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OSHA 10 Expiration: Do you need to renew your training?

Since 1971, OSHA has been setting the standards for safety in construction and several other industries. After you complete OSHA training, you usually receive your card in the mail from the Department of Labor within a month or two. When you receive the card, you may notice that there is no expiration date printed on it. This leaves many people wondering if, when and how they should renew their OSHA 10 or 30 training.

Does OSHA 10 Hour Expire?

The short answer to this is no. Remember, there is no official “certificate”, but there is a wallet card that acknowledges completion of a course from an OSHA accepted provider and this card does not expire.

The only exception to this rule is for maritime industry cards. If you earned your OSHA 10 card through this program, it expires after five years. You must complete an updated course prior to the training expiration date, which should be printed on the card.

How Long Is OSHA 30 Training Good For?

You can breathe a sigh of relief with this question’s answer as well. OSHA 30 cards do not expire. In some states, this training is voluntary. However, it is mandatory in several states for certain industries. If you are self-employed, be sure to find out if your state requires it. The training is highly beneficial even when it is not required. If you are an employee or a prospective hire, your employer may require it whether the state does or not.

It’s Important to Renew Your Training Anyway!

Although OSHA 10 and 30 training courses do not expire in their validity aside from those in the maritime industry, it is still important to renew your training. Your employer may even require refresher courses periodically. If this is not the case, you can still benefit yourself and others from refreshing your knowledge. The same is true if you are self-employed.

Here are a few of the benefits of renewing your training:

  • Since OSHA changes its standards frequently, renewing your training keeps your knowledge current.
  • It is easy to forget important rules or fall into dangerous habits without continuing training.
  • Employers and clients prefer individuals who have updated training.
  • You will help keep yourself and your coworkers safer on the job.
  • If you are a proactive safety role model, you are more likely to be promoted.

Letting your knowledge dissipate and not being aware of updated regulations can be just as dangerous as not receiving training at all.

In November 2016, OSHA released a news bulletin about a 23-year-old New York man who was killed earlier in May by a wood chipper. It was the man’s first day on the job, and his employer had not provided proper OSHA safety training. The man and other workers had not been taught how to avoid the machine’s dangerous rotating parts, and OSHA determined that safety training could have prevented the young man’s tragic death.

This is just one of many incident examples that reflect the need for not only initial training but updated training as well. When lives depend on safety, it must always be the top priority. If your employer does not ensure this, you can be proactive by updating your training and encouraging your coworkers to do so as well.

You should refresh your knowledge of the basic safety 10-hour course annually, and most training agencies and OSHA recommend updating your 30-hour training every few years.

How To Renew OSHA Training Quickly

We offer initial training and renewal training for OSHA 10 and 30 courses here.

If you need help deciding which course to take, we can assist you in finding state requirements or recommendations for your industry. Please contact us to learn more about OSHA 10 and 30 training as well as the other courses we offer.

References:
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=33414
https://www.osha.net/osha-training/osha10-hour-certification/
https://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/faqs.html

OSHA: Preventing Falls with OSHA 10 Training

builder worker painting facade of high-rise building wearing personal protective equipment to prevent a fallGravity is a serious yet often overlooked safety hazard. Failure to protect workers from falls was the most common OSHA violation in 2015 with 6,721 violations. The risk of worker falls has grown rapidly with the growth of the communications industry and the use of communications towers. By enrolling your workers in an OSHA 10 hour workplace safety course, you can create a safer environment and help prevent needless accidents.

Fatal Fall: Tragedy at V & T Painting LLC

In October 2014, two contractors traveled nearly 300 miles from Michigan to Oxford, Ohio for what they thought would be a standard commercial painting project. The trip would cost them their lives.

The duo began working at a height of seven stories atop a two-point scaffold, all without any safeguards to stop or cushion a potential fall. When the suspension rope snapped, the scaffold collapsed, and nothing could save the men from falling to their deaths.

A Case of Employer Oversight

OSHA investigators cited V & T Painting LLC for 30 total serious safety violations, 17 at the Oxford location and 13 at another site in Hamilton. In both scenarios, the company sent contractors to paint water towers without providing them with sufficient protective equipment, nor did they enroll their workers in a basic 10 hour OSHA safety course so they would recognize and avoid hazards such as the one that lead to this unnecessary fatal incident. Had they done so, the families of Nilaj and Vukaj may have been spared the shock and pain of a preventable tragedy.

