The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) offers several certifications that can greatly further your career in the construction industry. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of becoming OSHA certified and the steps involved in doing so.
What does it mean to be OSHA certified?
The term “OSHA certified” is typically used in reference to the OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 programs. Let’s look at each one individually.
What is the OSHA 10 certification?
The OSHA 10 certification is a 10-hour training program designed to teach entry-level laborers basic health and safety rules. It also provides information about workers’ rights. It’s geared not only towards construction workers but also general laborers.
Upon completing the OSHA 10 program, participants receive a card conveying their knowledge of the course materials.
What is the OSHA 30 certification?
The OSHA 30 certification is a 30-hour training program geared towards supervisors. It explores workplace safety from the perspective of construction superintendents, safety coordinators, safety specialists, and other construction management professionals.
Professionals who complete the OSHA 30 certification also receive a card conveying their expertise.
About OSHA trainer certifications
It’s worth pointing out that the OSHA also offers certifications for professionals looking to train others in the OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 course materials.
To become an authorized trainer, one must have the following prerequisites:
- At least five years of construction experience (although one can substitute two years of experience with a Certified Safety Professional designation, Certified Industrial Hygienist designation, or college degree in occupational health and safety.
- Completion of OSHA Course 510, which covers occupational health and safety standards in construction.
Additional OSHA certifications
OSHA certifications go beyond the OSHA 10, OSHA 30, and OSHA trainer courses. The administration’s full list of certifications includes:
- Certified Occupational Safety Specialist
- Healthcare Safety Technician
- Advanced Safety and Health
- Safety Foundations Certificate
- Industrial Hygiene Specialist
- Certified Safety and Health Specialist – Construction Emphasis
Each of these courses offers unique benefits depending on your career goals.
OSHA training for construction workers offers many benefits, including the following.
Increased likelihood of employment (particularly in some jurisdictions)
OSHA training is mandatory for construction workers in certain jurisdictions, under specific circumstances. That includes:
- All construction workers on projects in Connecticut where the budget exceeds $100,000
- All construction workers on projects in Miami-Dade County where the budget exceeds $1 million
- All construction workers in Nevada (OSHA 10) and all supervisors in the state (OSHA 30)
- All construction workers in Pennsylvania (OSHA 10) and at least one supervisor on staff (OSHA 30)
Even in jurisdictions where OSHA training isn’t mandatory, it can be extremely beneficial to have on your resume in the eyes of many employers and project owners.
Increased safety on job sites
OSHA training requirements for construction workers entail learning a variety of protocols that should increase your health and safety on job sites (and that of those around you).
This is a noteworthy benefit for employers considering encouraging their workers to receive OSHA training as well; a reduced likelihood of injuries translates into more productivity and lower costs on job sites.
Unlock a new career path
If you’re interested in accelerating your career beyond entry-level construction jobs, OSHA certifications represent a viable path forward. As long as you have the prerequisites, you can become a certified OSHA trainer and have a higher likelihood of qualifying for managerial positions.
Improved productivity rates
Safety is a major concern among construction workers, with 58% saying they often feel productivity takes precedence over safety on job sites, according to a National Safety Council survey.
On the flip side, evidence suggests workers are far more productive when they feel their safety is being taken into consideration.
Accident prevention is cheaper than accident response
There’s no denying OSHA training is an investment, both in terms of time spent studying and the cost of training. However, savvy professionals and businesses view this as an investment. Indeed, according to OSHA, every dollar spent on safety training typically results in $4 to $6 of financial benefits.
OSHA certifications are widely recognized
Because the OSHA is a federal body, its certifications are widely recognized and will serve you throughout the country. This makes it easy to choose OSHA certifications above those offered by other institutions.
Tips for selecting and completing the right OSHA certification
Consider your career goals
Many OSHA certifications are very specific, with coursework dedicated to specific types of construction jobs. If you’re passionate about furthering your career in a particular area of construction, carefully evaluate which OSHA certifications are most appropriate. That way, you can avoid wasting time and money on certifications that won’t give you a competitive edge.
Remember to look into renewal requirements
Some OSHA certifications need to be renewed periodically. Make sure you stay up to date with your certifications since employers may verify them.
Understand the benefits and privileges of any certification you obtain
Because the OSHA offers so many certifications, it’s easy to get confused regarding what benefits each one provides. For example, some people mistakenly believe completion of the OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 programs allows you to begin training others, which isn’t the case. Refer to the OSHA’s website for more information about any particular certification.
Frequently asked questions
How long is OSHA 10 good for?
Generally speaking, the OSHA 10 certification doesn’t expire. However, some jurisdictions require that cardholders get re-certified periodically (i.e. once every five years), the idea being that the certification’s coursework will have likely been updated (and, even if it hasn’t, retaking the course should be a valuable refresher).
Once you receive the OSHA 10 certification, the date on which you did so will be printed on the card.
Are OSHA certifications worth it?
OSHA certifications are widely recognized in the construction industry. As long as you choose certifications that will help you along your intended career path, you should find them to be very valuable.
How much do OSHA certifications cost?
The cost of OSHA certifications varies depending on where you receive training. Typically, you can complete the 10-hour course for less than $100 and the 30-hour course for less than $200.
Can you complete OSHA training online?
You can complete OSHA training online. Again, however, this depends on where you receive your training from.