Home » OSHA


OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 Online? Find out what’s covered with our Infographic

We’ve found that some workers know they need to complete an OSHA safety training course, but aren’t sure how to choose between OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 hour training online. Of course OSHA 30 hour goes more in depth, but did you know it also covers a wider selection of electives, some of which you may need for adequate safety training for your job?

We want to make selecting the right course easier for you, so we’ve broken down the OSHA 10 vs OSHA 30 hour online trainings by topic and time spent, including the selection of electives, in our infographic below.  If you find it helpful, please share it with others.

OSHA 10 v OSHA 30 hour training general industry infographic






Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

College Credit for Your Hazwoper Training at Columbia Southern University

Your 40 Hour Hazwoper counts toward your degree at Columbia Southern

Health and Safety Training

Columbia Southern University, which offers an associate’s degree in applied science in Occupational Safety and Health, is now accepting the OSHA Hazwoper 40 training course as taught by OSHA-Pros for college credit towards their degree program.  The course be substituted for Columbia Southern’s BOS 3125 Hazardous Material Management course, and students will receive 3 hours of college credit for it.

The 40 hour Hazwoper training course covers the handling of hazardous chemicals and safety precautions needed to avoid the dangers of exposure to these chemicals. Workers who are involved in emergency response operations, clean-up operations, or are employed at hazardous waste sites will gain an understanding of the OSHA regulations under standard 29 CFR 1910.120 regarding the safe storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous materials.

The Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Safety & Health offered by Columbia Southern University is recognized by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals towards obtaining the designation of Associate Safety Professional and Certified Safety Professional.  The degree program takes approximately 3 years to complete. For more information on the degree program visit Columbia Southern University

OSHA-Pros offers the 40 hour Hazwoper course online, which allows the student flexibility in scheduling and the convenience of being able to take the course from home.  Students who take the course as a work requirement must also complete additional training from their employers on the jobsite, plus complete 3 days of supervised field experience under a trained supervisor provided by their employer to meet OSHA standards.

Upon completion of the course you will receive a Department of Labor Wallet Card. A temporary certificate can be printed until your Wallet Card arrives, which can take several weeks. The Wallet Card (or temporary certificate) can be provided to employers to verify successful completion of the Hazwoper 40 hour course. And if you choose to receive 3 hours of college credit towards the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Columbia Southern University the card will serve as proof of your completion of the course.

Avoiding Combustible Dust Explosions

Dust Combustion pentagonDust explosions caused by combustible particles in a workplace are a serious hazard that can cause not only destruction of buildings and property, but also injuries and deaths of employees. Awareness of the conditions that can lead to these explosions can help to prevent them.

While fire requires the three elements of oxygen, heat, and fuel known as the “fire triangle”, there are five factors, known as the “dust explosion pentagon,” that can cause a dust explosion. Without all five, an explosion cannot occur. The five factors are oxygen, heat, fuel, dispersion, and confinement. These can cause an initial explosion or secondary explosions when dust is dispersed through the air near a primary explosion. Often secondary explosions cause more damage than the initial explosion resulting in serious damage and deaths.

There are a number of industries where combustible dust exists. These include: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fertilizer, tire and rubber manufacturing, plastics, recycling operations, fossil fuel (coal) power generation, agriculture, food manufacturing (feed, flour, starch, spice, sugar, and candy) grain, tobacco, wood, paper, pulp, forest, rubber, furniture, textiles, dyes, coal, and metal processing (aluminum, iron, magnesium, chromium, and zinc).

OSHA recommends identifying and assessing the following factors that can contribute to dust explosions:

• All materials handled

• All operations conducted, including by-products

• All spaces (including hidden ones)

• All potential ignition sources


OSHA recommends the following steps to control dust:

• Implement a hazardous dust inspection, testing, housekeeping and control program

• Use proper filters and collection systems

• Minimize the escape of dust from equipment and ventilation systems

• Use surfaces that facilitate cleaning and minimize dust accumulation

• Inspect all hidden areas

• Inspect for dust residue in all areas, both hidden and open, at regular intervals

• Use cleaning methods that do not generate dust clouds if ignition sources are present

• Use specialized vacuum cleaners that are approved for dust collection

• Locate relief valves away from dust deposits

To avoid ignition near dusty areas OSHA recommends:

• Using appropriate wiring methods and electrical equipment

• Controlling static electricity

• Controlling smoking, open flames, and sparks

• Controlling friction and sparks from equipment

• Using separator devices to remove combustible foreign materials from process materials

• Separating heated surfaces from dusty areas

• Separating heat systems from dusty areas

• Selecting and using industrial trucks properly

• Using cartridge activated tools properly

• Using a preventive equipment maintenance program


For information on combustible dust hazards visit the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov .


OSHA Cites Construction Firm after Massachusetts Police Officer’s Death

dump-truckOn July 26, 2012, Police Officer Jose Torres, 53, who had been assigned to direct traffic at a work site in Westfield, Massachusetts, was killed when a dump truck operated by a Revoli employee backed over him. At the time there were two backup alarms sounding from different vehicles. Torres apparently was unaware that the dump truck was backing toward him. Officer Torres, an Army veteran, was well-liked and had twice received citations for heroism during his career. He is survived by a wife and two sons.

