About OSHA Training Certification

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Training Terminology FACT and FICTION.

Some Training Providers just don't know better; others are trying to fool you. We want to set the record straight.

Fiction

I saw it on the internet; therefore it must be true.

Fact

Just because someone puts information on their website, does not make it true. There is a lot of confusion due to misuse of training terms throughout the web. To help our customers understand what they really mean, we have compiled a list of terms and definitions.


OSHA Instructor Requirements for OSHA Mandated Training

Contrary to popular belief, OSHA DOES NOT HAVE an instructor program for OSHA mandated training required by OSHA regulations.

Examples for this type of training would be HAZWOPER, Respiratory Protection, Bloodborne Pathogen, and Confined Space Training.

"Employers are responsible for providing additional training for their workers on specific hazards of their job as noted in many OSHA standards." Instructors typically need to be "qualified" to teach the subjects they teach and it is the employer who ultimately certifies employees.

A specific example of this would be for the "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response" standard (HAZWOPER), 29 CFR 1910.120. It states in paragraph (e)(5) that "Trainers shall be qualified to instruct employees about the subject matter that is being presented in training." In addition, 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(5) explains that the qualifications of the instructors may be shown by academic degrees, completed training courses, and/or work experience.

Again, at this time, OSHA does not have any specific requirements to certify an instructor. The subjects that trainers should be able to convey to employees at hazardous waste operations who need training are summarized in paragraphs (e), (p), and (q) of the HAZWOPER standard.


Understanding Terminology

While in many cases there is no specific definition of the following terms, here is what they typically mean.

"OSHA Accepted Training"

This is a statement indicating that the training should be accepted by OSHA as meeting the intent of the training requirements for a specific standard, if an evaluation was made by OSHA in the form of an inspection.

It DOES NOT MEAN that OSHA has pre-approved the training or could not accept the training as being sufficient in certain instances.

"OSHA Approved Training"

OSHA does not "approve" trainers or classes of any sort. And for the OSHA Outreach Courses described below, Outreach Training "cannot imply or suggest that Outreach training or Outreach trainers are approved by OSHA."

"OSHA Authorized Training"

Is a term that is used in the OSHA Outreach Program that indicates that the training is authorized by OSHA; for OSHA Outreach Courses, the use of "OSHA-authorized" is allowed.

"OSHA Certified Training"

For OSHA Mandated Training, OSHA DOES NOT certify courses. For OSHA Outreach Courses, "the OSHA Outreach Training Program is not a certification program and must not be advertised as such. Outreach trainers, students, and curriculum are not certified. The Outreach trainer is authorized and students receive student course completion cards. Advertisements must not use any form of the word "certify," including the word "certification," or imply that the Outreach Training Program class will result in the individual being "certified."

"OSHA Compliant Training"

This is a statement indicating that the training is compliant in meeting the intent of the training requirements for a specific standard.

It DOES NOT MEAN that OSHA has pre-approved the training or could not accept the training as being sufficient in certain instances.

For OSHA Outreach Courses, as described below, Outreach Trainers "cannot state that the Outreach training is OSHA compliant, or that it meets the requirements stipulated in any OSHA standard."

When in doubt, visit: www.osha.gov


Voluntary OSHA Outreach Training Program Overview

First, it is important to know that OSHA has an Outreach Training Program that teaches workers about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint, as well as how to identify, abate, avoid, and prevent job related hazards.

OSHA authorizes safety and health professionals who complete an Outreach trainer course to conduct occupational safety and health classes for workers. Many employers use the OSHA Outreach Training Program to provide training for their employees.

The Outreach Training Program is voluntary.
It does not meet the training requirements contained in any OSHA standard.

What most people do not know is that the Outreach Training Program is voluntary. It does not meet the training requirements contained in any OSHA standard.

However, some states and local jurisdictions have enacted laws mandating Outreach training. Some employers, unions, and various other jurisdictions also require workers to have this training to work on job sites and to fulfill their own safety training goals.

The OSHA Outreach Training Program allows instructors to issue OSHA cards for a limited number of topics. These include the 10 and 30 Hour Courses for General Industry, Construction, and Maritime, and training for Disaster Site Workers.

Employers are responsible for providing additional training for their workers on specific hazards of their job as noted in many OSHA standards.

For a complete list of OSHA's training-related requirements, see:
OSHA Publication #2254, Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines.