Fact: OSHA provides training free, yet funeral homes are fined every week for not doing their requirements.

I would contend that most funeral directors are unconsciously unaware of OSHA requirements. In the safety business, it is sometimes referred to as the Helen Keller syndrome. It suggests that employers and managers have no desire to know what works, see how anything works, or even discuss it.

Typical here is the manager who only wants to know enough about safety and accident prevention to be able to get by an OSHA inspection. God forbid that he actually learn how to implement safe operating procedures that would prevent accidents and make the workplace safer for everyone.

The syndrome is perhaps worst at compliant funeral homes. For 17 years running, they have been teaching annual renewal training on formaldehyde and exposure control. It is required training. You don't to change it up that much from year to year. And as a result, even the most alert employees listening to it tend to drift off. Imagine if you will that it was required that one day a year, every student was lectured on Christopher Columbus. Imagine that requirement for every grade, from kindergarten through college. At some point, it is going to get boring. And so it is with OSHA training.

OSHA does not mandate safety instructors to remake old lessons in order to keep the material fresh. They probably should since doing so provides its own reward. For example, employees learn more and they become more safety conscious in their work.

One way I have tried to accomplish this is to broaden the curriculum. There are only so many way you can present the elements of an exposure control plan or review safe work practices for those exposed to formaldehyde.

What happens in reality is that as we present these topics year after year after year, the time of each presentation is reduced. What used to take 2 hours can now be done is 20 minutes. We can use the time saved to familiarize employees with safety concerns in other areas of the workplace.

In the past, this has included office safety for office workers, maintenance oriented safety lessons for employees engaged in maintenance, and special training for maids and housekeepers. We have put these subjects on CD so that employers who want their employees to hear them can easily do so. Most of the courses last around ten minutes. For a funeral home that uses outside contractors to do their maintenance, their employees would not even view them.

This year, we will broaden our safety training to include more new areas. CD's that were developed by OSHA and narrated by KISS Compliance Network will be sent to all of our customers. They will feature subjects as diverse as fire and egress, flammables, electrical, personal protective equipment, walking and working surfaces, and more. They are part of the OSHA outreach program. These OSHA safety presentations can be viewed in 15 to 20 minutes.

It is easy to use these in the narrated CD version. It essentially provides the funeral home with OSHA's training library. And it can all be stored on a few CD's they play on any computer, even a Mac. I'm thinking, it is just the kind of training library a funeral home would love to show an inspector if they were inspected. I'm thinking, what employee would not benefit from viewing a short video on emergency or on fire extinguishers.

All of the training, from the required to the non-required, are on KISS Compliance Network CD's and can be held in the palm of your hand. Isn't it time you updated your compliance program and took advantage of OSHA's outreach program?