OSHA Massachusetts Certification
When Congress established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were few federal laws that protected Americans from workplace hazards. In the decades since, OSHA has established many sets of rules ("standards") to protect workers from a wide variety of hazards on the job.
Training is an important part of OSHA's safety mission—you can't protect yourself from the dangers around you unless you know what they are. But the rules and regulations for OSHA Massachusetts training can get confusing. They vary by industry and job, plus individual states (including Massachusetts!) have state laws that impact what's required.
To help you get a handle on OSHA's training requirements, we're going to review the types of training and what's recommended, along with how to get the right training and why it's so important for Bay Staters in every industry (but especially construction).
Occupational Safety and Health Jurisdiction in Massachusetts (MGL c149, §6-1/2)
As of 2019, Massachusetts has no official "state plan." In other words, no state-level occupational health and safety regulatory program has been approved by federal OSHA.
However, a new state law went into effect on February 1, 2019. It establishes safety and health protections for all state, municipal, and county workers identical to those federal OSHA gives the private sector.
Private sector workers are still covered by the federal program. This means most Bay Staters now have the same set of safety and health protections, but they're regulated and enforced by two separate agencies:
- Employees in the Private Sector are protected under Title 29 of the federal code (specifically, 29 CFR 1910, among others). The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforced the rules for these employees. They perform inspections and issue fines in the private sector. They clarify rules when there are questions. If you suspect your employer is violating OSHA standards, you file a complaint through OSHA.
- State, Municipal, and County Employees are protected under Massachusetts General Law (specifically, MGL c149, § 6-1/2). The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) enforces OSHA rules for public employees. If it regards state, municipal, or county workplaces, DLS performs the inspections, clarifies rules, and accepts safety and health complaints.
OSHA Massachusetts Training Requirements
What does this all mean for occupational safety and health training?
For private sector employees, OSHA requires training on specific safety topics. For public sector employees, the DLS provides a list of required training topics based on department.
OSHA also recommends 10-hour and 30-hour "Outreach" courses as a general orientation to safety and introduction to hazard recognition. However, these Outreach courses are NOT required by OSHA. And DLS recently clarified that they are not required for public employees, either. One group of Massachusetts workers IS legally required to take Outreach, which we address below.
Many private Massachusetts employers want employees with Outreach training, even when it's not legally mandated. OSHA 10-hour courses are designed for entry-level or non-supervisory workers, and OSHA 30-hour courses are designed for supervisors.
Massachusetts' Act Relative to Health and Safety on Public Construction Projects
There is ONE group of Bay Staters who are legally required to take Outreach training: construction personnel hired for public works projects valued over $10,000. All employees at those worksites are required by state law to complete the OSHA 10-hour Outreach Construction course (according to MGL c30 §39S). The 30-hour construction course can also satisfy the legal requirement.
Massachusetts Right to Know (RTK) Law
Requirements for hazardous communication training is also split between private and public employees in Massachusetts. While private-sector employees must follow OSHA standards for HazCom, public employees must be trained according to The Massachusetts Right to Know (RTK) Law. It ensures that public employees in Massachusetts receive information and training on the specific chemical hazards they may be exposed to in the workplace.
Benefits of OSHA Training for Workers in Massachusetts
The purpose of OSHA safety training is improving employees’ appreciation for and knowledge of jobsite hazards. It better equips them to avoid fatalities and accidents.
Plus, Massachusetts employers that invest in OSHA training programs may see:
- Fewer penalties from OSHA inspections
- Reduced workers’ compensation costs
- Higher productivity and financial performance
We can claim that awareness training keeps workers safe and costs low, but it’s even better to look at the figures from OSHA, the Department of Labor, and various Massachusetts agencies. These statistics tell a critical story about safety training's role in the prevention of fatalities, accidents, and fines.
Fatal Occupational Injuries in Massachusetts
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 108 fatal occupational injuries in Massachusetts in 2017. Nationally, there were 5,147 fatal occupational injuries.
