OSHA West Virginia Certification
Prior to OSHA’s establishment, there was very little government oversight on the well-being of workers’ health and safety, including in the state of West Virginia. Luckily, with the founding of OSHA, there are now regulations in place to keep all U.S. workers safe from workplace hazards.
However, because OSHA has so many regulations, it can be confusing to understand which ones apply to your work and your state. To make it a little easier on you, below we’ll review OSHA standards in West Virginia, including OSHA training recommendations, how you can get your OSHA training, and why OSHA West Virginia training is essential for workers in the state.
Occupational Safety and Health Jurisdiction in West Virginia
Officially, West Virginia has no "state plan." That is, OSHA has never given its stamp of approval to a state-level occupational health and safety program that meets or exceeds federal standards.
That said, West Virginia did pass its own state OSHA program in 1998 (WV Code §21-3A). This state law extends safety and health protections to public employees (who are never covered by federal OSHA). Anyone covered by the state OSHA program is subject to workplace inspection by State OSHA Inspectors.
As a result, most West Virginians in the private sector are protected under federal OSHA standards. Inspections, questions, and concerns are all handled through U.S. Department of Labor agency.
But public employees of the state or any state agency are under the jurisdiction of the West Virginia Division of Labor, instead (specifically, the Division of Labor Safety Section). Employees of county or municipal entities may also be covered by the state law if their employer "opted in."
Note, employees of the West Virginia Legislature and the Department of Health and Corrections are specifically exempt from state OSHA coverage.
OSHA West Virginia Training Requirements
So, where does that leave safety and health training requirements in West Virginia?
The WV state OSHA law essentially adopted federal OSHA standards for state government workplaces. Any training required by federal OSHA should therefore also be required for employees covered by the state program.
Federal OSHA requires training on particular safety and health topics. The federal agency also recommends general safety orientation courses that it calls "Outreach" training – 10-hour or 30-hour courses sometimes referred to as "earning a DOL card."
OSHA West Virginia only recommends Outreach courses, however. They're not officially required. They're also optional for most West Virginians under state law. However, many West Virginia employers require Outreach courses to give you a foundation in occupational safety and health.
West Virginia's OSHA Construction Safety Program
West Virginia state law does require Outreach training in one set of circumstances.
Construction workers have to take OSHA 10-hour Construction Training within 21 calendar days of being assigned to work on any public improvement project with a total cost over $500,000 (WV Code §21-3-22). That includes projects involving construction, reconstruction, alteration, remodeling, or repairs.
Benefits of OSHA West Virginia Training for Workers
Of course, the primary reason West Virginia workers should undergo OSHA safety training is to ensure they can safely prevent workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities. However, in addition to that, when West Virginia employers invest in OSHA training they can also avoid OSHA penalties, lower workers’ compensation costs, and increase worker productivity.
If you’re not convinced that OSHA training will really help keep your workplace safe, take a look at the below statistics from OSHA, the Department of Labor, and other West Virginia government agencies. These statistics prove that safety training works to prevent fatalities, accidents, and fines.
Fatal Occupational Injuries in West Virginia
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a total of 51 fatal occupational injuries in West Virginia in 2017. Nationally, there were 5,147 fatal occupational injuries the same year.
Of the 51 fatalities:
- 19 were the result of transportation incidents
- 11 were the result of falls, slips, and trips
- 9 were the result of contact with objects and equipment
- 8 were the result of exposure to harmful substances or environments
- 4 were the result of fires and explosions
- 15 in trade, transportation and utilities, including
- 9 in truck transportation
- 2 in freight air transport
- 1 fuel dealer
- 12 in mining, quarrying, and oil & gas extraction
- 6 in bituminous coal underground mining
- 2 in bituminous coal and lignite surface mining
- 4 in support activities for oil and gas operations
- 8 in construction
- 6 in private industry
- 2 in state government
- 4 in forestry and logging
- 1 in manufacturing (specifically, paper mills)
- 1 in hazardous waste treatment and disposal
- 1 in local government (police protection)
- 1 in unspecified government
- 7 in unspecified private industry
2019 Top OSHA Enforcement Cases in West Virginia
Now that you have a statistical understanding of the risks workers in West Virginia face, especially in the construction industry, take a look at the financial penalties your business could face if you’re not compliant with OSHA training regulations.
Currently, OSHA lists the top enforcement cases by state on its website, but here are the top cases for 2019.
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|State||Inspection Number||Employer||City||Issuance Date||Initial Penalty|
|WV||1362345.015||Bulldog Rack of Weirton, Inc.||WEIRTON||05/02/2019||$60,414.00|
|WV||1392545.015||Roofing Solutions, LLC||CHARLESTON||09/27/2019||$72,929.00|
|WV||1426291.015||Colaianni Construction, Inc.||MOUNDSVILLE||09/30/2019||$51,714.00|
|WV||1396007.015||Roofing Solutions, LLC||NITRO||09/27/2019||$85,242.00|
Federal OSHA Offices in West Virginia
Since West Virginia employers and workers remain under federal OSHA jurisdiction, the agency maintains a local area office in Charleston to serve your concerns.
You can find the contact information for the West Virginia office on OSHA’s website.
Additional West Virginia Resources for Safety Information
Need more information? The websites for West Virginia state agencies and associations found below provide additional resources for occupational safety and health.
West Virginia Division of Labor (DOL): The DOL operates under the Department of Commerce in West Virginia. They conduct safety inspections, administer trade certifications, and enforce contractor licensing, wage, and other labor laws. Most importantly, they offer free on-site OSHA consultations to help you improve workplace safety.
West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC): The OIC regulates the state’s insurance industry, including the workers’ compensation system. Workers' comp is a crucial part of workplace safety.
West Virginia University Occupational Safety & Health Consultation Program: WVU's extension service runs a consultation service where Certified Industrial Hygienists to tour your workplace and identify, evaluate, and control occupational hazards. Their services are provided "at reasonable costs" and include air sampling, noise monitoring, respiratory fit testing, and evaluations of ergonomics, hazardous materials, ventilation systems, and heat stress.
Enroll Now in West Virginia OSHA Training Courses
Now that you have a clear understanding of the benefits OSHA West Virginia training has to the safety and well-being of workers, supervisors, and employers, your next step is determining which OSHA training course is the right one for you.
When selecting an OSHA course training provider, look no further. 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.
When you select one of our courses to fulfill your West Virginia training requirements, you can complete your course online and at your own pace – you can’t beat that!