As a small business owner, training your employees is one of the best ways to keep your workers safe and healthy. The more informed they are about best workplace safety practices, the more equipped they’ll be in preventing illness and injuries. Not only can safety and health training aid in the protection of your workers, but it can lower your workers’ compensation costs—a win-win for everyone.
To help companies train their employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers OSHA 10-Hour certifications to introduce safety and health practices in the workplace. While some states, cities, and businesses require this level of training, the OSHA 10-Hour certification is worth considering for your employees regardless. We’ll cover why, and go over what exactly the OSHA 10-Hour training entails. Let’s get started!
What is the OSHA 10-Hour Training Course?
To protect employees from serious harm, such as the unthinkable case of death on the job—Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Born from this act was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA was created to uphold this law's safety and health standards and protect workers across the nation.
OSHA offers OSHA Outreach Training Programs to employees that promote safety and health in the workplace. By taking these courses, employees can learn about specific hazards lurking in a work environment and understand their workers' rights.
There are two different course levels: the OSHA 10-Hour certification and the OSHA 30-Hour certification. The OSHA 10-Hour certification is designed for entry-level workers. The OSHA 30-Hour course is specific to supervisors and workers who have a larger safety responsibility at their place of work.
The OSHA 10-hour course offers several industry options:
- The OSHA 10-Hour construction
- The OSHA 10-Hour marine
- The OSHA 10-Hour general industry
- The OSHA 10-Hour disaster worker
So, if you're in the construction industry, your construction workers will want to take the OSHA 10-Hour construction course. You'll want to encourage your employees to take the course that best fits your industry, so they understand hazards specific to your workplace.
Where Do You Get OSHA 10-Hour Certified?
Online training is available to workers who want to complete the safety training course in the comforts of their own home or even at the office, though there are also in-person options.
Workers can take the OSHA 10-Hour online course or complete the training in person with OSHA-authorized independent training providers. To find authorized trainers for either option, you can visit the US Department of Labor’s website.
What is Covered Under OSHA 10?
The topics covered in the OSHA 10 course include:
- Electrical hazards
- Health hazards
- Fire prevention and protection
- Emergency egress safety
- Personal protective equipment or PPE
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) and Repetitive Motion Disorders (RMD) causes and prevention
- Fall protection
- Slip and trip job site hazard protection
- Chronic vs. acute health ailments
- Unguarded equipment hazards
- Spray finishing, dipping, coasting, combustible liquids, and compressed gas dangers
- The rights of workers to know the chemical makeup of materials used in the workplace
What Does It Mean to Be OSHA 10 Certified?
As a small business owner, you may want to require an OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 certificate of completion. Requiring completion certifications means the employee can prove they have a basic understanding of the safety risks found in the workplace and understand their fundamental rights.
However, it’s important to point out that just because one of your employees has either certification, it doesn’t mean that the employee is fully certified with the OSHA Outreach Training Program.
Confusing—we know. So, let us break it down for you.
Basically, OSHA believes that the OSHA 10-Hour course completion is the first step in understanding safety in the workplace. But, after the completion of the certification, workers will have to complete additional OSHA training courses to become fully certified by OSHA. The OSHA standards outline the additional training course requirements, which cover things like handling powered platforms for building maintenance and addressing toxins that might be present in the workplace.
However, there are a few states, cities, and employers that require OSHA 10-Hour certifications. For example, seven states require the OSHA 10-Hour construction course for construction workers. These states include:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- Rhode Island
So, even if OSHA doesn’t recognize it as a full certification, your employees may still need it to fulfill state or city requirements.
Also, it’s important to mention that while OSHA may not require the OSHA 10-Hour course or the OSHA 30-Hour course, it may have other safety training requirements for certain workers who face particular workplace hazards. To identify the requirements in your area, you can reach out to the OSHA office in your state.
What Is an OSHA 10-Hour Card Good For?
So, why is it important to encourage your employees or workers to obtain an OSHA 10 completion card? Well, there are several reasons you would want to require your employees to complete the course, including:
- Protects your employees against injury or illness caused on the job.
- Lowers workers' compensation rates since better safety practices can reduce your risk of claims. It can also have a positive impact on your experience modification factor, which affects your premium rates.
- Gives workers a greater sense of safety, and therefore, confidence on the job—which contributes to better attendance and attrition rates.
- Increases employee morale, productivity, and quality of work because workers feel secure and that their well-being is one of their employer's top priorities. After all, would you want to go to a place of work that was unsafe?
How Long is OSHA 10 Certification Good For?
Fortunately, the OSHA 10-Hour certification never expires. However, to keep your employees' and workers' safety and health knowledge sharp and up to date, it's a good idea to ask them to complete the course again every three to five years.
After all, knowledge is power, right?
Does OSHA 10 Really Take 10 Hours?
Yes, the OSHA 10 actually takes 10 hours to complete. Participants can take the course in a minimum of two days. Since OSHA doesn’t let participants spend more than 7.5 hours per day completing the course material, your employees will have to spread the workload over a couple days or more.
After completion, participants can print their OSHA 10 card immediately. Then, within 90 days after finishing the course, OSHA will send an official completion card from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
How Much is The OSHA 10 Certification?
OSHA 10-Hour training courses can range in price. The cost depends on the authorized trainer and how you are accessing the course. For example, if you choose to take the online training version, you can expect to pay about $79. However, in-person training courses may cost a couple hundred dollars or more.
Create a Safer and Healthier Work Environment
All in all, the OSHA 10-Hour course is a great first step for your employees. They’ll get a strong foundation of safety knowledge they can build on as they advance at your company. And the safer your employees feel, the more confident they become in navigating the workplace, which leads to higher levels of productivity. In fact, 98 percent of workers say they perform better when they are feeling confident. So, prioritizing training programs like the OSHA 10-Hour course in your workplace benefits everyone involved.