What is OSHA 10? – How to Apply It

OSHA 10 Training Program

Companies often talk about OSHA safety standards and regulations in their facilities, but in far too many cases, the employees themselves don’t have a good foundation about what these standards really are and how they contribute to workplace safety. In an effort to fix that, OSHA launched their “OSHA 10” program, which is a 10 hour training program to help employees get up to speed.

The program can be completed right at the workplace, using authorized trainers, or it can even be taken online. The goal of the program is to help ensure all employees understand workplace safety, including what types of safety standards they are entitled to as employees. OSHA has also created a companion course for supervisors or other management individuals, but this is a 30 hour course.

Three Class Options

In addition to offering classes both for front line employees and for management, OSHA has developed courses for four different types of industries. This allows the trainer to focus more specifically on the types of hazards employees are most likely to experience. The four course options are:

  • OSHA 10 Hour General Industry – This is the course that most employees would take, and it covers a wide range of common hazards within most facilities. Anything from manufacturing to warehouse facilities will want to use this option.
  • OSHA 10 Hour Construction – The 10 hour construction class focuses on what types of hazards you are likely to experience on a construction site. Things like fall prevention and PPE requirements.
  • OSHA 10 Hour Marine – This course is designed specifically for people who work on or around marine environments. In this course employees will learn about how to stay safe while working near the ocean, since there are very specific risks in these environments.
  • OSHA 10 Hour Disaster Site – People who work at the site of disasters face very specific hazards. Whether it is a man-made disaster or something from Mother Nature, this course will provide the framework on how to stay safe in these environments.

What OSHA 10 is NOT

Before getting too far into how this program works, it is important to briefly touch on what OSHA 10 is not. Employees who complete the OSHA 10 program will not be completely trained for any specific OSHA standard. Instead, this course gives them the general framework from which they can continue to receive training about the more specific situations they will face while working in a given facility.

Since the OSHA 10 program is designed to provide high level conceptual training, with a hands on approach, employees will have a good understanding of why safety standards are important. This will help develop an improved safety culture from which you can build a safer workplace.

The bottom line with this training is, when employees have completed it, you should not consider them ready to begin working without other forms of safety training designed specifically for your facility.


Coursework Breakdown

Each of the four OSHA 10 courses are broken down into three types of training. The certified trainer will go through and develop their approach based on the information provided by OSHA as well as the environment the employees will be working in. The three categories are:

  • Mandatory Topics – For each of the OSHA 10 classes OSHA has a list of mandatory topics that must be covered by the instructors. These are topics that are considered very important for that specific industry, and are required in order to complete the class properly.
  • Elective – Beyond the mandatory topics, the trainer can choose from a list of approved elective topics. This allows the class to be more tailored for the specifics of the job. The trainer must choose to cover a sufficient number of these electives, and spend enough time on them, in order to have a qualified class.
  • Optional – Finally, OSHA allots some time for trainers to choose topics that they feel need to be covered in order to improve the safety of their own facility. If the trainer does not have any topics they want added in, this time must be spent providing additional elective training in order to get to the 10 hour minimum class time.

Ideal Use of OSHA 10 Training

For many facilities, the best way to use OSHA 10 training is to make it a part of an overall new employee orientation program. Of course, when first implementing this training everyone will need to go through it, but after that, it should be provided to all new hires as soon as possible.

This will give them the framework from which all their other safety training in the facility can be built upon. By giving this type of training to people as soon as they are hired, it will not only make them safer employees, but it will also show them just how seriously the facility takes safety.

To put it simply, this will help to create a safety culture within the facility. Over time, it will help the entire company to take hazard prevention and other safety topics more seriously, and participate beyond what they are strictly required to do.

Hands on Training

It is important to note that the OSHA 10 course is meant to be largely a hands on experience. While there are certainly portions of it that will be taught orally, and others that will have printed handouts to read through, the bulk of the education will come through actually experiencing it.

Many facilities have people who are going through the class walk through their facility, for example, and identify specific hazard prevention items in the facility. Learning how to use personal protection equipment, for example, could be an important part of your facilities training.

Getting employees to engage with the course will not only help it to be more enjoyable, but it will also ensure it is as beneficial as possible. People will remember more of what they are taught when they are truly experiencing it in a hands on way.

For this reason, your designated trainer should be encouraged to get people as involved as possible in the OSHA 10 training, so they will walk out of the class with more than just a certification of completion. They should be truly safer and more prepared employees.

Completion of the Course

Once someone has completed the OSHA 10 program, they will be issued a certificate of completion from the trainer. They will also be sent out an official OSHA 10 completion card, which they can keep in their wallet for proof that this type of training has been completed.

This course does not expire, except in Nevada, where it needs to be renewed every five years. Despite this fact, however, many facilities ask new employees to go through their class even if they have already completed an OSHA 10 course in the past. This is because the class can be so customized for each employer that it is often best to have everyone go through it at least once.

Beginning the Program in your Facility

When you’re ready to launch this type of training in your facility, you will need to make sure you have an OSHA authorized trainer available. Depending on the type of OSHA 10 course you are hoping to offer, you will need to find someone who has the necessary experience in the industry, and can complete the OSHA required trainer courses.

For example, for someone to become authorized to provide the OSHA 10 class for construction workers, they must have at least five years of construction safety experience. They can either have a degree in occupational safety and health, or be a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) as a replacement for up to two years of experience.

In addition, they will need to successfully complete the OSHA course number 510, titled “OSHA Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry“.  Once they have met these requirements, they will also need to complete course #500 (Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for Construction).

These courses are offered at OSHA Training Institute centers. Once all the courses have been passed, the individual will be authorized trainers for a period of four years. Prior to the end of the third year, the trainers need to take a refresher course, course #502 (Update for Construction Industry Outreach Trainers), which will renew their trainer status for another four years.

Each of the four OSHA 10 course types has a similar set of requirements to become an authorized trainer. While it can be time consuming, it is well worth it to have an authorized trainer on staff to provide this type of education to your employees.

If you’re thinking about having your employees take the OSHA 10 courses, make sure you start by having someone approved as a trainer. This will help not only make it easier to offer training on site, but it can also allow you to have the elective and optional areas of the course tailored specifically for your facility.

Creative Safety Supply has many safety training materials, such as Safety Training DVD’s to help assist you with your safety training programs. Make sure to contact Creative Safety Supply at 1-866-777-1360 for all your safety training material needs.

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