Many federal safety, and transportation rules contain requirements to train employees to protect themselves, the public, or the environment from workplace hazards. A few requirements are very prescriptive (e.g., detailed steps to certification), but most are "performance-based" in that they set qualitative goals (e.g., effective, lead to understanding, demonstrate proficiency) that allow the employer to determine the best way to achieve the desired outcome.
EPA. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency training requirements focus on workplace activities designed to eliminate the release of pollutants and wastes into the environment, both on-site and off-site. EPA is generally more concerned with compliance with environmental standards than with the training process used by the regulated entity to achieve compliance. Asbestos, lead abatement, and certain other highly toxic or cancer-causing material handling training are exceptions.
OSHA. For Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most important goal of occupational safety and health training is the long-term reduction of injury and illness among workers. The immediate effectiveness of training is measured through inspections, test scores, surveys, and observing how workers demonstrate the task they have learned. Long-term effectiveness is measured by evaluating worker attitudes toward risk reduction and hazard control, changes in work practices over time among workers who have received training, and changes in reported health and injury rates.
OSHA training rules for the most part are performance-based standards-the workplace must remain free of hazards but the employer determines exactly how that will be achieved. An employer can use a ...