Posted On: November 1, 2022

What Is the Difference Between OSHA 10 & OSHA 30?

You may have heard you need a "DOL card" before you can start work in your industry. The Department of Labor (DOL) issues a wallet card to anyone who completes OSHA Outreach Training.  Exactly which course you need can get confusing, though.  You'll see labels like "10-Hour Construction" and "30-Hour General Industry." But how do you know which course to take? Why do you need it? And what can you expect to get out of that time?

We've covered the differences between the "industries" in the past.  This article will look at OSHA 10 vs. 30 and tackle the differences between the OSHA 10-Hour and OSHA 30-Hour training courses.

Individual Course

OSHA 10-Hour Construction

OSHA Outreach for construction covers 29 CFR 1926 regulations. DOL card included.

89.00 59.99
Individual Course

OSHA 30-Hour Construction

OSHA 30 Outreach for construction covers 29 CFR 1926 regulations. DOL card included.

189.00 159.99

OSHA 10-Hour & 30-Hour Outreach Training for Construction

Keep everyone on your construction site safe with OSHA 10 and 30 training.

229.00 215.00

What Are OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Courses?

Recently, we launched a new and improved version of our OSHA Outreach courses for Construction.

Our OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Construction classes are now faster, more mobile-friendly, and more interactive with games and activities to increase your understanding and retention of the material.

OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 are collectively called OSHA Outreach courses. OSHA develops the curriculum for its Outreach courses to serve as a type of standardized safety training that employers and regulators can use as a clear-cut minimum.

Each "industry," as defined by OSHA, has its own version of the Outreach curriculum – specifically, General Industry, Construction, and three subsets of Maritime work.

Each industry has two different course levels. The 10-hour Outreach curriculum is known as OSHA 10, and the 30-hour Outreach curriculum is known as OSHA 30.

What's the Difference Between OSHA 10 and OSHA 30?

Obviously, the 30-hour course is a much more extensive course than the 10-hour one. That's because OSHA 30 is for supervisor-level personnel. Supervisors need to understand the hazards and safety standards that apply to all the workers they oversee, and they also need to understand how to manage and enforce site safety.

What's Covered in the OSHA 10 Construction Course?

The curriculum for individual OSHA Outreach courses will vary from provider to provider. OSHA sets up a framework for each industry and course level. Providers are required to cover a few mandatory topics and choose a certain number of topics from a list of electives.

For an OSHA 10 Construction course, OSHA requires all providers to teach:

  • Introduction to OSHA
  • Focus Four Hazards
  • PPE & Lifesaving Equipment
  • Health Hazards in Construction

Our 10-hour Construction course also includes the following elective topics:

  • Stairways and Ladders
  • Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors
  • Excavations
  • Materials Handling, Storage, Use & Disposal
  • Scaffolds
  • Hand and Power Tools

Games in the new and improved version of our OSHA 10 Construction course include:

  • Hazard a Guess. You'll be presented with various construction scenarios and challenged to identify the safety and health hazards present.
  • Know Your PPE. You're assigned a specific task and must quickly select the required personal protective equipment.
  • Stairs and Ladders. You'll play four micro-games to learn about ladder safety.
  • The Signs. Match hazard signage with the correct meaning.

What Does OSHA 30 Allow You to Do?

OSHA 30 covers all the same topics as OSHA 10 but is more in-depth. For supervisors in fields like construction, manufacturing, factory operations, and healthcare, the training covers mandatory topics such as inspections and hazard control. 

However, most of the time difference is spent on new topics.

Supervisors and workers need to understand responsibilities and processes, so OSHA supervisor training has one extra mandatory topic called Managing Safety and Health.

Supervisors also need to know about a greater variety of safety topics, so most of the additional time is spent learning about OSHA standards for more specialized work.

