The owner of a Connecticut safety training firm faces a maximum five years in jail and $250,000 in fines for allegedly falsifying training records for a 32-hour lead-abatement course offered in 2011.
According to the Hartford Business Journal
, an undercover EPA agent enrolled in the course—offered by Environmental Training and Assessment of Middletown, CT—using a fake identity. The agent skipped a majority of the training and failed the final exam. After accepting cash payment, the owner of the training company and his son forged test answers and filled in items left blank in order to “help” the agent achieve a passing score. The company then issued a certificate of completion based on the bogus test results.
The problem here is twofold. First, US regulatory agencies set exacting standards for training programs that impact the safety of workers, the environment, and the public. Whether it’s DOT’s hazmat training requirements at 49 CFR 172.704, EPA’s hazardous waste (RCRA) training rules at 40 CFR 262, or the myriad OSHA safety standards in 29 CFR 1910—Federal and State governments say who must be trained, how much training is required, who can deliver the training, and what that training must cover.
By faking the outcome of a training course, the company is not only failing to comply with government agency training regulations, it is also sending an employee into the field without the proper knowledge or skills to safely perform his or her role. This can easily result in injuries, fatalities, and catastrophic releases to the environment.
The owner’s son, who pled guilty in 2013, was sentenced to two years’ probation for his role in the “sham training” scheme.
Finding a reputable partner to provide your team with critical safety training is not always easy. Effective training on OSHA, EPA, and hazardous materials regulations protects both the public and workers who encounter dangerous jobs, hazardous chemicals, and other risks every day.
While some in industry may seek out training that simply “checks a box,” the vast majority of EHS professionals care deeply about safety and take pride in doing things properly
. When you trust a third-party to provide training for your staff, you deserve peace of mind that your employee will learn what’s needed to safely perform the work that must be done, in full compliance with applicable regulations and safety standards.
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