bloodborne pathogens (e.g., a splash to the eyes or exposure of mucous membranes), they shall be provided with follow-up medical evaluations.  See Chapter 25 of this Handbook for specifics.

F. Cableway Safety.  Employees who use cableways to measure or sample, employees who inspect cableways, and employees who serve as regional cableway experts will receive training as specified in Chapter 41 of this Handbook.

G. Confined Space Entry.  Employees who enter confined spaces or serve as attendants or rescuers shall receive training prior to performance of confined space entry duties as required and described in Chapter 40 of this Handbook.

H. Excavations.  Employees who are responsible for monitoring and inspecting excavations and for analyzing soil types (e.g., the competent person) must initially be trained in excavation standards, hazards, protective systems, and methods of testing soils and retrained when changes occur.

I. Defensive Driving.  Employees who operate any type of motor vehicle in the performance of official duties shall receive defensive driving training.  Specific requirements may be found in Chapter 16 of this Handbook.

J. Electrical Safety.  Employees whose work involves risk of injury due to electrical shock or other electrical hazards will be trained in the safety-related work practices required by 29 CFR1910.333 through 1910.335.  Employees who are permitted to work on or near exposed energized parts will be trained in the skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment, the skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts, the clearance distances specified in 29 CFR1910.333 (c)(3)(ii)(C), and the corresponding voltages to which the qualified employee will be exposed.

K.  Emergency Response Hazardous Material Spill Containment and Cleanup.  Employees designated to take defensive measures or contain hazardous material spills shall receive first responder operational level certification as defined by OSHA (see 29 CFR 1910.120).  A minimum of 8 hours of training is required. Employees who are members of organized USGS spill teams shall receive training appropriate for the tasks to be completed as part of the emergency response.  Employees assigned to entry team or decontamination duties shall be certified to the hazardous materials technician level as specified by OSHA (see 29 CFR 1910.120). A minimum of 24 hours of training is required.  Employees assigned to support roles during a hazardous materials response shall receive certification to at least the first responder operational level as defined by OSHA.  Eight hours of refresher training shall be provided to employees of organized USGS spill teams annually as a minimum.  Employees shall not attempt clean up of any hazardous material spill without appropriate training, personal protective and clean-up equipment, and knowledge of the hazards. The amount spilled, degree of toxicity, and resources available to clean up the spill must be properly evaluated.

L.  Explosives.  Employees whose work involves proximity to or handling of explosives shall receive a minimum of 24 hours of basic explosives safety, with refresher training provided annually as described in Chapter 38 of this Handbook. Topics shall include hazards of each class of explosives, dangers of static electricity, storage and transportation requirements, initiation devices, and personal protective devices.

M.  Fall Protection.  Employees whose duties may expose them to falls of 4 feet or more to a surface below or to dangerous machinery at any height should be trained in the nature of fall hazards in the work area.  Employees who use personal fall arrest systems and those who assemble scaffolds need additional instruction.  See Chapter 44 of this Handbook for specifics.

N.  Field Safety.  Employees who conduct work where the location of the work is greater than 15 minutes from professional medical services should receive training in basic first aid and CPR. For locations where medical services are greater than 1 hour away, employees shall also have advanced first-aid or wilderness first-aid training. Where multiple employees are assigned to a specific field location, at least two shall be certified in first aid and CPR. Employees shall receive additional training commensurate with the fieldwork location. Training to address hazards associated with extreme temperatures, coldwater survival, wilderness conditions, and high altitude shall be given to employees likely to encounter these conditions.  Field hazard training shall be conducted upon initial employment and every 3 years thereafter.

O.  Fire Extinguisher.  Employees who are expected to use fire extinguishers should have annual “hands-on” fire-extinguisher training.  Such training can usually be obtained from the local fire department.  See Chapter 36 this Handbook for specifics.

P.  Firearms.  No employee shall be issued a firearm or be permitted to use personal firearms unless a certificate of need has been authorized by the employee’s supervisor, and the employee has met all firearms training requirements as described in Chapter 29 of this Handbook.

Q.  First Aid (Basic, Advanced, or Wilderness) and CPR.  Employees conducting field work shall receive basic first-aid and CPR training.  Employees shall receive first-aid refresher training every 3 years and CPR refresher training annually or as required by the organization administering the training and certification program (e.g., American Red Cross).

R.  Hazard Communication.  Employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals under normal conditions of use or in a foreseeable emergency shall receive initial Hazard Communication Training with refresher training every 3 years (see Chapter 20).

S.  Hazardous Environments.  Training shall be provided to all employees working in hazardous environments to enable them to deal with the problems and working environments they may encounter.  Training activities will include but are not limited to the following:

(1)  Arctic Survival.

(2)  Electrofishing.

(3)  Swift-Water Activities.

(4)  In-Around Water/Ice Covered Water Locations.

(5)  Rocketnetting/Blasting Operations.

(6)  Fire Fighting.

(7)  High-Heat Work Environments (heat stress).

(8)  Powder-Actuated Equipment.

(9)  Rock Climbing and Repelling.

