A lot of companies and job sites are now requiring workers to obtain their OSHA 10 or 30 Hour card. These cards represent that the worker has successfully taken the respective outreach course and has a basic understanding of workplace safety for that industry. Currently, OSHA offers cards for Construction, General Industry, Maritime and Disaster Site workers. These outreach training courses are considered voluntary by OSHA and the related training does not fulfill any training requirements found in specific OSHA standards.
The 10 Hour courses are intended for entry level workers and the 30 Hour courses for supervisors or those workers with some safety responsibilities. All outreach training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention.
According to OSHA, 906,532 workers took the outreach courses in 2017. Close to 32% of those workers were trained online. The percentage of trainees by class type for 2017 breaks down as follows:
- 56.2% Construction 10 Hour
- 22% General Industry 10 Hour
- 16.7% Construction 30 Hour
- 3.3% General Industry 30 Hour
- 1.8% Maritime
- .1% Disaster Site Worker
OSHA Outreach trainers must meet industry safety experience requirements, successfully complete a class related to the applicable OSHA standards and a trainer course to become authorized. Trainers must also attend an update course every 4 years to maintain their status. There are also training program requirements that each trainer must follow for the different courses they offer.
OSHA considers the Construction, General Industry or Disaster Site cards good for life, but many job sites require workers to re-take courses every 3-5 years. The Maritime card expires after five years but can be maintained by taking an update course prior to expiration. The outreach courses are provided via a classroom setting and some are offered as self-paced interactive online courses. A 10 Hour classroom course will last for two days and a 30 Hour for four days. If taking a 10 or 30 Hour course online, you will have 6 months to complete the course.
Recently, OSHA started phasing in new plastic 10 and 30 Hour cards. Prior to this, all cards were paper. Currently, most classroom students will now receive the new plastic cards and online students will still receive the paper cards. However, OSHA will soon be allowing the authorized online vendors the option of switching to the new plastic cards prior to phasing them in for all.
Workers who need to obtain a replacement card, because theirs was lost or destroyed, can do so by contacting the trainer who provided the original card. OSHA allows one replacement card to be issued as long as the request is made within five years of the original completion date.
Until 1970, there were no uniform rules or regulations for worker protection against safety and health hazards. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health, or OSH, Act in 1970, and President Nixon signed the OSH Act on December 29, 1970 to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.
The OSH Act enabled a nationwide federal program to protect workers from job-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. This Act also created OSHA - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA formally came into being on April 28, 1971, and OSHA's responsibility is worker safety and health protection.
The OSH Act covers employers and their employees under Federal Government authority. In general, this includes all employers and their employees in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all other territories under Federal Government jurisdiction.
The OSH Act does not cover self-employed persons or immediate members of farm families that do not employ outside workers. It also does not include working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes. Examples of this include:
- The Mine Safety and Health Administration
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- The Coast Guard
If another federal agency is authorized to regulate safety and health working conditions in a particular industry, but does not do so in specific areas, then OSHA standards apply.
The OSH Act encourages states to develop and operate their own job safety and health plans. OSHA approves and monitors all state plans. Once a state plan is approved, OSHA funds up to 50 percent of the program's operating costs. State plans must provide standards and enforcement programs, as well as voluntary compliance activities that are at least as effective as the federal program.