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Workplace safety is a big concern for many employers. One avenue available for improving safety is training through the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to promote safe and healthy working conditions.
OSHA offers many forms of training and certification. The most common certification is the OSHA 10 certification. Workers can receive the certification upon completion of a 10 hour course, which is offered as part of the OSHA Outreach Training Program.
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Outreach Training Program
The Outreach Training Program is a voluntary course intended to be an introduction to occupational safety and health issues. The courses are taught by authorized trainers who have completed OSHA's train-the-trainer courses.
In 2004, approximately 300,000 workers completed Outreach Training courses. In 2008, more than 675,000 workers took part in Outreach classes. This growth has occurred as more industries have started including Outreach Training as part of their overall training programs. Industries which have embraced the training include building trades, general contractors, insurance companies and manufacturing firms.
There are two types of OSHA Outreach Training: Construction and General Industry.
The Construction Outreach Training has been designed to give entry level construction workers a basic understanding of how to recognize and prevent hazards on a construction site. The course covers a wide range of possible hazards a worker may encounter. Instructors are trained to teach students about hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention, not OSHA standards. Training topics include An Introduction
to OSHA, Materials Handling, Scaffolds, Tools, Excavations, Stairways and Ladders, Fall Protection, Electrical, Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment, and Health Hazards in Construction.
The General Industry Outreach Training gives entry level general industry workers a basic understanding of how to recognize and prevent hazards. The course covers a wide range of possible hazards a worker may encounter. Instructors are trained to teach students about hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention, not OSHA standards.
Topics covered in the training include: Introduction to OSHA, Walking and Working Surfaces, Hazardous Materials, Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, Fire Prevention Plans, Electrical, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Materials Handling, Machine Guarding, Introduction to Industrial Hygiene, Bloodborne Pathogens, and Ergonomics.
Where to Take Classes
OSHA provides several ways to find trainers for OSHA 10 certification classes.
One place is on OSHA's Outreach Trainers website (see Resources). OSHA encourages all certified trainers to include a trainer profile and schedule on this website. The site allows searches by geographic location or by type of training.
OSHA also provides lists of active Outreach trainers. To request a list for a state, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call (847) 759-7780, or fax (847) 297-6636. Students will need to provide the state they are looking for, whether they want the construction or general industry list, and their e-mail, fax number or mailing address.
Upon completion of the Construction or General Industry 10-hour training program, the instructor will provide the students with a certificate proving they completed the training. The OSHA 10 certification will not expire.