What is OSHA?
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.
The OSH Act covers most private sector employers and their workers, in addition to some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal authority.
Why take OSHA training?
A number of states have passed laws requiring mandatory OSHA training including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. Each of these states require construction workers to complete OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 Outreach Training for certain types of projects.
It has been proven that OSHA training reduces number of occupational injuries and deaths in a workplace, so even if not mandatory, providing OSHA training to your employees is highly recommended. Since OSHA enactment, worker deaths in America are down: on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 15 a day in 2019. This is still 15 too many.
5,333 workers died on the job in 2019 (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) – on average, more than 100 a week or about 15 deaths every day. About 20% (1,061) of worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2019 were in construction – accounting for one in five worker deaths for the year.
Lower number of incidents and accidents will not only help keep your workforce safe, but it also increases productivity, reduces work absences, and improves moral of the employees.
In Nevada, for example, OSHA training is mandatory and all employees and supervisors must complete OSHA training within 15 days of starting work. This law was enacted in 2010, after 12 construction workers died in Las Vegas within a period of 18 months.
Below is a list of the states where some form of OSHA training is mandatory. In other states, although OSHA training is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Some employers may require workers to complete OSHA training before starting working on a construction site, even though not required by law.
States Requiring OSHA Construction Training
- Connecticut: Mandatory for all construction workers on public building projects paid for (in part or in full) by state funding where the total cost is over $100,000.
- Florida: Mandatory for all construction employees on any Miami-Dade County public or private project valued in excess of $1,000,000.
- Massachusetts: Mandatory for all construction workers at all public sector projects.
- Missouri: Mandatory for all construction workers on public state or municipal work projects.
- Nevada: Mandatory for all construction employees (OSHA 10) and supervisors (OSHA 30).
- New Hampshire: Mandatory for all construction workers on public works projects with a total cost over $100,000.
- New York: Mandatory for all workers on public works contracts greater than $250,000. In New York City, all workers on all projects needing a Site Safety Plan must have minimum 40 Hours of Site Safety Training, while Supervisors require 62 Hours of Site Safety Training.
- Pennsylvania: Mandatory for all employees (OSHA 10) and at least one supervisory employee (OSHA 30) for all construction or demolition work within the city of Philadelphia.
- Rhode Island: Mandatory for all workers on state or municipal construction projects with a total cost greater than $100,000.
- West Virginia: Mandatory for workers on any public improvement project with a total cost greater than $500,000.
Even though your state or employer may not require you to take the OSHA training, you should still invest the time in completing the OSHA 10 or the OSHA 30 training, as it will help you understand and recognize the most common hazards present on a construction site. It will provide you with awareness level training on how to recognize, avoid, and even possibly prevent hazardous situations in your workplace.
Both OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 cover the most common hazards encountered in the workplace, but it is important to understand that they do not cover all of the hazards. Employers are still responsible for training their employees in site specific hazards before they start working on a construction site.
PDH STAR online OSHA courses are convenient, on-demand, and easy to take. They have been developed by UL Puresafety, an OSHA authorized online training provider, so you can rest assured that, once you complete your training, you will receive the official OSHA DOL plastic card. Sign up today, to stay compliant, avoid OSHA citations, and become aware of your workplace hazards.