OSHA’s Cincinnati area director, Ken Montgomery, stated that employers must verify that protective equipment is in place and functional before sending workers to dangerous heights. He also noted a rise in preventable falls among workers operating on communications towers and other tall structures. Both employers and workers should be well-versed in what types of PPE to use and other safeguards that must be established before the start of the project.

The Importance of OSHA Safety Training

V & T Painting also failed to follow proper inspection protocol when setting up the scaffolds. OSHA inspectors found frayed ropes, cords and slings, loose and improperly installed U-bolts, and many other Free OSHA Training - Fall Protectiondamaged pieces of equipment being used. The company anchored multiple lifelines and suspension points on a single point, placing worker lives at great risk. The lines were also exposed to sharp and jagged edges. Perhaps most concerning of all was that V &T Painting failed to inspect their equipment, follow any type of safety evaluation procedure, or enroll workers in a simple OSHA 10 hour fall prevention and PPE course so they could at least have recognized a dangerous situation and possibly avoided it.

OSHA safety standards exist to save lives. All workers, salaried and contracted, deserve to be treated with respect and provided with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) by their employer before beginning a hazardous job. Companies like this one that fail to comply and put workers’ lives at risk face harsh penalties and fines, and suffer irreparable damage to their reputation and the guilt of taking workers away from their families. Both new and established companies should always make sure all managers and employees stay up to date with the latest OSHA guidelines.

OSHA Pros offers easy to follow, online safety training for construction and other workers.  Enroll your employees today and get your organization on the right track to high safety standards to help reduce the likelihood of on-the-job falls and other avoidable safety failures.

Furniture Fiasco: A Case for LOTO Training

There’s no excuse for putting profits before worker safety. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work injury report survey, moving machine parts resulted in 88 percent of all equipment-related injuries among respondents. Investing in lock out tag out (LOTO) training helps save lives, prevent costly legal proceedings, and protect a company’s reputation.

The Case of Ashley Furniture

Team working on project in industrial wood factoryAshley Furniture Industries, Inc. found out the hard way that there’s no shortcut for worker safety. The Wisconsin-based furniture manufacturer had more than 1,000 employee injuries in the span of three years, over a 100 of them resulting in amputations from woodworking machinery. After a July 2014 accident cost one worker three fingers, OSHA inspectors probed the company and uncovered a dozen willful and repeated safety infractions, and 14 serious safety infractions. In accordance with its strict violator enforcement program, OSHA fined Ashley Furniture nearly $1.8 million for its oversights.
 

A Lack of Lock Out Tag Out Training

Ashley Furniture repeatedly failed to protect workers from moving machinery risks. The company failed to provide LOTO training, which would have helped its workers identify and avoid machine-related hazards. There were no safeguards in place to prevent machines from starting during servicing or to protect workers from moving blades and other dangerous parts.

The Need for a Culture of Safety

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez traced the problem to company culture, concluding that Ashley Furniture accepted worker injuries as a cost – a completely avoidable one – of high production and profits. However, successful companies with good safety records bear out the fact that safety and profits are never mutually exclusive, a lesson all companies should take to heart. In reality, putting in place good safety training and strong safety standards helps create better overall processes and procedures that improve employee morale, performance and productivity.

Invest in LOTO Training

Workers should never enter a project without proper safety knowledge. OSHA lock out tag out guidelines help workers protect themselves and their co-workers from machine-related hazards, and help managers establish workplace safety procedures and create low-risk working environments. Our free LOTO training tutorial outlines the basics of machine safety, explains industry-specific terms, and analyzes when, where, and how lock out tag training can save lives.

Countless workplace accidents, many fatal, can be traced to a lack of lock out tag out training. Investing just a little time and effort in a LOTO course goes a long way to ensure workers can enter projects with confidence. You can also learn about additional OSHA training courses to keep your company up to date with the latest workplace safety procedures.

 

Construction Confined Space Entry Training Gets Final Ruling

Confined spaces rarely make for optimal working conditions. Hazards such as collapsing structures, toxic fumes, electricity, combustion, and suffocation can endanger the lives of unprepared workers. New OSHA regulations require that employers establish a confined space entry policy and ensure that workers receive adequate training in confined space safety standards for construction sites.

Confined Space Training Rules Effective August 2015

Tunnel construction worker connecting equipment in tunnelDr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor at OSHA, states that the new regulations will prepare workers to face the challenges of work sites and adapt to changes. The rules focus on training, communication, and evaluation, and take effect on August 3, 2015.

What Is a Confined Space?

OSHA defines a confined space as one:

  1.      Large enough for a worker to enter
  2.      With limited means of entry or exit
  3.      Not suited for long periods of occupancy

Examples include partially collapsed buildings, tunnels, pits, vaults, storage rooms, silos, vessels, tanks, ductwork, and pipelines.

The term “permit space” or “permit-required confined space” refers to a confined space that contains or may contain physical or atmospheric hazards, may engulf an entrant, has structures that angle in a way that may trap or suffocate an entrant, or contains other safety risks such as extreme temperatures, sharp objects or structures, electrical hazards, etc.  Due to the hazards present in these environments, a permit is required before any workers can enter these spaces. With proper training, workers and managers will be able to correctly identify and prevent confined space hazards before work begins.

What Are the New Confined Space Entry Rules?

The new confined space entry regulations include the following points:

  1.   Employers must identify all confined spaces and permit spaces before employees begin work.
  2.   Employers must inform all employees of the nature and location of hazards and potential hazards within a permit space. Acceptable forms of notification include posting danger signs and informing contractors or authorized representatives of the hazards directly.
  3.   Employers aware of a permit space must instruct unauthorized employees to avoid entering the space.
  4.   Employers who wish to have employees work in a permit space must implement a written OSHA-compliant confined space program at the project site and make the program known and accessible to employees and their representatives before and during the project.
  5.   If changes occur in a non-permit confined space that pose new dangers to entrants or that invalidate the initial ruling of the space, an employer must have a trained person inspect the space and potentially identify it as a permit space.

OSHA’s confined space information page provides all details of the new rules, FAQs, fact sheets, case studies, and other resources for employers and workers.

Enroll in a Construction Confined Space Training Course

Don’t let your workers get caught in a tight situation. Enroll your team in an OSHA Construction Confined Space Training course today and get up to speed on this new and important safety topic. Workers will learn how to identify confined spaces, assess hazard levels, ensure adequate ventilation, and find alternative entry points. Managers will learn how to evaluate workspaces for confined space hazards, and what to do in the event of a confined space emergency. Rescue personnel will receive specialized training. Our OSHA-authorized trainers will also make sure your written confined space entry policy meets OSHA requirements.

Our confined space training course is also available as part of an OSHA 10-Hour or 30-Hour Safety Course. Enroll in an online course today to protect your workers, and boost your company’s safety standards. All graduates of the course receive a Certificate of Completion.

Fall Protection: A Matter of Life and Death

Construction worker climbing to the top of a steel beam high rise building projectFalls are the number one cause of death in the construction industry. In 2013 alone, falls claimed the lives of nearly 700 construction workers. Many employers overlook the importance of workplace safety training, a growing concern among roofing professionals. An OSHA online fall protection course teaches managers, supervisors and team leaders how to minimize fall risk and establish safeguards to minimize potential injury should a fall occur.

The Roeder Construction Case

In September 2014, a 42-year-old roofing professional fell to his death. His 25-year-old coworker sustained severe injury while attempting to break his partner’s fall. OSHA investigators found that their managers at Roeder Construction failed to establish fall prevention and protection measures. While both workers had experience installing and repairing roofs, lack of preparation brought about serious consequences.​

Roeder Construction was cited on three safety violations:

  1. Failure to provide fall protection
  2. Failure to educate and train workers in fall protection
  3. Failure to report the accident within 8 hours

With roughly 800,000 Americans employed in the residential construction sector alone, employers must address safety in the workplace. Knowledge and experience in construction are valuable skills, but without proper fall protection practices, one misstep can turn an otherwise straightforward project into tragedy.

During a fall, gravity can generate deadly momentum in just a few feet. OSHA guidelines require fall protection systems to be in place during activities six feet or higher from the ground. OSHA workplace safety courses teach supervisors not only how to prevent falls, but also help instill a culture of safety crucial for businesses to thrive.

OSHA Online Fall Prevention Courses

Worker with personal protection equipment and uniform Designed for all construction professionals, our OSHA online Fall Prevention Course provides detailed instruction on minimizing fall risk in the workplace. Professionals taking the course learn the role of personal protective equipment (PPE) in preventing injury at various elevations. Video tutorials demonstrate how to set up this equipment in residential work, industrial projects, and high-rise construction projects, which demand a great attention to correct usage of these workplace safety items.

Many falls occur close to unguarded corners or edges. In the Fall Prevention Course, managers learn how to protect their employees from these risks by establishing guardrail barriers, hole covers, and other fall prevention systems. The course also teaches which implements to use in various situations. For example, different heights may alter the effectiveness of safety nets and harnesses. After completing the course, managers should be able to explain and demonstrate these processes to their employees.

Workers who enroll in the Fall Prevention Course receive first-hand knowledge they can use to better protect themselves and coworkers across various construction projects.

Additional Fall Prevention Resources

OSHA’s website provides outlines, videos, and other valuable resources to help companies establish effective safety programs. The resources are part of OSHA’s Fall Prevention initiative, which began in 2012. The project aims to maximize the depth, scope, and accessibility of fall prevention information. Coupled with an OSHA online Fall Prevention Course, these resources can help employers set clear fall prevention guidelines, invest in effective safety equipment and systems, and continue to train workers to practice safety.

 

OSHA 30 Classes Provide Safety Knowledge Foundation

OSHA courses set the standard for workplace safety. However, with so many course options, it’s easy for supervisors to get confused. Many wonder if a 10 hour course will do the trick, or if they should invest the time and effort in an OSHA 30 hour course.

What’s the Difference Between an OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Hour Course?

Construction trainer doing OSHA training with employees on tabletWhile all OSHA classes teach how to identify, avoid, and control workplace hazards, the 10 and 30 hour OSHA course differ in the depth and variety of topics covered. For example, the 30 hour OSHA course for construction includes 3 hours on personal protective equipment (PPE), as opposed to 30 minutes in the OSHA 10 equivalent. In addition, OSHA 30 hour courses are generally geared toward supervisors and prospective supervisors, and the 10 hour courses provide a basic safety knowledge foundation for general workers.

Differences Between an OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Course: General Industry

The OSHA 10 hour general industry course is geared toward workers in a non-supervisor role and includes the following components:

  • An emphasis on hazard identification, controls, and prevention
  • 7 hours on mandatory topics including: an introduction to OSHA, electrical hazards, hazard communication, PPE, walking & working surfaces, and emergency plans
  • 2 hours on elective topics including: hazardous materials, materials handling, machine guarding, industrial hygiene, bloodborne pathogens, ergonomics, safety & health, and fall prevention
  • 1 hour on an optional topic

The OSHA 30 hour general industry course is designed for current and prospective supervisors. With 30 hour general industry training, supervisors can oversee and guide workers on various topics across multiple industry settings. The 30 hour course covers the same topics as the 10 hour course with these differences:

  • 13 hours on mandatory topics with the addition of safety & health management and materials handling
  • 10 hours on elective topics with the addition of: confined space, lockout/tagout (LOTO), welding/cutting/brazing, and powered industrial vehicles
  • 7 hours on an optional topic

Differences Between an OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Course: Construction

The OSHA 10 hour construction course teaches construction-specific safety principles to non-supervisors. It includes:

  • An emphasis on hazard indentification, controls, and prevention
  • 7 hours on mandatory topics including: introduction to OSHA, safety & health management, OSHA focus four hazards, PPE, and health hazards in construction
  • 2 hours on elective topics including: cranes & conveyors, materials handling, scaffolds, tools, storage/use/disposal, and stairways & ladders
  • 1 hour on an optional topic

Supervisors who take the OSHA 30 hour construction course learn a broader array of topics and have more elective options. Key differences from the 10 hour course include:

  • 13 hours on mandatory topics with the addition of stairways & ladders
  • 12 hours on elective topics with the addition of: concrete & masonry, confined space, ergonomics, excavations, fire protection & prevention, motor vehicles, marine operation, powered industrial vehicles, safety programs, steel erections, and welding & cutting
  • 3 hours on an optional topic

These visual representations of the OSHA General Industry and Construction classes can help clarify the differences. Regardless of which OSHA 30 hour course you choose, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills to lead your team safely and efficiently on a broader scope of projects. Decide which course best suits your needs and register today!

