13. Worker Testing, Training, & Safety

Trade Worker Classes

Plumbers, electricians and all other people licensed to work in a particular trade should be required to periodically successfully pass hands-on tests to show their functional understanding of how to work with new materials or new techniques that may have begun to come into use in that trade recently. These tests should be required every five years. The tests should also include sections that cover virtually all other more conventional materials, techniques, etc. of the trade. The idea is to make sure that people working in their respective trades know how to do the work and also to make sure that they at least know about any new developments that may have taken place since they received their licenses or since they last took such a test as proposed here. (Core of this idea came from Julius Ballanco, P.E.)

Food Handler Classes

All people who handle or prepare food as part of their regular jobs should be required to take and pass classes that deal in general with proper food handling, storage, and preparation methods as well as classes that specifically deal with special precautions that should be taken regarding the kinds of foods that they are involved with. In addition, such workers should be required to take refresher and updated classes every five years, at most, which include education emphasizing new developments in the area of food handling, storage, and preparation. Significant food handling, storage, or preparation catastrophes, major errors, or mistakes that made headlines in the news should be discusses and analyzed so that the lessons are sure to be learned.

General Workplace Safety Education

All members of the labor force should be required to take a course on general workplace safety issues, including repetitive strain injuries, ergonomic design, stress management, etc. They should be required to pass a test on this subject once every 5-10 years. People performing jobs with specific or unusual safety concerns should also take these tests at least every 5-10 years or as often as required by their employers.

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