(10)  Specialized Vehicle Operators: watercraft, airboats, hovercraft, personal watercraft, water, garbage and heavy trucks, snow machines/mobiles, tracked vehicles, and mowers.

(11)  Stationary or Mobile Machinery and Equipment.

(12)  Biological Hazards (e.g., zoonotic diseases).

T.  Hazardous Materials (Shipping, Receiving, Packaging).  Employees who package, ship, or receive hazardous materials as classified by the Department of Transportation must receive training in the hazards, including correct procedures, forms, and precautions.

U.  Hazardous Waste Generators.  The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires any facility that generates hazardous-waste (HW) to provide all employees, who handle HW, training on emergency procedures, systems, and equipment.  Annual refresher training is required after the initial training is completed. (See USGS Environmental Management and Compliance Requirements Handbook, 445-1-H.)

V.  Hazardous-Waste Sites.  Employees entering any hazardous-waste site must receive training as required by OSHA prior to initial assignment and annually thereafter (see 29 CFR 1910.120). Only employees listed on approved site plans will be allowed to perform work on hazardous-waste sites.

W.  Hearing Conservation (Noise). Employees in a Hearing Conservation Program will receive annual training in accordance with Chapter 19 of this Handbook.

X.  Laboratory Safety (Chemical Hygiene). Employees using hazardous materials in a laboratory environment shall receive chemical-hygiene training as described in Chapter 21 of this Handbook, with refresher training every 3 years.

Y.  Liquid Propane Gas.  Employees who perform installation, removal, operation, or maintenance work on liquid propane gas systems will receive training in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.110.

Z.  Lockout/Tagout.  Employees who lockout or tagout machines or equipment in order to perform servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment shall be trained in the requirements of lockout/tagout procedures as described in Chapter 37 of this Handbook. 

AA.  Logging (Chain Saws).  Employees assigned to operate chain saws will be trained in their safe use and maintenance in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.266.

BB.  Machine-ShopWoodworking and Portable Power Tools. Supervisors shall certify that employees are experienced and knowledgeable in the safe operation of machine-shop tools, portable power tools, and other equipment prior to operating such equipment. New employees should serve an apprenticeship or receive formal training under an experienced senior employee before unsupervised use of power tools and equipment. Refresher certification or formal training is required every 3 years.

CC.  Materials Handling (Manual Lifting). Employees required to routinely lift objects of greater than 35 pounds as part of their job assignment shall be instructed in proper lifting techniques, proper back care, and exercises upon initial assignment and every 3 years thereafter.

DD.  Materials Handling (Powered Industrial Trucks).  Employees who use manual or motorized forklift trucks shall have supervisory authorization and receive initial training in their operation and refresher training every 3 years.

EE.  Mines.  Employees shall not enter any active mine without the written approval of the mine owner and shall receive training to meet 30 CFR (Mine Safety and Health Administration) requirements. If employees are to work in abandoned mines, they shall receive training in how to test for oxygen content of the air, toxic or explosive atmospheres, and roof and wall integrity.
FF.  Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) and Fire Protection and Prevention.  Employees who serve in emergency evacuation positions such as floor, area, stairwell, or elevator monitors shall receive training on the elements of the OEP plan and basic emergency-evacuation procedures for the facility.  Length of training should be commensurate with the scope and complexity of the OEP.  All employees shall receive training in the facility’s OEP, including at least one evacuation drill per year and training covering basic fire prevention.

GG. Over-the-Water Activities.  All employees who perform duties in this environment will receive safety training that includes the use of job-hazard analyses, the proper care of personal flotation devices (PFD), and in-the-water training simulating the use of PFDs. Training must be provided prior to the initial over-the-water work assignment and refresher training provided every 5 years. The office responsible for the work of these employees will conduct the training.  In-the-water training is to be conducted in a controlled environment. The In and Around Water/Ice Covered Water Location Safety Training Instructional Guidebook developed by the Water Resources South Dakota Office is provided as a minimum syllabus for over-the-water activities safety training.  This manual is a guide for preparing a basic training program.  Additional training specific to local operating procedures and practices is encouraged. Training sessions may also be supplemented with programs on swimming skills assessment, motorboat-operator certification, water survival, CPR, or water rescue.  (See Appendix 14-2.)

HH.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Employees who are required to wear personal protective equipment, based on a job hazard analysis (see Chapter 15 of this Handbook), will be trained to know when PPE is necessary; what PPE is necessary; how to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE; the limitations of the PPE; and the proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the PPE.  Training will be as described in Chapter 26 of this Handbook.

II.  Process Safety Management. In accordance with 29 CFR 1910.119, employees who perform work on sites covered by Process Safety Management (e.g., water- and waste-water treatment plants, oil refineries, chemical manufacturers) will be informed of the known potential fire, explosion, or toxic-release hazards related to the work and the process. The site employer will explain the applicable provisions of the site emergency-action plan.