OSHA 10 Hour Certification Doesn’t Exist, but a 10 Hour Wallet Card Does

An electrician reading the manual to a ceiling fan prior to installing it.OSHA has set the standard for safety in construction and general industry since 1971. Thousands of workers each year enroll in OSHA 10 hour courses and learn how to protect themselves from workplace hazards. While OSHA course completion remains voluntary in several states, it demonstrates a commitment to safety and respect for the industry as a whole.

Can I Earn an OSHA 10 Certificate?

As a government agency, OSHA doesn’t issue official “certifications” for completing a workplace safety course. While you won’t become OSHA 10 “certified,” completing an onsite or online OSHA 10 safety training course earns you an official OSHA U.S. Department of Labor wallet card. The card is recognized by all 50 states.

Refresh your OSHA 10 knowledge today!

OSHA 10 Construction – $79 OSHA 10 General Industry – $79

What Will I Learn in an OSHA 10 Certified Course?

OSHA 10 training teaches students how to identify and avoid mechanical, electrical, and chemical hazards in everyday work situations. You’ll learn how to reduce the risk of falls, toxic fume inhalation, electrical accidents, and more. In addition to saving lives, OSHA 10 courses help taxpayers save money and foster an industry-wide culture of safety.

OSHA 10 courses include:

  • An overview of worker rights and employer responsibilities
  • When and how to file a workplace safety complaint
  • Basic training on how to identify, avoid, and prevent workplace hazards

Will My 10 Hour OSHA Card Expire?

We get lots of questions about OSHA 10 and 30 expiration. So do your DOL wallet cards expire? Once you earn your student course completion card for the OSHA construction, general industry, or disaster site categories, it will not expire. However, it is recommended that you refresh your knowledge and training every year. We suggest you read this article to understand why it’s still important to keep renewing your training.

OSHA 10 hour cards issued for the maritime outreach training program expire after five years. You can renew your 10 hour maritime card by completing an update course before the expiration date.

Can I Earn an OSHA 10 Wallet Card Online?

Yes. OSHA offers 10 hour online courses for construction training and general industry safety. At your own convenience, you can learn about topics including fall prevention, material handling, personal protective equipment (PPE), and emergency protocol. The construction course focuses more on materials and equipment safety, while the general industry course covers situations that can arise in any industrial setting. If you complete an OSHA 10 hour online course you will receive a OSHA 10 wallet card in the mail, the same card you would receive if you took it onsite with an authorized OSHA trainer.

How Many Types of OSHA 10 Wallet Cards Are There?

There are three types of OSHA: Trainer-issued OSHA 10 hour wallet cards: construction, general industry, and maritime. Students can also earn 30 hour cards for these same categories. A disaster site wallet card is available for students who complete the disaster site worker course.

A Wallet Card Is as Good as an OSHA 10 Certification

Earning an OSHA 10 wallet card demonstrates your ability to prevent workplace accidents and protect your rights as a worker. Workers and managers alike can benefit from an OSHA 10 training course. Enroll today and help make your company a safer place to work.

Tips for Succeeding in the OSHA 30 Online Training

portrait of three smiling construction workers wearing safety gear on the jobOnline training courses offered by OSHA have helped thousands of workers recognize workplace hazards and minimize the risk of injury. Employees and managers who enroll in an OSHA 30 hour online training program demonstrate their commitment to safety and help protect their industry as a whole. However, succeeding in OSHA30 requires more than just a name on the class roster. How can you ensure that you’re getting the most out of the OSHA course you choose?

Have a Reliable Computer and Internet Access

Be sure to have access to a reliable computer and internet connection. You’ll need good internet speed and connectivity to view course files, watch instructional videos, and communicate with the instructor, if needed. If you don’t have a computer or internet access, you may be able to access the course at a local library.

