Site-Specific Safety Training (SST)

About. Effective August 2023, personnel working in environments with safety hazards will be required to document Site-specific Safety Training (SST) in the Ability training system annually. If required, you will see the SST course listed in your Ability system Requirements. Several federal regulations require site-specific safety training (SST) to address hazards specific to a work environment. Supervisors are required to provide training annually.


Your worksite and job duties determine the process for recording your annual SST. If you work in multiple environments with safety hazards, you may be required to complete SST more than once per year. Clinical environments can combine training specific to individual suites and rooms to a single form. 

Process by Work Site

Click the heading below that best fits your work environment. The tab will open for details.

  • IPF, Police, SLE

    Work with your supervisor or unit trainer to ensure you attend applicable training each year, including bloodborne pathogens training. Your supervisor or unit trainer will document your training in Ability. Do not download, complete, or upload an individual site-specific checklist.

    Unit Trainers: see trainer resources for site-specific training
  • Laboratories, Clinics, Vet Med Center, Nursing, Other Units

    Check with your supervisor or trainer if you need site-specific training. Nursing employees can direct questions to

    Following or during your site-specific training (depending on local process), complete the site-specific safety checklist form, save to your device (PDF, scan, photo) and upload into the Ability training system from your page. See video example of process below.

    Available checklist templates:

    You can verify your file was successfully uploaded using the Print Certificate or Email Certificate buttons on the course page. If no image shows up, try again, but use a short file name without punctuation. 

Supervisor Responsibilities

  • Provide Training

    It is the supervisor's responsibility* to ensure adequate and timely training is provided to all persons conducting activities or in areas of safety risk. The supervisor is responsible for monitoring the training and taking steps to correct any gaps in knowledge, skills, and performance. Verify training is documented.

    To document their own annual SST, a PI or other higher level supervisor can review the risks in their projects or work areas** and review resources (EHS manuals, local guidelines, project protocols, location and condition of equipment, signage and other safety concerns...).  Upload documentation of your own site-specific safety review into the SST course space. 

    *PI, clinic manager, or unit head can authorize another qualified person to provide the site-specific safety training.

    **Changes that might impact environment, public health, or safety of personnel must be reported to EHS.

  • Documentation

    Once training is completed for one work environment that year, no additional reminders or alerts will be sent. Remind team members that they must have additional documentation for any other work sites with associated safety risks. It is the manager or principal investigator's responsibility to verify annual site-specific training is documented. 

    Ways to monitor your subordinates' documentation of training:

    • Request subordinates email certificates of completion (self-recorded site-specific training will include the actual form uploaded).
    • View subordinates' records in the Ability compliance training system (select video link below).
    • Designate a proxy in the Ability system to assist you or your unit in monitoring.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No Upload button? Course not showing completed upload? Course froze?

    If the Upload button doesn't appear on the course page,

    • You may not have clicked the Launch button first.
    • Then you may need to close your pop-up window to the information page before the Upload button shows up. You may need to refresh your screen to make it appear. 
    • You may have tried to upload a bad file or made too many attempts. 

    If your course launch or upload button appears frozen, contact or just Cancel that enrollment and start again with a new file name. 

    The system security restricts upload format. Be sure your SST checklist form file name:

    • se the naming convention of SST-yourNetID-year (e.g SST-sparty99-2023)
    • upload only JPG, PNG, DOC, PDF, GIF files
    • does not have any unusual characters (no spaces, no periods, no commas, no slashes...)
    • is not too long (stay under 20 characters please).
  • Checklist Form Date?

    On the form, record the actual date training was received. You will NOT receive credit UNTIL your form is uploaded into the training system.

    As soon as possible after the training, upload your form into the Ability system. The course  record will reflect the date the form was uploaded. Upon request, the Ability helpdesk will modify the course date to match your form date if there is a significant discrepancy (more than a few weeks between the form date and upload date). 


  • What was the schedule and process for this change?

    Site-specific Safety Training (SST) has been a federal requirement for many years. Documention was the responsibility of supervisors to store locally. Increasing concern over the thoroughness of documentation and the need for faster reporting for any auditors led to changing the way SST is documented going forward. 