JJ.  Radiation.  Employees who use Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensable ionizing radiation material shall receive appropriate training to maintain compliance with the NRC license authorizing the material and as described in Chapter 30 of this Handbook.  Employees who use X-ray-producing machines shall receive appropriate training as required by 29 CFR 1910.1096.  Employees who may be exposed to naturally occurring radiation in the course of their work should attend a course on the subject.
KK.  Respirator Training.  Employees who have the need to use respirators shall receive appropriate training and fit testing prior to use as described in Chapter 18 of this Handbook.

LL.  Underwater Diving.  Employees who conduct diving activities shall be certified and receive initial and refresher training as described in Chapter 28 of this Handbook.

MM.  Watercraft.  Employees operating any motorized watercraft shall receive initial training through the DOI Motorboat Operator Certification Course, with the appropriate refresher training every 5 years, inclusive of PFD information, as described in Chapter 31 of this Handbook.  Additionally, operators of Class 2 or larger vessels must comply with licensing requirements of the U. S. Coast Guard.

NN.  Welding, Cutting, and Brazing. Cutters or welders and their supervisors must be suitably trained in the safe operation of equipment and overall safety during the welding process.

OO.  Well Logger Training.  Supervisors are required to complete applicable training detailed within 10 CFR 39 in order to act as a supervisor of licensee activities.

7.  Responsibilities.

A.  Bureau Safety Manager.

(1)  Develop an employee development plan (EDP) template for use within the USGS.

(2)  Develop a Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinator EDP template for use within the USGS.

(3)  Assist regional safety managers in identifying, developing, or coordinating training programs.

(4)  Develop a Bureau system for documenting and tracking safety and health training.

(5)  Promote cost effective means (e.g., Web-based/CD-ROM training) to assist regional and field components in meeting safety and health needs.  (See Core Competencies Appendix A for sources.)

B.  Regional Safety Managers and Officers.

(1)  Conduct or coordinate safety and health training within the regions such as Collateral Duty Safety Coordinator Training, Defensive Driving, and CPR/First Aid.

(2)  Assist field science program management in identification of resources to meet local training needs, as needed or requested.

(3)  Review regional and science program training in conjunction with annual program assessments to evaluate compliance and address existing and future field-specific training needs.

(4)  Assist the Bureau Safety and Health Management Branch in establishing a system to document and track safety and health training at all organizational levels.

C.  Organizational Managers and Supervisors.

this Handbook for all applicable employees under their control.

(2)  Document training accomplishments within the DOI Learning Management System.

(3)  Assist in the identification of additional employee safety training requirements through job hazard analyses or researching mandatory requirements employees must receive prior to carrying out unique job activities.

(4)  Certify that employees are experienced, knowledgeable, and technically qualified prior to assignment in potentially hazardous occupations (e.g., electrician, machinist) or operations (use of power tools, complex operations with high hazard materials) where employee safety may depend on skill. New employees should serve an apprenticeship or receive formal training from experienced senior employees before allowing unsupervised performance of such tasks. Conduct program orientation for all employees under their supervision.

(5)  Explain to new employees, during their first week on the job, the policies, rules, regulations, emergency procedures, and any special conditions peculiar to their working environment. Information will include the following:

(a)  Present and discuss USGS, regional, and local safety and health policies.

(b)  Identify and demonstrate safe working procedures related to employee responsibilities, carefully pointing out inherent hazards.

(c)  Discuss any physical limitations to be considered before assignment of duties.

(d)  Issue hard hats, gloves, or other employee protective equipment consistent with job hazard analysis.  Explain the proper use and how to acquire employee protective equipment.

(e)  Ensure required training is taken prior to assigning an employee to a task involving hazardous materials and potential exposures.

(6)  Obtain medical approval, fit testing, and training for employees required to don respirators.

(7)  Provide the following information to employees involved in motor vehicle or special purpose vehicle operations:

(a)  Authorized vehicle use.

(b)  Vehicle accident reporting kit (DOI Form DI-135).

(c)  Emergency equipment required.

(d)  Vehicle inspection procedures.

(8)  Provide the following information to all employees:

(a)  Accident reporting responsibility and reporting procedures.

(b)  Hazardous condition reporting procedures.

(c)  Fire hazards and fire plan.

(d)  Protective equipment policy.

(e)  Local safety plan.

(9)  Include safety and health program elements, employee rights and responsibilities under the program, applicable information on the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970, Executive Order 12196, 29 CFR 1960, the DOI and USGS Safety manuals, and other related regulations, per 485 DM Chapter 13.3, as part of new employee orientation. This can be accomplished by employees taking the USGS Employee Orientation hosted within DOI Learning Management System.

D.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators.

(1)  Maintain a resource library of local safety and health training sources and assist local supervisors and training officers in identifying, coordinating, scheduling, conducting, and documenting employee training.

(2)  Assist management in meeting this training requirement by identifying previous fiscal year training accomplished and forecast upcoming fiscal year training needs/requirements as part of the USGS Annual Action Plan and Accomplishment Program Planning process, as described in Chapter 3 of this Handbook.

E. Employees.

(1)  Attend safety training programs and provide feedback to supervisors on quality and content of the program.

(2)  Assist supervisors in determining safety training requirements.


______/s/ Karen D. Baker_________                                                _9/5/08_________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services



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