The Beginner’s Guide to OSHA Training
Overview of OSHA and Training Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that establishes on-the-job safety protections for workers. OSHA's mission is to assure "safe and healthful working conditions" for all workers. The agency has made steady progress for almost 50 years.
Part of the reason OSHA has made progress is due to safety training. In fact, safety training is a critical component for maintaining compliance with OSHA regulations.
And in its compliance guidance, OSHA organizes training requirements into five categories of OSHA standards: General Industry, Maritime, Construction, Agriculture, and Federal Employee Programs.
But how do you know which training requirements to follow?
In this guide, we'll break down different types of OSHA Outreach training, specifically Construction and General Industry. We will also review who needs which training and how many hours you need. This way you can ensure you’re selecting the right course.
Please be aware that this is just a guide and is in no way meant to be an official recommendation. For that, you should consult with your employer, as well as local, state, or federal regulations.
What is OSHA Construction Training?
OSHA Construction training addresses the specific safety needs of construction workers and covers the standards in 29 CFR 1926.
This is the training you need if you're a construction worker or a contractor. Some example job titles include laborer, carpenter, operator, surveyor, foremen, engineer, project manager, and safety specialist.
Specifically, the training focuses on the equipment and potential hazards you might encounter on the job, such as:
- Cranes and rigging equipment
- Power tools, scaffolding, and ladders
- Electrical hazards
- Struck-by or caught in-between hazards
- Confined spaces
It also reviews the personal protective equipment you need to wear to stay safe on a construction site.
What is OSHA General Industry Training?
General Industry training is for everyone who doesn’t fall into one of the other categories and covers the standards in 29 CFR 1910.
For instance, if you work in fields such as healthcare, factory operations, manufacturing, and warehousing, this is the training you need.
This training largely covers universal topics, such as:
- An introduction to OSHA
- General safety and health provisions
- Emergency plans
- Hazard communication
- Electrical and machine guarding safety
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Welding and cutting
Now that you have a better idea of which standards you need to understand for your job, let’s dig deeper into the different courses: OSHA 10-Hour and OSHA 30-Hour.
What is OSHA 10-Hour Training?
OSHA 10-Hour Training covers basic job-related health and safety hazards. The goal of the 10-Hour course is to provide you with an awareness of potential dangers so that you can avoid, prevent, or mitigate them. And OSHA does require you spend the 10 full hours reviewing the course content.
Who Should Take It?
This is the course you should take if you are an entry-level worker, and you DON'T have any supervisory responsibilities. Examples of these jobs include general laborers, carpenters, medical assistants, package handlers, and material handlers.
What is OSHA 30-Hour?
OSHA 30-Hour Training is designed to give supervisors a broader and deeper understanding of job-related health and safety topics so that you can properly manage the safety of an entire team. And you are also required to spend the full 30 hours in the course.
Who Should Take It?
If you have supervisory responsibility for worker safety, you should take OSHA 30-Hour Training. This includes foremen, engineers, supervisors, site leads, project managers, and safety specialists.
Do You Need Both 10-Hour and 30-Hour Courses?
No. Over the course of your career, you may need to take each. But OSHA 10-Hour isn't a prerequisite for OSHA 30-Hour. And there's zero benefit to taking both close together, since 30-Hour covers the same topics and more.
What Does OSHA-Authorized Training Mean?
Whichever training you take, you should ensure the training provider is "OSHA authorized." For the most part, OSHA training is provided by private organizations or trainers that have earned OSHA's stamp of approval.
For instance, any company can build a training program for their own workers, but only trainers who've completed a rigorous process to become authorized can provide authentic Outreach training and issue valid DOL cards.
At the end of the day, OSHA training is a key element of safety compliance in any industry. And the training you need depends on both the industry you work in and the degree of responsibility you have at your job.
Additionally, you should always look for an OSHA-authorized training provider to ensure you’re getting an authentic Outreach training course with a DOL card if you need it.
Now that you've figured out which OSHA training you need, the next step is finding a training provider. We have over 20 years of experience as an OSHA-authorized training provider, and we offer each type of OSHA training to meet your training needs, including our most popular course: OSHA 30-Hour Construction. Learn more about our courses and enroll today!