The definition of “essential worker” has changed with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical professionals, law enforcement, first responders, and utility workers have long been considered essential workers. It’s taken a pandemic to reveal just how essential farmhands, grocery store staff, and a host of other professions really are. 

Many employees who are now considered essential lack the training needed to complete their tasks safely in the face of COVID-19. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the TPC Training catalogs for online training courses suitable for essential workers during this difficult time. With recommendations on the use of masks, social distancing, and other safety strategies changing frequently, these essential training courses help keep employees safe.

Coronavirus: Guarding against COVID-19

One of the most essential online training courses for any employees working during the pandemic, Coronavirus: Guarding Against COVID-19 discusses COVID-19 hazards and the safe practices needed to reduce infection risk. Topics include an overview of COVID-19 and how it spreads, proper handwashing techniques, “touch discipline,” social distancing, “respiratory etiquette,” and what to do if you think you’re getting sick. If you need your employees to understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and how to protect themselves against the virus, this course provides an excellent overview. 

Custodian staff, cleaning, and COVID-19

Custodial staff assigned to clean public areas need to be vigilant in their cleaning habits, as the coronavirus can survive for several hours on surfaces. Now might be a good time for janitorial staff to overview Restroom Care, to be sure they are properly cleaning and disinfecting restrooms without risking their own health. 

Grocery store stockers, cashiers, and medical center administrative assistants may all find themselves tasked with using cleaning products more in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. Cleaning Chemicals is a short but comprehensive introduction to the safe use of basic cleaning supplies.

Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment covers a wide range of equipment designed to keep staff safe while they use their jobs. With the spread of COVID-19, the use of gloves, masks, and face shields has become common among professions which never used such equipment before. 

Proper use of masks and gloves is important, as failure to wear, use, and remove such equipment can increase rather than decrease the risk of coronavirus infection. One of the most popular courses in the TPC catalog, Personal Protective Equipment offers an overview of where, when, and how to use common types of PPE, including facemasks. 

Essential training courses for laboratory staff

Whether testing samples for coronavirus or working directly with the virus in the hunt for a vaccine, laboratory staff follow a strict set of controls to ensure no contamination of biomedical substances — and staff members —  occurs. One of the most essential online training courses in our catalog for lab workers is Preventing Contamination in the Laboratory. It’s ideal for lab staff who need a refresher course in safety procedures. 

Dealing with the media

With coronavirus dominating the media, medical staff may find themselves questioned by the media concerning everything from human interest stories to updates on infection and death statistics. Medical facilities need to instruct staff on how to deal with media queries, what questions they can answer, and how to prevent the spread of misinformation. The HAZWOPER Dealing with the Media in Emergency Situations outlines how to deal with media queries. While intended to provide information to employees dealing with hazardous chemicals, its advice can be adapted to dealing with COVID-19 related situations. 

With time, the pandemic will pass. Until it does, essential workers will help keep healthcare, the food industry, utilities, and other virtual services running. Whether your staff are manning the ER at a healthcare facility or working the cash register in a supermarket, show you value their commitment by providing them with essential online training courses.


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