    Starting August 2023:

    • Learners will be required to upload documentation of their SST activity (as a pdf file or image of a printed form) directly into Ability compliance training system. This will serve as an electronic record of the training.
    • After uploading current SST activity for individual lab personnel, labs will no longer be required to retain printed records.
    • Emails were sent to a list of current PI in early August and meetings. 

    March 2023:

    • Site-Specific Training course is added to other tracks that cover other work environments, including all employees required to complete Bloodborne Pathogens training. 
    • Meetings were initiated with key unit representatives including SLE, IPF, Clinic managers, and others with follow-up emails and meetings to help clarify the process for their units' personnel to document the training.  

    August 2022:

    • Lab groups are notified of the option to immediately begin documenting training in Ability system. Personnel can now upload documentation of their SST activity directly into Ability compliance training system. How-to materials developed for supervisors and workers. 
    • Hard copies of past SST should be retained until new training is recorded in Ability. Printed hardcopy documentation may used in lieu of the online system until September 2023. Past completions should not be uploaded unless they occurred very recently.

  • MULTIPLE Work Sites?

    For multiple work sites - Personnel working in multiple locations (including multiple labs) must complete site-specific training FOR EACH SITE, each year (even if those labs are under the same PI). ​You will NOT be reminded to complete additional site training after you have completed the first site training for that year. Supervisors will be verifying documentation for their group. If you change jobs, you must record your SST again.


  • Multiple TRACKS have Site-Specific course listed?

    Many work risks (equipment, materials, activities) have regulatory requirements for site-specific training. So several tracks include the course (image). If you complete site-specific training that covers all related risks for your responsibilities at that site, you will only need to upload one form per site

    You must still complete and document site-specific training for each site annually.

  • Do I have to do Site-Specific Training?

    If you are at-risk of exposure to certain workplace risks* (evidenced by a track requirement in Ability system) you must complete site-specific safety training (SST) annually. Starting in Fall 2023, you must also document that training in the Ability system.

    If you are no longer at risk (or never were)**, please update your training requirements by contact Copy your supervisor who can remove the online training requirement for that subject also. 

    *People who are typically required to complete the SST

    • You are a MSU employee, including student paid workers and you work in a healthcare setting, where there is a potential to come into contact with human blood or other human potentially infectious materials, or you are a potential blood spill responder and/or may perform first-aid (Police/Security, SLE, Child Care Centers, Psychiatry, Sports and Recreational facilities), then State and federal OSHA law requires you to be in the bloodborne pathogen program and complete bloodborne pathogens site-specific training.  You can mark N/A if as you go through the training with your supervisor or designated training for anything that is not applicable.
      • State and federal law require you to be in the bloodborne pathogen program. You can simply mark spill response as what is applicable. The rest appear to be NA. The chances of it happening are not a factor. If you are deemed a spill responder and first aid provider you must be in the program. ~MSU EHS Biosafety
    • You conduct activities at FRIB that put you at risk 
      • Your FRIB safety training personnel will direct you on how to document some safety training. Document site-specific safety training for radiation in the Ability system.
    • You work at VMC or other large building where it is difficult to simplify your training because there are so many sites (rooms, suites, wings) with different equipment, protocols... 
      • See details at the top of this page for VMC
    • You are an MSU employee working on a non-MSU owned site where there are work-related risks including activities, equipment, materials that are covered by regulation. 
      • For example if you are working in Midland or the Grand Rapids Research Center
    • You are not a MSU employee, but you are working at an MSU site where there are work-related risks covered by regulation. If you are a Blue coat, Resident, or Henry Ford employee in a healthcare setting, contact the EHS Biosafety team or your bloodborne pathogens trainer to determine if you are required to complete the Bloodborne pathogens site-specific training 

    **People who are typically not required to complete the SST

    • You do not have the Site-Specific Safety Training listed in your Ability Requirements list
    • You are a student only and are only taking a course for your academic program and not employed (not a student worker) and are not in a lab or other assistant position and are not in the VMC or other group mentioned in the site instructions above, then you may not be required to complete Site-Specific Safety Training. 
  • Can you give me access in Ability to upload everyone's SST completion?
    Unfortunately, at this time there are no additional resources to manage an increase of Ability system administrative roles. Your local Bloodborne Pathogens trainer will already have access to record training in Ability system and may be able to facilitate recording SST also. Reach out to if your need assistance with bulk training of large sets of employees.