In addition to providing regulations, guidelines, and inspections, OSHA also offers an important training and education service, known as the Outreach Training Program. In fiscal year 2016, this program reached almost 900,000 workers and provided them with important training on a wide range of topics related to occupational hazard recognition and prevention.
According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, which was released earlier this month, the program is being operated efficiently, which is a good sign that it will be renewed moving forward. The report looked at a number of criteria when evaluating whether or not it was efficient, including the following:
- How well the program was aligned with leading practices when it comes to designing a training program that is effective.
- The process for evaluating whether or not participants have successfully completed the program.
- Whether or not there are internal controls that are put in place to ensure course competition is documented properly.
- The process by which OSHA is overseeing those who are providing the training, and how they assess the results of the program.
The GAO provides evaluations on many government programs, including training programs such as this, to ensure they are an efficient and appropriate use of funds. In most situations, the GAO doesn’t have the authority to directly approve or shut down any specific program, but they issue recommendations, which are taken seriously by legislators and others in power.
The report issued by the GAO stated that, “OSHA took steps to design the Outreach Training Program so that workers receive consistent and quality training by using data to identify the content of the training, developing training materials, and issuing detailed requirements for training providers. According to OSHA officials, the content of the training was selected after the agency reviewed data on the leading causes of worker deaths and the most frequently cited OSHA standards.”
After completing their report, the GEO will not be making any recommendations to OSHA, which is a favorable result.
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