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What is “OSHA Certification”?

OSHA Certification: An Overview

OSHA CertificationWhen it comes to the term, “OSHA Certification,” confusion abounds. Let us help you sort through the confusion. Discover how to get an OSHA 10-hour, 15-hour or 30-hour course completion card, how to become an Authorized OSHA Trainer, and how to receive an OSHA Safety & Health Certificate.

1. What is OSHA?

Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor.

2. What are OSHA standards?

OSHA standards are rules that describe the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from hazards. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Water
  • Sanitation
  • Fire protection
  • Indoor air quality
  • Mold
  • Heat/cold
  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Occupational noise
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Medical and first aid
  • Use of power tools and equipment
  • Commercial driving
  • Drug use

OSHA standards, law and regulations can be found on the US Department of Labor’s website here.

3. What are the penalties for violating an OSHA standard?

The maximum penalty OSHA can assess is $7,000 for each serious violation and $70,000 for a repeated or willful violation.

4. How can an individual obtain an OSHA certification training card?

OSHA Authorized Trainers issue student course “completion” cards (not “OSHA certification” cards) to individuals that successfully complete 10-hour, 15-hour, or 30-hour OSHA Outreach Training courses. 10-hour or 30-hour classes are for construction, general industry, and maritime workers. (Generally, the 10-hour course is intended for entry-level workers while the 30-hour program is for workers with some safety responsibility. The 15-hour class is for disaster site workers.)

5. Are the Outreach Training courses mandatory?

OSHA recommends the outreach courses as an orientation to occupational safety and health for all workers. Although the courses are voluntary, some states have enacted laws mandating the training. Furthermore, some employers, unions, organizations or other jurisdictions may also require this training.

6. How can an individual get an OSHA certification to become an Authorized Trainer?

There are no “OSHA certifications” because OSHA does not “certify” trainers. However, OSHA does offer courses that allow individuals to become “Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers” in their industry. If you are interested in becoming an Authorized Trainer, click here for more info.

7. How can an individual confirm that their course trainer is an “Authorized Trainer”?

Students interested in attending an Outreach Training Program class should request to see a prospective trainer’s current Authorized Trainer card in order to verify the trainer’s status.

8. How can an individual receive OSHA certification for becoming a “Certified Safety and Health Specialist”?

Becoming a Certified Safety and Health Specialist requires a college certificate or degree (Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate). To find colleges that offer OSHA degree programs, click here.

9. What about OSHA training for healthcare professionals?

According to OSHA, more workers are injured in the healthcare and social assistance industry sector than any other. In addition, the healthcare industry has one of the highest rates of work-related illnesses. Because healthcare professionals work in such high-risk occupations, it is recommended that they receive specialized OSHA training. This training can be provided via by the healthcare professional’s employer (see below) or by taking continuing education courses on OSHA health and safety. Healthcare professionals who are interested in taking CE courses on OSHA can do so one of two ways: 1. Through their employer via CEU360’s learning management system; 2. Individuals can purchase compliance CE courses here.

10. How can healthcare employers provide better OSHA training to their employees?

OSHA training is time and money well spent, and the employer should regard it as an investment rather than an expense. An effective regulatory compliance training program (OSHA, HIPAA, JCAHO) can result in better morale, fewer work injuries, and lower insurance premiums, among other benefits. For more information about developing or updating your regulatory compliance training program, click here.

Updated September 2015. Originally published in 2014.

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