The level of training an employee needs is dependent upon their level of involvement with hazards. All employees must be trained in all the hazards they might be exposed to in the course of their work and in the safety devices or policies designed to protect them from those hazards. If an employee’s worst case exposure to a hazard is to be around the hazard, they would most likely need “Awareness” level. If they might be expected to work in or on the hazard, they would need “Authorized” or “Qualified” level training depending on their involvement with the hazard. Typically “Competent” level training is reserved for those evaluating the hazards for protective device or policy needs.
A good example of this is Fall Protection. If a company has an office and a shop together and there are unprotected elevated working areas in the shop, office personnel might need “Awareness” level training to know how to identify the hazardous areas and to avoid them. Those working up on the elevated areas would need “Authorized” level training to use personal fall arrest systems or other devices. The person evaluating anchor points and doing annual equipment inspections would need “Competent” level training.
Some topics specify exactly what different levels of training can do. OSHA’s Hazwoper standard separates training into Awareness, Operations, Technician, On Scene Incident Commander, and Specialist levels. Looking at the standard, you can see that it spells out exactly what each level can do. Some topics do not have this level of specifics, but a few do.
*Unless specific citations are shown, all answers are based on interpretations provided by authorized officials. As such, all information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.