Of the 108 fatalities:
- 36 were the result of transportation incidents
- 21 were the result of falls, slips, and trips
- 4 were the result of contact with objects and equipment
- 15 were the result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals
- 31 were the result of exposure to harmful substances or environments
- 1 were the result of fires and explosions
The state's fatalities were distributed across the following industries:
- 26 in construction
- 22 in trade, transportation, and utilities (15 of which were in retail trade)
- 10 in leisure and hospitality
- 8 in educational and health services
- 8 in administrative and waste services
- 7 in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
- 7 in government (4 local, 2 state, and 1 federal
- 6 in financial activities (5 of which were in real estate)
- 4 in manufacturing
- 3 in professional, scientific, and technical services
Fatal Occupational Injuries in Boston Area Construction
In 2016, a total of 75 fatal work injuries occurred in the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Boston, MA, Cambridge, MA, and Newton, MA/NH. That represented a 56% increase from the previous year.
The largest number of fatal occupational injuries in the Boston area happened in the private construction industry. Of those 22 fatalities, there were:
- 6 in the construction of buildings
- 6 in heavy and civil engineering construction
- 10 specialty trades contractors
2019 Top OSHA Enforcement Cases in Massachusetts
You can see that, without safety training, Massachusetts workers' risk for injury and accidents on the job—especially construction workers. But they aren't alone. Massachusetts businesses risk enforcement penalties resulting from an OSHA inspection.
To give you a sense of the kind of money at stake, here are the top enforcement cases from Massachusetts in 2019, according to OSHA's state-by-state listing on its website.
(Side scroll for additional content)
|State||Inspection Number||Employer||City||Issuance Date||Initial Penalty|
|MA||1392229.015||Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.||FALMOUTH||09/24/2019||$458,436.00|
|MA||1400470.015||NL General Construction Corp.||BURLINGTON||10/03/2019||$42,300.00|
|MA||1374288.015||Harbor Sweets, Inc.||SALEM||06/20/2019||$54,367.00|
|MA||1363640.015||American Green Building Services, Inc.||ROSLINDALE||05/17/2019||$46,410.00|
|MA||1355884.015||B&M Office Installations, Inc.||LAWRENCE||04/24/2019||$68,532.00|
|MA||1358526.015||Randolph Products, LLC||CHICOPEE||04/11/2019||$83,538.00|
|MA||1375253.015||JCl Home Improvement, Inc.||LONGMEADOW||04/09/2019||$42,300.00|
|MA||1353907.015||National Grid USA Service Company, Inc.||MATTAPAN||04/05/2019||$49,442.00|
|MA||1372094.015||Minichiello Bros, Inc.||EVERETT||07/01/2019||$41,106.00|
|MA||1413977.015||NTW LLC dba National Tire & Battery #560||ALLSTON||07/24/2019||$41,676.00|
Federal OSHA Offices in Massachusetts
OSHA has three local area offices in Massachusetts to serve private-sector workers. They're located in:
- Boston north (Andover)
- Boston south (Braintree)
You can check OSHA's website for up-to-date contact information.
If you're a public-sector worker, you'll need to contact Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards instead.
Additional Massachusetts Resources for Safety Information
You can find more occupational safety resources at the following Massachusetts state agency and association websites.
Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS): The DLS manages workers' safety and health, working conditions, and minimum wage/prevailing wage programs. They also oversee apprenticeship programs and employment, placement and staffing agencies.
Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA): The DIA oversees the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. This can be a critical resource when you're researching workplace safety.
Workplace Safety and Health Program (WSHP): WSHP enforces public-sector health and safety in Massachusetts, under the DLS. They field workplace safety and health complaints, conduct inspections, and provide suggestions. That includes sample safety and health training programs, broken down by industry.
DLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Program: You'll find Massachusetts' specific injury and illness reports here.
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH): MassCOSH organizes, advocates, and educates for workers' rights, safety, and health.
Enroll Now in OSHA Massachusetts Training Courses
As you can see, OSHA Massachusetts training is important to the well-being of workers, supervisors, and employers. Your next question: where do you get it?
We're an OSHA-authorized training provider with over 20 years of experience helping busy professionals meet their OSHA training requirements. We offer OSHA 10-Hour Construction, OSHA 30-Hour Construction, OSHA 10-Hour General Industry, and OSHA 30-Hour General Industry in a convenient and effective online format.
Register today to complete required training from any device, at your own pace and whenever you can squeeze it in.