Dedicate Time and Effort to the Course

Although OSHA online courses are accessible 24/7, you still need to allocate time in your schedule to review the course materials. A common misconception is that online classes are easier than those taught in a traditional classroom. The absence of direct student-instructor interaction and hands-on practice opportunities means students must take more initiative to structure their study sessions. While you have ample time to complete the course and earn your OSHA wallet card, don’t wait until the last minute. Make a schedule for yourself and commit to a deadline to finish the course.  Then set plan to use your study time in a distraction-free environment.  And, as you work through the course materials, observe and use what you have learned on the job.  This will help you get the most from the course and retain your new knowledge.

Pay Attention to Course Requirements

OSHA 30 hour online courses cover comprehensive topics including electrical safety, hazard recognition, and machine operation. You will need to demonstrate sound understanding of each topic in order to graduate from the program.

Exercise Your Critical Thinking Skills

Both the general and construction industry online OSHA30 courses require critical thinking that incorporates both facts and personal experience. In construction and other industrial fields, even a small oversight can result in a catastrophe. The OSHA workplace safety courses will enhance your ability to spot hazards, correct them, and prevent future hazards, all while observing OSHA safety guidelines. For example, you will learn what proper personal protective equipment to don before handling an electrical device.

Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate

Communication is as crucial in an online class as it is on the job. Many workplace accidents can be avoided by simply addressing concerns with a manager. The same is true for your training experience. If you need help or have questions on the material, ask for help from the instructor. The more you understand and engage with the material, the more you’ll get out of the course to apply to your current and future jobs. The same rule applies to technology issues. If you have any trouble accessing course materials or using the online tools, let us know.

Choosing your OSHA 30 Online Course

Both of OSHA Pros’ 30-hour OSHA online courses come with a free study guide to prepare you for the exam. The online construction course teaches valuable information specific to construction and manufacturing. The general industry safety training course covers an array of safety topics you’ll likely encounter in the workplace. Enroll today and enhance your career with better safety knowledge to help protect yourself, and benefit your co-workers with a safer workplace environment.

Automated Training Improves Worker Safety and Performance

Industrial workers in front of computer in control roomIn fields such as construction, manufacturing, and medicine, proper safety training is a must. Employees need to know how to safely operate tools and machinery, respond to emergencies, recognize safety hazards and help prevent accidents. Many companies today rely on automated training tools to keep employees up to speed. When implemented correctly, automated training helps companies save time and money, streamline operations, and ensure that employees meet safety and performance standards.

Types of Automated Training

Automated training is now usually done online or may be set up on a company’s proprietary intranet. It can include availability of training videos, safety and training manuals, interactive software applications, and other documents that provide instruction on various workplace procedures. For example, new employees might be asked to watch a video tutorial on how to use a specific piece of company machinery. Other companies may require workers to complete a web-based training session and pass an online exam.

For important safety training, employees can complete their OSHA training online, making it much easier and more convenient for employers to meet OSHA safety standards and maintain a well-trained workforce.

Why Use Automated Training?

It’s natural and necessary for businesses to grow and change. As technology improves and markets shift, companies develop new processes and acquire new tools. That means continuously training and retraining employees to keep up with the changes occurring in the business and in the industry.

Automated training allows companies to foster new skills and growth without the time and labor cost of more traditional training methods. Managers can save the time and cost involved in arranging for onsite and sometimes one-on-one instruction of new employees. Automated training also ensures that the same information reaches every worker, helping create a culture of knowledge and safety. And it’s more efficient for making sure current employees complete updates and refreshers, or get trained on new equipment or a new process.

Properly implemented, automated training tracks each employee’s training record and forwards that information to their permanent HR file, as well as being available to their supervisor at any time.

Benefits of Automated Training

Proper training is crucial in preventing workplace accidents, complying with OSHA safety standards, and improving quality and efficiency. An automated training system achieves these benchmarks in many ways:

  •        It keeps information current and consistent across new and long-time employees, making sure everyone knows what to do and how to do it (or not do it).
  •        It organizes all employee data into one convenient database. Managers can track worker progress, schedule training sessions, and provide personalized feedback on their profiles. This structure also simplifies HR tasks.
  •        It allows managers to target specific training goals. With an automated training system, managers can tailor training by department, role, or other categories to ensure that workers learn information relevant and helpful to their specific job.
  •        Automated testing allows managers to verify that workers understand the material and can safely and accurately use it on the job.

