OSHA Alaska Certification
If you’re working in Alaska, you need to understand OSHA Alaska standards because they apply to everyone—no matter what job you’re doing. However, the regulations can be confusing, especially in states like Alaska that have a state plan.
To help, we are going to review OSHA standards and how they apply in Alaska, additional requirements from the Alaskan government, as well as OSHA and Alaska training recommendations.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Alaska
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) allows states to assume their own occupational safety and health responsibilities as long as they're "at least as effective" as the federal program.
Alaska has an official state plan that covers all state and local government workers in Alaska, as well as most private sector workers. It's enforced by the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Division (AKOSH), which is part of Alaska's Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
AKOSH adopted all federal OSHA standards by reference. It also adopted state-specific standards like:
General Industry Standards:
- Explosives and Blasting Agents
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Temporary Labor Camps
- Confined Spaces
- Logging and Forestry
- Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution
- Painting Operations
- Electrical Hazards
- Toxic Substances
- Bloodborne Pathogens and Other Infectious Diseases
- Hazard Communication
- Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Production
- Oil and Gas Refining, Transportation, and Handling
- Asbestos Abatement (Training, Certification, and Plan Approval)
- Gases, Vapors, Fumes, Dusts, or Mists
- Steel Erection and Wood Framing
- Electric Power Transmission and Distribution
AKOSH also has its own anti-retaliation provisions.
Some Alaskans are covered by federal OSHA, instead. Specifically, those in:
- Federal employment
- The U.S. Postal Service, including private operations contracted by USPS
- Private-sector maritime operations (ie, shipyards, marine terminals, floating seafood processors, and longshoring)
- Worksites located in navigable waters
- Offshore oil platforms and production facilities
- Private and federal employers in Denali National Park and the Metlakatla Indian Community (excluding state school district workers)
- Federally owned and contractor-operated Native American health care facilities
- Private and federal employment within military bases and facilities
- Certain agricultural operations
- Working conditions of aircraft cabin crewmembers onboard aircraft in operation
- Issues not covered by the state plan
OSHA Training Requirements in Alaska
Since Alaska adopted most federal standards by reference, Alaskans will follow similar training requirements regardless of jurisdiction.
OSHA Alaska requires training on specific safety standards that apply to your job functions. The only time jurisdiction might impact training are the standards Alaska adopted on its own.
For example, AKOSH requires Asbestos Abatement Certification (8 AAC 61.600 to 61.790) and Explosives Handlers Certification (8 AAC 62.010 to 62.070). If you're unsure about state-specific training requirements, AKOSH offers consultative services to help you stay compliant.
Federal OSHA also has Outreach courses (sometimes referred to as "DOL cards") that cover common requirements for your industry. Even though OSHA doesn't require OSHA Outreach training, some employers might. In that case, you’ll either need an OSHA 10-Hour course for entry-level workers or an OSHA 30-Hour course for supervisors.
Benefits of OSHA Training for Workers in Alaska
OSHA Alaska training not only benefits employees by increasing awareness and understanding of workplace and jobsite hazards, but it’s beneficial to employers as well. Employers can expect to avoid penalties from OSHA inspections, lower workers’ compensation costs, and increase workplace productivity and financial performance.
While it’s easy for us to say that OSHA training will help keep workers safe, it’s another thing entirely to share statistics that prove our point. Below you’ll find Alaska workplace injury statistics from OSHA, the Department of Labor, and other Alaska agencies; they validate our point that safety training will prevent fatalities, accidents, and fines.
Fatal Occupational Injuries in Alaska
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 33 fatal occupational injuries in Alaska in 2017, while nationally there were 5,147 fatal occupational injuries.
Of the 33 fatalities:
- 18 were the result of transportation incidents
- 6 were the result of falls, slips, and trips
- 6 were the result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals
- 1 was the result of contact with objects and equipment
The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries accounted for more than half of the fatalities.
2019 Top OSHA Enforcement Cases in Alaska
Obviously, Alaska workers are at risk for loss, with high injury and accident rates, but employers can also lose when they don’t invest in OSHA training. Take a look the hefty fines Alaskan businesses received in 2019 for noncompliance with OSHA standards.
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|State||Inspection Number||Employer||City||Issuance Date||Initial Penalty|
|AK||1391329.015||Department of Public Safety||ANCHORAGE||09/27/2019||$227,379.00|
|AK||1405323.015||Alaska Marine Trucking, LLC||SKAGWAY||06/17/2019||$42,624.00|
|AK||1383584.015||Alaska Sales and Service, Inc.||ANCHORAGE||05/21/2019||$89,049.00|
|AK||1385694.015||Westward Seafoods, Inc.||DUTCH HARBOR||05/14/2019||$91,852.00|
|AK||1368392.015||Trident Seafoods Corporation||AKUTAN||04/26/2019||$270,723.00|
|AK||1362117.015||Alaska Sales & Service, Inc.||ANCHORAGE||04/22/2019||$42,738.00|
|AK||1403396.015||United States Bakery, Inc||ANCHORAGE||08/23/2019||$100,480.00|
|AK||1335960.015||Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation||CORDOVA||01/04/2019||$64,700.00|
Federal and State OSHA Offices in Alaska
Since Alaska employers and workers are divided up into federal and state jurisdiction, there are separate local area offices for AKOSH and federal OSHA.
OSHA maintains a local area office in Anchorage, which serves federal government employees. Federal OSHA also serves private-sector employers and employees in the cases of maritime facilities, offshore oil platforms and production facilities, certain Indian Health Service facilities, and operations within National Parks or military bases.
Everyone else should reach out to AKOSH, including state and local government employers and employees. Alaska's main state plan office is in Juneau, with another in Anchorage.
You can find the most up-to-date contact information for either type of Alaska OSHA office on OSHA's website.
Additional Alaska Resources for Safety Information
In addition to the information we have provided, you can visit additional Alaska state agency websites for more information on safety resources.
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD): The DOLWD includes a variety of divisions and provides numerous services to ensure workers have safe and legal working conditions.
Alaska Labor Standards and Safety Division: This division of the DOLWD implements programs for occupational safety and health, electrical and mechanical code compliance, and wage and child labor laws.
Alaska Workers’ Compensation: This division of the DOLWD manages the workers' compensation insurance program.
Enroll Now in OSHA Alaska Training Courses
It should now be obvious how essential OSHA training is to the safety and well-being of workers, supervisors, and employers, but you’re not quite done yet! You still need to determine which OSHA training course you need.
Luckily, with 360training.com you don’t have to look too far. We have over 20 years of experience as an OSHA-authorized training provider, and we offer OSHA 10-Hour Construction, OSHA 30-Hour Construction, OSHA 10-Hour General Industry, and OSHA 30-Hour General Industry to satisfy your OSHA training needs.
Simply select your appropriate course and start your online training. Sign up today!