OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA puts legal standards and procedures in place for employers and employees to ensure safety from hazardous materials and actions.
OSHA requires some workers (depending on the industry) to obtain certification for operating machinery, handling medical equipment, and overseeing general practices all in an effort to protect the employees of a workforce.
OSHA Code of Federal Regulations and OSHA Standards
Construction, Agriculture, Maritime, and General industries are closely monitored by OSHA. The OSHA workplace safety standards and code of regulations require companies to strictly follow methods to ensure the safety of workers from hazards. Each industry has specific standards to comply with OSHA, but overall, the industry must make efforts to protect employees from danger.
OSHA was established in 1970. OSHA rules are stemmed from extreme lengths of research and public engagement. For instance, OSHA won’t issue a standard unless there are documented and verbal instances that show significant risk to workers. Luckily, with over 45 years of industrial history since OSHA’s beginning, we’re fortunate to live in a day and age where the most diabolical health and labor risks have well-thought-out solutions. Within an industry, facilities are inspected by OSHA compliance officers and OSHA certification can be obtained by individuals within a company to further ensure the safety of a facility and its employees.
Here are a few examples of OSHA standards:
- preventive fall safety
- ensure that any structure employees reside in, especially confined spaces, cannot cave-in
- take all necessary precaution to prevent exposure to disease
- prevent exposure to such harmful substances as asbestos and lead
- put necessary guards on equipment
- provide workers with safety equipment such as respirators and goggles
- provide extensive and ongoing training for positions that require potential high risk
OSHA inspections are not scheduled and happen unannounced. They can be initiated by anyone within a company if they believe there is a negligence of standards or a hazardous situation has arisen that has yet to be resolved. Priority and prominence of immediate inspection range between imminent danger and companies randomly targeted within an industry with rising hazard or injury rates. Upon inspection, if an inspector finds an unresolved issue, OSHA can issue fines and violations and will follow up with further inspections to make sure the issue is resolved permanently.
Employers can debate a complaint in its entirety or any part of the complaint issued to OSHA, but the person who filed the complaint can only contest to the date in which the complaint can be resolved.
OSHA Regulations and Rights
Employers must follow a set of regulations to comply with OSHA standards. The regulations consist of following OSHA health and safety standards, correcting and hazards that have been found, informing and properly training employees and others you can find on OSHA’s website.
Employees have the right to work in certifiably safe areas. This includes an overview of the areas to the employees that work in the area and with equipment in the areas. Safety training must be available to all workers, in any language necessary for comprehension. Along with training, employees must be given information on OSHA and their work facility to review and reference. Employees are allowed to file complaints (with or without identifying themselves), review past work-related illness and injury accounts, obtain copies of tests done to measure hazards, and exercise and of these rights without retaliation from the employer.
OSHA Training Online
OSHA training, whether its for simple OSHA 10 certification or greater, is extremely important within industries that must follow OSHA standards and regulations. OSHA training requirements can consist of 10, 30, or 40 hours of training offered by the OSHA Outreach Training program. The shorter course is for entry-level employees, whereas the latter length certification programs are for employees with a level of safety responsibility overseeing others. Employees can also become OSHA Certified Trainers but require a few years of experience or other certifications to qualify for OSHA employment.
Having an OSHA certified trainer within a company is an asset. This person can provide OSHA training to onboarded and current employees. Though, as an employer, the first step is to hire someone who is already certified, or better yet, promote someone internally who has a knack for observation. This way, instead of searching for an OSHA authorized trainer, the company has one in-house who can easily accommodate to learning styles of employees.
Regardless of the length of training, before an employee takes OSHA certification online, it would expedite the certification of all employees to inform employees of safety essentials and basics through elearning prior to certification. That way, elearning for OSHA certification can be measured, tracked, and improved upon to assure a 100% pass rate. Those who pass the programs are given an OSHA card (e.g., and OSHA 10 hour card or an OSHA 30 hour card) stating so. OSHA training online is available through vendors of certain industries, but when searching for programs online, be sure the programs are legitimate.