September 12, 2009

OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety Course Now Mandatory in Seven States

ARLINGTON, Texas, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Seven states now have laws on the
books that require construction workers to complete the OSHA 10-hour
construction safety training course before they can work on certain
construction projects. The states with an OSHA law already in effect are
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, and most
recently, Missouri. The state of Nevada OSHA training law becomes effective
January 1st, 2010.

Most of the state laws restrict the required training to workers on publicly
funded construction sites, such as public roads and bridge construction
projects and public school buildings. However, the state of Nevada, whose law
takes effect January 1st of 2010, requires all construction workers to
complete the course. The state laws also vary on exactly which “workers” need
the training, according to Curtis Chambers, Vice President of OSHA Pro’s,
Inc., an OSHA training company with national coverage. “While all seven state
laws require the same 10-hour training class, there are slight nuances from
state to state. A particular state law may require all labors and supervisors
to complete the class, whereas another state law may require the class just
for laborers,” says Mr. Chambers. “There are also varying thresholds for the
dollar amounts of the contracts that dictate when the states’ laws become
effective. However,” he warns, “each of these state laws contain a provision
that say failure to comply with their rule can result in fines and penalties
being assessed, typically to the employer of the non-compliant workers. So
affected workers are required to obtain the OSHA 10-hour construction training
wallet card to prove they completed the course.”

The OSHA 10-hour construction outreach training course was developed by the
federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) as a voluntary
safety course to teach workers about the hazards of construction work and the
regulations applicable to their worksite. But these seven states have decided
to make the course mandatory training for construction workers in hopes of
reducing the number of injuries and fatalities afflicting construction
workers. The OSHA 10-hour construction outreach training course can be
conducted by instructors who are authorized by OSHA to conduct this training
and issue the OSHA cards. Some large companies even have their own authorized
OSHA trainer on staff. There are also private safety consultants and companies
that conduct the training for a fee for companies or groups needing the
course. OSHA has also authorized online OSHA 10-hour construction outreach
training courses, allowing a worker to take the required class on the computer
via the Internet, and have the wallet card subsequently mailed to the trainee.
Carrie Braswell, administrator for the Internet-based online OSHA training
website, says, “Business has really boomed
since these state laws have taken effect. Especially right before a particular
state deadline comes along.”

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