In our OSHA 30 construction course, these additional topics include:

  • Concrete and Masonry Construction
  • Confined Spaces
  • Ergonomics
  • Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Safety and Health Programs
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Silica Exposure
  • Lead Exposure
  • Asbestos Exposure
  • Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment, and Marine Operations; Rollover Protective Structures and Overhead Protection; and Signs, Signals and Barracades

Games in the new and improved version of our OSHA 30 Construction course include:

  • Confined Spaces. Correctly identify the type of confined space that you're shown.
  • Excavations. Spot the risks you need to account for while creating an effective excavation protective system.
  • All About SDS. Match hazard labels with safety data sheet information before the time runs out.

OSHA 10-Hour Training covers job-related health and safety hazards for entry-level workers. It provides awareness of potential dangers and how to avoid, prevent, or mitigate them.

Who Should Take It?

If your job requires OSHA Outreach training and you DON'T have supervisory responsibilities, take OSHA 10-Hour. Some states and locations specifically require training courses for certain professions. Even when that's not the case, employers in high-risk industries often require it because it provides a consistent foundation for safety training. Those industries include (but aren't limited to) construction, manufacturing, warehousing, and maritime. If you're not sure whether you need OSHA 10-Hour training, ask your employer.  Or you can check for state or local laws requiring Occupational Safety and Health Administration training or a DOL card.

How Long Is the Training Program?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires 10 full hours of "student contact" time, covering course content.  But the total number of hours you'll spend on training will vary. Break time, testing time, and commute time are extra.  And some training methods, like online courses, allow students to take longer than 10 hours with the course material if they need it. OSHA limits training to a maximum of 7.5 student contact hours a day, with at least 8 hours between long sessions. That means the 10-Hour course has to be spread over at least 2 days.  Trainers can choose to spread them out further.

What Topics are Covered?

Each "industry" outreach program (Construction, Maritime, and the catchall General Industry) has its own set of topic requirements. But in all cases, there are:

  • Mandatory Topics: 6-7 of the 10 hours go towards topics chosen and required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The exact subjects vary by program.  They all require an Introduction to OSHA, where students learn about worker rights and employer responsibilities.  The rest are essential safety topics. OSHA sets a minimum number of hours for each.
  • Elective Topics: OSHA provides a list of specific industry procedures, and course designers choose which topics are most relevant for their students. At least half an hour has to be devoted to each topic.
  • Optional Topics: Guidelines leave a couple of hours that can be used to cover unspecified safety topics, choose additional electives, or devote more time to a topic beyond its mandatory minimum.

This setup gives the courses a degree of consistency while allowing trainers the flexibility they need to tailor the course to their students.

How Do You Pass OSHA 10 or 30 Training?

You must attend and complete 10 or 30 hours of content review.  And while OSHA doesn't require any kind of testing, many providers use an exam to confirm that you've learned the material. In those cases, a passing grade is required (however the instructor defines it). For example, our Outreach courses require you correctly answer 70% of multiple-choice questions.

Do You Need Both OSHA 10 and 30?

No, but over the course of your career, you may need to take each, as OSHA 10-Hour isn't a prerequisite for OSHA 30-Hour. If you take a 10-Hour course and then discover you need a 30-Hour card, you would need to take a 30-Hour course separately. The original hours on the 10-Hour course could not be counted towards your 30-Hour course.

DOL Cards and Certifications

Once you've passed your Outreach course, you'll get two documents:

  • Wallet or DOL Cards (Department of Labor cards) are only available through authorized providers after you complete one of the Outreach Training courses we've discussed. Your card will be mailed to you after the course. Since 2016, these cards are made of durable plastic, so you can carry it with you to show employers or inspectors.
  • Certificates are issued immediately and act as proof that you completed the course before your wallet card arrives. Employers need to provide records of training to OSHA, so they might need a copy. You'll get one of these for any OSHA course, not just the Outreach courses.  For example, if you take a separate Sit-Down Forklift training, you'll get a certificate for everyone's records.

Enroll in Our New, Gamified OSHA 10 or 30 Courses Today!

Enjoy state-of-the-art dynamic course design in our updated OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Construction courses. The time will fly by with fun games and a rich media experience.

It's not just our courses that have gotten faster – DOL cards now arrive in just 2 weeks!

Enroll today to get started!

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