Do Your Workers Need OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Outreach Training?

Workers who have been through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) 10-hour and 30-hour Outreach Training courses get course completion cards—but the courses don’t fulfill the training requirements of any specific OSHA standard. Does that mean you shouldn’t bother with it?

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Depending on what state you’re in and what kind of work you do, your workers may be required by state law to complete an OSHA 10- or 30-hour course. For other employers, the course may not be required, but that doesn’t mean it’s without value. Here’s a look at what OSHA Outreach Training can do for your workforce.

Voluntary or Mandatory?

OSHA does not require anyone to complete the OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour Outreach Training courses. However, some states and even municipalities have made the classes mandatory for certain workers, especially in the construction industry.

  • Connecticut requires construction workers on some public building projects to have OSHA 10-hour course completion cards issued within the past 5 years.
  • Massachusetts requires all workers who will do public sector contract work to complete an OSHA 10-hour course before beginning work.
  • Missouri requires employees working on state or municipal public works projects to complete an OSHA 10-hour course within 60 days of beginning work on the project.
  • Nevada requires all construction workers and certain workers in the entertainment industry to complete an OSHA 10-hour course at least every 5 years. Construction and entertainment industry supervisors must complete the OSHA 30-hour course at least every 5 years.
  • New Hampshire requires workers on larger public sector contracts (over $100,000) to complete an OSHA 10-hour course before beginning work.
  • New York requires all workers on public projects with contracts in excess of $250,000 to have completed an OSHA 10-hour course in the past 5 years.
  • Rhode Island requires all workers on larger state and municipal construction projects (over $100,000) to have completed an OSHA 10-hour course.
  • West Virginia requires workers on public projects in excess of $50,000 to complete the OSHA 10-hour course, except workers employed less than 21 consecutive days are not required to complete the course.
  • Municipalities, such as New York City and Philadelphia, have implemented laws that require construction workers to complete the OSHA 10- and 30-hour courses.

Benefits of Training

Whether you are required to or not, giving your workers a chance to earn their 10-hour or 30-hour cards has benefits for you and for them:

  • It ensures that the trainer is OSHA-authorized and that the curriculum covers topics that virtually all workers will need for a basic understanding of common workplace hazards and safe practices. Trainers whose credentials or methods are questionable are tracked by OSHA.
  • Trainers are permitted to tailor the training to their audience, so you can commission a course that covers the basics of your industry.
  • Trainers are encouraged to use participatory, hands-on methods.
  • It can help you build a case that you have made a good-faith effort to improve safety in your workplace in the event of an OSHA inspection.
  • It can help you locate Spanish-speaking trainers—OSHA maintains a list here.
  • It gives workers a strong foundation on which to build their safety knowledge.
  • It can help to establish the credibility of an employer’s safety efforts with its workers, contributing to the development of a strong safety culture.
  • There is also the option to take the courses online through OSHA-authorized online providers, which can save the time and cost of scheduling and attending classroom courses.

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