Earn your OSHA Certificate Online

Managers and workers alike can benefit from automated training. From basic safety training to completing OSHA certification online, automated training helps solidify operating procedures and foster a more current and productive workplace.

Online OSHA safety training is easy with a number of OSHA Pros online courses available.  As an automated training tool available to anyone, enrolling in an online OSHA safety course can help you and your company save time and money. Having workers complete the appropriate OSHA training for their jobs helps assure a safer working environment, reducing the likelihood of accidents and safety violations. Automated, online safety training is the wave of the future and a competitive advantage for employers who take advantage of its benefits to maintain a well-trained workforce.

Preventing Lower Back Injury in the Workplace

Warehouse worker with low back pain holding a boxLower back injury is a leading cause of worker disability. Low back pain affects roughly a quarter of the global population each year, resulting in over 20 million healthy years lost, according to a study by researchers at the University of Sydney. Reducing the instance of lower back injury is a key challenge for employers worldwide. Often, employees ignore the warning signs until the pain becomes too great. Raising awareness of the causes and symptoms of back injury are crucial steps that employers can take. Occupational health and safety training is an important tool for companies to reduce the risk of lower back injury and help reduce the number of workers’ compensation and disability claims.

Causes of Lower Back Injury

Most job-related lower back injuries occur due to repeated microtears in the joints and ligaments of the spine and the muscles of the back. Poor posture when lifting or pulling heavy objects causes pain to accumulate and range of motion to decrease. Twisting, straining or bending while lifting or pulling can cause strain on muscles, ligaments, joints and spinal discs that result in injuries. The seriousness of injuries can vary from mild strain to serious damage that may require hospitalization and surgery, severely restrict the worker’s mobility, and result in temporary or permanent disability. Workers nearing retirement age are more prone to injury, and those working in agriculture have the highest risk among industry sectors.

Reducing the Risk of Low Back Injury

Lifting The BoxWorkplace safety training seminars and back safety training are great tools to educate employees about proper back care on the job. However, each workplace should also evaluate their risks and opportunities to create a low injury work environment. If there are currently no standards in place, a good first step is to observe and analyze employees as they work. Have employees fill out a survey regarding physical difficulties on the job and their experience with low back pain. Measure the weight lifting requirements, the frequency of motion, and distance travelled in each activity. Record video of lifting tasks and evaluate it for concerns. Is the floor too slippery? Are shelves, work stations, and conveyor belts positioned efficiently in relation to one another? Are handles grip-friendly? Once these variables are addressed, managers and employees can develop plans to not only reduce back strain and risk of injury, but also boost efficiency.

There are many ways employees and managers can reduce the risk of low back injury:

  • Use carts or other assistive devices to transport heavy objects.
  • Store heavy objects at waist level to minimize the strain of reaching and bending.
  • Position storage centers as closer to conveyor belts and other work stations.
  • Break up large shipments into smaller units.
  • Favor pushing movements over pulling movements, which can strain the lower back.
  • Avoid twisting motions, which increase the likelihood of injury.
  • Have employees alternate tasks to minimize the burden and allow time for rest.
  • Have two or more employees lift heavy objects.
  • Encourage employees to wear well-cushioned footwear.
  • Employees should avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time.
  • Provide benches, footrests, rails, chairs, and other ways to employees to change position.

Workplace Safety Training for Low Back Injury Prevention

Warehouse supervisor instructing worker on use of fork pallet stacker equipmentIn addition to the tips above, workplace safety training can help protect employees from multiple job-related hazards. Consider hosting safety training seminars that teach the basics of ergonomic movements, avoiding injury, and reporting potential hazards. Many companies now provide employee strength and fitness training. Exercise and proper stretching can improve bone and muscle strength and reduce the risk of overextending the lower back muscles. Lastly, make sure that all employees know how to operate job-specific machinery and equipment.

Occupational health and safety training seminars, such as OSHA10 General Industry or OSHA30 Construction training courses include training on protecting against low back injury. All workers should complete an OSHA safety and health course as part of a comprehensive workplace health and safety policy that helps protect employees and employers from injuries and time lost on the job.

