What Is OSHA Training? The Definitive Guide to Understanding Safety and Health Authorization

The OSHA Training Outreach Program aims to give workers in high-risk industries targeted information about safety and health in the workplace. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration training is a term most people are familiar with, but unsure about what it means.

Also, this includes those that need this certification as mandated by law, such as workers in the construction field. It is also for those who elect to take these voluntary steps to improve their livelihood.

So, you want to get a safety card to help save lives, reduce work injuries & get a promotion in your job. If that is the case, you are in the right place. 

Throughout this article, I have covered every little detail about OSHA. I will provide you with a better understanding of how the OSHA training program works and who needs it.

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA – is a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. It assures safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women. Also, OSHA sets and enforces safety standards by providing training, outreach, education, and help. 

Also, OSHA is responsible for creating, maintaining, and enforcing safety standards in the workplace. These standards are OSHA regulations. OSHA regulations are rules that employers must be aware of to avoid noncompliance penalties.

The OSHA Outreach Training program has served as OSHA’s primary program. It has been educating employees in the construction industry and other industries since 1971. 

However, its goal is to promote safety and health in the workplace and make workers more aware of their rights and responsibilities.

How Do OSHA Trainings Work?

OSHA Training Institute uses a train-the-trainer model that enables those who complete the required courses to become OSHA Outreach trainers. 

Also, these trainers can deliver 10-hour and 30-hour training courses to staff working in the general or construction industries.

Additionally, these trainers can also distribute completion cards to these employees, confirming that they have completed the training.

Four primary industry classifications comprise the outreach training program: 

  • Construction 
  • Maritime
  • General Industry
  • Disaster site workers. 

There are 10-hour and 30-hour versions of the construction and general industry classifications, respectively. 

In addition, employees need to take the 10-hour course to learn about common work-related health and safety hazards. While supervisors or workers with some responsibility for safety programs need to take the 30-hour courses.

OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour Training Programs, Curriculum & Requirements

Training modules for construction and general industry OSHA need to cover a specific set of topics. Also, dedicated time goes to each topic.

During the separation of the curriculum, there is a small degree of flexibility. But, at least two OSHA-specific electives should be in the 10-hour course, and six topics in the 30-hour course.

The Curriculum for the 10-Hour OSHA Construction Courses:

In addition to OSHA and the use of personal protective equipment, the required curriculum should also have:

A lecture on health hazards in the construction industry. Also, this includes lectures on subjects like falls, electrocution, struck by, and caught in or between. 

Students may elect topics including: 

  • Cranes
  • Excavations
  • Material handling 
  • Scaffolds
  • Stairways 
  • Ladders
  • Hand and power tools 

It also includes an optional topic, which can cover industry hazards or expand on required topics.

Curriculum for the 30-Hour OSHA Construction Course:

The 10-hour construction curriculum must be mandatory, but with an added timeframe.

The 12 hours of optional topics in the 30-hour program include:

  • Confined space entry 
  • Fire protection
  • Powered industrial vehicles
  • Concrete and masonry construction
  • Ergonomics
  • Excavations
  • Vehicle safety
  • Welding and cutting 
  • Safety and health programs
  • Steel construction
  • Foundations for safety management.

Also, the curriculum includes: 

  • 3 hours of optional content on industry hazards 
  • Policies
  • And an expansion of the required topics.

The Curriculum for the 10-Hour OSHA General Industry Course:

Curriculum requirements must include:

  • An introduction to OSHA
  • Exit routes 
  • Emergency action plans
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Walking and working surfaces (including fall protection) 
  • Fire protection, electrical, and hazard communication.
  • Hazardous materials
  • Ergonomics
  • Materials handling
  • Fall protection
  • Machine guarding
  • Introduction to industrial hygiene
  • Blood-borne pathogens, safety, and health programs

And, one hour of optional courses extends the mandatory course and addresses general industry hazards.

The Curriculum for the 30-Hour OSHA General Industry Course:

Curriculum requirements are the same as in the 10-hour general industry course, but the time dedicated to each topic is longer. 

Also, from the same topics covered in the 10-hour electives, elective courses include: 

  • Hazardous materials 
  • Machine guarding
  • An introduction to industrial hygiene
  • Blood-borne pathogens
  • Permit-required confined spaces
  • Powered industrial vehicles
  • Lockout/tag-out welding 
  • Ergonomics 
  • Fall protection, safety, and health programs
  • Seven hours of optional material handling policies 
  • Industry hazards
  • And an expansion of required topics.

In light of the variety of topics covered during the training, all attendees will leave with a solid understanding of the hazards they could face in different situations. 

What are the Benefits of the OSHA 10-hour Training Program? 

Workers in the general industry must complete the OSHA 10-hour training course to learn about occupational safety and health.

The training also teaches students how to recognize and prevent workplace hazards. This program provides benefits such as:

  • Companies and taxpayers save money when accidents reduce at work.
  • Safety mandates have become the new standard.
  • It provides small and mid-sized companies with an affordable way to become and remains OSHA compliant.

