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The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency dedicated to protecting the safety and welfare of workers. OSHA standards regulate worker safety in construction, maritime settings, and general industry. To help train workers in OSHA safety standards, the organization has developed a series of training and certification programs. The most widely used is the OSHA 30 hour certificate, which provides 30 hours of training to help workers and employers learn safe practices that meet OSHA standards.
Outreach Training Program
The majority of OSHA training programs are carried out by private instructors, who must be certified under the OSHA Outreach Program. To become an authorized trainer, an individual is required to have five years of safety experience in general industry or construction. He or she must also complete OSHA course 510, which covers safety in the construction industry, or course 511, which covers general industry safety. Those meeting these requirements can teach OSHA 30 hour training programs for four years before they must take update classes and renew authorization.
Requirements for Training
Though OSHA requires employers to make workers aware of their safety rights, there are no requirements in place regulating 30 hour certification. The 30 hour program is voluntary, yet many workers and companies choose to take part. Participation can help keep employees safe and can result in lower liability insurance and workman's compensation rates. After completion of the 30 hour training, employees are given a certification card. This card certifies that employee's safety knowledge, and can be helpful during a job search.
30 Hour Construction Safety Topics
Of the three different 30-hour training programs offered by OSHA, construction training is the most popular. It provides an overview of the OSHA organization and its goals, as well as specific safety information for a variety of topics. Training must include five hours on the four main hazards facing construction workers. These include falls, electrical shock, falling objects, and trench hazards. An additional six hours are dedicated to personal protective equipment, health hazards, and ladders. The instructor may choose from a range of elective topics to fill the remainder of the time.
30 Hour General Industry Safety Topics
The general industry safety certificate covers worker safety in the industrial and manufacturing fields. The first two hours of this course cover general OSHA information, including employee and employer rights. Ten hours are dedicated to walking and working surfaces, fall protection, protective equipment, materials, and hazard communication. The balance of the program can be tailored towards the audience based on specific industry hazards. These topics may range from auto or equipment safety, agricultural or logging hazards, or dangers related to the medical field.
OSHA 30 Hour Maritime Safety Certificate
The OSHA Maritime safety program is designed for employees working in shipyards, marine terminals, or port operations. The first six hours of the program are dedicated to worker rights, record-keeping, fall protection, and personal protective equipment. For courses directed at shipyard workers, the next eight hours cover scaffolding, electrical safety, confined spaces, and fire protection. The remainder of the training is chosen based on the audience, and may include hazardous material handling, respiratory protection, or other topics inherent to maritime work.
Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.