Ammonia Hazards in the Workplace

Companies that manufacture products requiring refrigeration commonly use ammonia. Ammonia is a generally safe and cost-effective way to regulate temperatures and prevent spoilage. However ammonia is a hazardous chemical, and, without proper safety procedures, ammonia leaks in the workplace can endanger workers and even the public. Development and compliance with Process Safety Management (PSM) standards, combined with adequate OSHA HAZWOPER training, can help companies protect employees from injuries caused by ammonia accidents and avoid severe fines and penalties for safety violations.

The Dangers of Ammonia

Technician using PPE while working with ammonia tankThe ammonia refrigeration process has seen little change since the early 20th century. It is used to create a cool environment that helps keep products fresh and prevent bacterial growth. Refrigerant grade anhydrous ammonia is a clear colorless gas or liquid and is considered an irritant. At high levels, its corrosive properties can severely damage lungs, eyes and other human tissue. Ammonia is not flammable, but canisters exposed to high heat may explode.

Anhydrous ammonia leakages can threaten the safety of workers and others inside and outside of the operating plant. These risks include:

  • • A risk of fire and combustion when concentrations exceed 16 to 25 percent
  • • Severe corrosion and displacement of oxygen in poorly ventilated areas
  • • Extreme leakages that flow outside and endanger the public
  • • Contamination of food and beverages in process and storage units

The Atlantic Glacier case

In September 2014, ice manufacturer and distributor Atlantic Glacier USA incurred 19 OSHA safety citations and paid over a quarter million dollars in fines related to ammonia usage after failing a comprehensive inspection of its ice manufacturing plant where it had nearly 15,000 pounds of ammonia in use. The company had extremely poor PSM in place, which resulted in the identification of numerous safety hazards that could have had catastrophic and potentially lethal results in the case of an accident and anhydrous ammonia release.

OSHA maintains strict guidelines for the safe use and maintenance of large amounts of hazardous chemicals like ammonia. The company failed to establish adequate precautions, thereby placing its workers in danger. Its violations included:

  • • Incomplete and inadequate operating procedures
  • • Lack of testing and inspections documentation
  • • Failure to prove that equipment met safety and engineering standards
  • • Failure to train and educate employees on process safety and emergency response procedures
  • • Inadequate work space around process equipment
  • • Lack of accessible exit routes
  • • Using improperly rated electrical switches in a wet setting

The Importance of Process Safety Management (PSM)

Companies having over 10,000 lbs of ammonia must have a comprehensive and fully documented PSM program. All workers must be trained and fully aware of the PSM standards and procedures and be able to carry out proper implementation of the safety protocols. Due to the size and complexity of many ammonia refrigeration systems, regular maintenance and equipment upgrades are a must. Most companies have a team of maintenance professionals well-versed in engineering design and handling of ammonia refrigeration systems. They also partner with contractors who aid in system repair and upgrades. A team of workers should be on site at all times to regularly inspect systems for deficiencies and resolve issues as necessary. Many companies using hazardous materials like ammonia also employ workers certified in various first-aid and emergency procedures.

OSHA HAZWOPER training and PSM

Companies can find extensive information about recommended safety standards and PSM procedures on OSHA’s website. By consolidating these guidelines with their own safety practices, companies can create a workplace environment that maximizes worker safety and minimizes the risk of dangerous ammonia leaks and worker exposure.

Proper implementation of PSM also means adequate safety training for employees who work with and around hazardous materials. Workers should be familiar with OSHA HAZWOPER safety standards. OSHA HAZWOPER training provides comprehensive training to help workers learn to safely handle equipment and hazardous materials in the workplace, as well as learn the correct use of personal protective equipment. A comprehensive safety program that includes PSM and HAZWOPER training of employees will help employers prevent accidents, injuries and fines.

What are the differences between OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 training for the construction industry? [Infographic]

If your construction job requires you to complete an OSHA training course, you need to decide fast which one to take.  OSHA 10 hour construction training will give you the basics, while OSHA 30 hour online provides a bit more and a number of elective choices you may need for your job. See what’s covered in one glance in our useful infographic below and get started on your training today. If you find it useful, be sure to share it with your coworkers.

OSHA 10 v OSHA 30 construction training differences (Infographic)

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