How to Become a Certified OSHA Instructor

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OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the administrative body which oversees health and safety regulations to prevent work-related illnesses, deaths and accidents. It was created in 1971 by the Nixon administration. Since OSHA's inception work-related deaths have been cut by 62 percent. Penalties for violating an OSHA standards in the workplace can carry with them fines up to $70,000. The OSHA Outreach Training Program is the main way in which OSHA trains its workers in basics of occupational health and safety. Becoming a certified safety trainer or instructor, you will be certified to to provide health and safety training at your job site.

Decide whether you would like to be an authorized trainer in the construction industry or for general industry. Your choice will depend your preferences and your company's needs. Course 500 is the Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for the Construction Industry and Course 501 is the Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for General Industry.

Meet the requirements for the training course of your choice. The prerequisites for Course 500 are five years of construction safety experience, a college degree in occupational safety and health and being a certified safety professional or holding a certified hygienist designation. The prerequisites for Course 501 are the same as for Course 500, with the exception that you must have completed Course 511, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry.

Choose an OSHA Education Center. This is where you will complete your training. A list of centers can be found at the OSHA website.

Enroll in and successfully complete Course 500 or Course 501. Once you successfully complete the course, your training certification is valid for four years. At the end of the course, you will complete a course completion card and you will apply for your trainer ID number.

Tip

If you don't meet the requirements to become an OSHA trainer, but would still like to further your knowledge about health and safety, there are other training options available, such as Course 510, which covers OSHA policies, procedures and standards for construction safety and health principles.

Warning

In order to maintain your trainer status, you will need to take a renewal course every four years.

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About the Author

Eliana Kalsky is a freelance writer currently living in Manhattan. After earning her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in London, England, she began writing as a career after moving to Miami in 2001. She has published a number of travel articles for both American and British publications.