What are the Benefits of the OSHA 30-hour Training Program? 

Environmental hazards at work are covered in detail in OSHA 30 general industry training. This intensive 30-hour training will also teach employees how to recognize, avoid, and prevent common workplace hazards.

Furthermore, there are several areas of the standard curriculum that OSHA 30 covers. These include:

  • Health and safety programs
  • How to make an emergency action plan
  • OSHA inspection procedures
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Reporting workplace hazards

What is the Importance of OSHA Training?

Through training programs, safe jobs become a reality. In today’s world, safe jobs exist because employers make it a point to protect their workers every day of the year. 

So, by involving workers in the effort, work injury and illness prevention programs improve as workers can also identify missing safety procedures, make suggestions for changes, and contribute to a safe workplace. 

Additionally, training programs that focus on specific work dangers are more accurate when workers join the development process.

The Outreach Training provided by OSHA is only for initial training and does not provide training for specific OSHA standards. 

However, your employer remains responsible for providing ongoing training, reinforcing concepts presented, and providing any function-specific safety training pertinent to your roles and environments.

What are the Advantages of Completing the OSHA Outreach Training?

Cardholders of OSHA authorization benefit from a variety of benefits, as well as fulfilling a job requirement. With the OSHA card, you can take advantage of these benefits after a 10-hour or 30-hour course:

1. An Excellent Addition to Your Curriculum Vitae

You have passed your OSHA course. So, make sure your resume shows off your new certification! You will stand out to employers if you include information about the course and the authorization.

2. Boosts Your Chances of a Promotion or Getting a New Job

You can demonstrate that you know safety training by obtaining an OSHA authorization. Apply for new jobs with details of your OSHA training on your resume and LinkedIn profile if you have not done so already. 

Even if you are not currently searching for a new job, taking these steps does not hurt.

3. Get Involved in a Safety Committee

The laws of several states and the federal government need companies to set up safety committees or groups.

Also, safety committees are responsible for monitoring workplace safety practices and training materials. These teams could benefit from having workers with OSHA safety training.

4. Connect With Professionals Who Share Your Interests

If you are an OSHA-certified worker, social media becomes an easy way for you to stay in touch with other professionals you connected with during the training and stay up to date on safety issues.

In addition, you will be able to exchange ideas with these professionals and even develop new strategies or training methods.

5. Keep Up-to-Date on OSHA Safety Procedures

Following updated and relevant safety procedures is an absolute must. Especially when it comes to your employees or any workplaces you may work in. It’s also vital to keep up-to-date on these procedures because they are frequently changing.

Many workers who complete the initial OSHA training stay in the loop and learn the latest safety procedures.

But, do note that the term ‘OSHA-Certification’ does not mean you are certified by OSHA. The truth is, OSHA does not certify workers, nor is it possible to gain OSHA certification. 

Also, trainers and courses get approved or authorized by OSHA, and students receive a course completion card. However, anyone claiming to be OSHA certified is misinformed.

OSHA Coverage

The OSH Act applies to certain employers and workers in the private sector. This is also the same with some employers and workers in the public sector in all 50 states.

Also, certain areas and governmental regions under federal authority are covered by this act.

Among these regions are: 

  • Puerto Rico
  • The District of Columbia
  • Guam
  • The Northern Mariana Islands
  • The Virgin Islands
  • Wake Island
  • Johnston Island
  • American Samoa
  • The Outer Continental Shelf Lands 


Does OSHA apply to everyone?

All 50 states in the USA are regulated by OSHA. This also includes the District of Columbia as well as other regions under the United States.

But, these states and regions are either covered directly or indirectly by OSHA. Those covered indirectly are through a state-approved program. 

Is OSHA capable of closing a company?

No, OSHA does not shut down work sites. Court orders are in extreme situations, according to Simplified Safety. Supervisors may halt operations if there is an immediate risk on-site until it is resolved.

Who does OSHA not cover?

The OSH Act does not apply to immediate family members of farm employers. Also, it does not cover the self-employed, or workplace hazards managed by other federal agencies like:

  • The Coast Guard
  • The Mine Safety and Health Administration
  • The Department of Energy.

What is the highest OSHA authorization?

Trainer cards represent the highest level of achievement and skill in the hierarchy. Additionally, this card permits trainers to teach OSHA outreach courses for 10 hours and 30 hours.


OSHA’s main objective is to promote workplace health and safety. It is also to make workers more aware of workplace hazards and their rights. 

Yet, OSHA does not consider any of the courses within the Outreach Training program as certification training. OSHA continues to state that outreach training is not a mandatory requirement.  

Additionally, this program remains voluntary. It also provides employers with no extra compensation over an alternative. Even if the alternative is an unregulated method of training for work safety. 

Finally, seven states with state-funded construction projects are an exception. They require workers to attend OSHA-authorized, 10-hour training programs before working on the project. These states are; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.

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