Revoli had been hired by the city of West Springfield to complete a pipe project. Part of the work involved was in the neighboring city of Westfield, where the accident occurred. The company is scheduled to return in the spring to finish the job at the Westfield worksite where the fatal accident occurred. Due to the citation issued by OSHA and a history of safety violations by Revoli, Westfield Mayor Daniel M. Knapnik has made the decision that when work resumes at the site, roads where work is being done will be closed to all traffic for safety reasons. Knapnik, who has 20 years of experience in his career before becoming mayor said, “The number one killer on a job site is a dump truck that is backing up.”

The citation issued by OSHA to Revoli is for a repeat violation of standard 29 CFR 1926.21 (b)(2). The citation states that the “employer did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.” The citation requires that the company must “conduct and document daily (or as necessary) briefings with all exposed employees on the job site where those employees are exposed to vehicular and other job site hazards…Specific abatement documentation that this violation has been corrected must be provided [to OSHA] within 10 days of the abatement in accordance with 29 CFR 1903.19(d)(1).”

OSHA Springfield area director Mary E. Hoye also wrote a letter addressed to Shawqi Alsarabi at Revoli with recommendations for improving conditions which, though they were not found to be violations in the OSHA inspection, would be significant to reducing or eliminating safety hazards. The letter stated, “Specifically, OSHA is concerned with your company’s apparent lack of focus on safety and accident prevention…Had a comprehensive safety program been in place and enforced, an accident of this magnitude may have been avoided.”

The OSHA investigation found that the truck involved in the accident was equipped with a backup alarm as required by federal law. However, the truck driver was unable to see what was behind him as he backed up and was relying on anyone in the way to remove themselves from the truck’s path. Hoye’s letter to the company’s representative recommended that Revoli explore the use of backup cameras and microwave-Doppler backup warning systems which would alert drivers of obstructions they are not able to see.

Revoli has a history of safety violations. The company received a citation from OSHA in 2005 for failing to provide cave-in protection for its workers at a work site in Gloucester, Massachusetts and was fined $115,900. The citation noted that in the previous twelve years, Revoli had been cited nine times for not providing cave-in protection for workers. Revoli also received citations from OSHA in 2008 and 2009.

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign Raises Awareness of Serious Safety Hazards

fall_protectionOSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) – Construction Sector to create a nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among employers and workers about fall hazards in construction and how they can be prevented. In 2010, of the 774 total fatalities in the construction industry, 264 fatalities from caused by falls.

By following three simple steps, falls can be prevented. The steps include:

• planning ahead to get the job done safely

• providing the right equipment

• training everyone to use the equipment safely

By planning ahead for work from heights, decisions can be made on what tasks will be involved in completing the work, the safest way to do the job, and what safety equipment may be needed for each task. Safety equipment and tools can be included in the estimate of the cost of a job.

To provide safety for workers doing a job at six feet or more above lower levels, the correct equipment and fall protection must be provided, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear. For roof work, personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) which may included harness that worker ties to an anchor may be required. The PFAS must fit the worker and the equipment must be inspected regularly to ensure it is in good condition and safe for use.

Workers must be trained in proper set-up and use of safety equipment they must use to complete a particular job. Employers must also train workers to recognize fall hazards involved in the work to be done.

As part of the Fall Prevention Campaign, many resources have been provided by OSHA and it’s partners. Print materials such as posters, fact sheets, booklets, and e-tools are available. A number of training videos are available that cover specific tasks which include fall risks. Links are provided on the OSHA website to publications and other educational materials from many sources which cover risks and prevention of falls in construction work. In addition to English language materials, there are training materials available in Spanish, as well as some in Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese.

Specific topics covered in training workers about fall prevention include ladder safety, scaffold safety, and roof safety. Videos provided cover particular types of work where falls hazards are common in construction including: floor openings, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, reproofing, and leading edge work, and a more general video on fall prevention produced by California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE).

To learn more about OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign and to access training and educational resources visit http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html.



Winter Weather Warning: Tips on How to Remove Snow Safely

snowcontrolThis past weekend, a powerful snowstorm swept across several Northeastern states. Weather conditions have crippled operations in at least four Northeastern states. Snowy weather has halted air travel, public transportation, and caused major power outages. Snowy weather causes major inconveniences. Construction workers required to work in snowy conditions face severe hazards. Construction workers die while removing snow from rooftops or other building structures each year. In the last ten years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has investigated 16 serious injuries or fatalities related to snow removal. OSHA has issued a hazard alert for workers involved in snow removal, http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA-3513roof-snow-hazard.pdf.

OSHA officials maintain injuries and fatalities resulting from snow removal can be prevented. Employers should take responsibility for training and educating workers on the most effective ways to remove snow. Employee safety should always be a priority when dealing with snow conditions at construction work sites.

Construction employees working in snowy conditions deal with extreme cold, high winds, and icy surfaces. Potential injuries range from amputations, eye injuries, or frostbite. Workers are also at risk for fatal falls.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests using safety precautions when removing snow and working in snowy weather.

• Use snow removal methods that do not require employees to climb onto roofs (Try using drag lines or snow rakes).

• In an effort to prevent collapse, workers should consider how much weight the roof can handle.

• Use fall protection.

• Make certain workers are familiar with how to operate aerial lifts and ladders safely.

• Ensure workers on the ground are aware of potential injuries or suffocation associated with falling snow piles.

• Be informed about conditions related to snow removal such as frostbite or hypothermia.


The Whistleblower Protection Program

whistleblowerThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the job of enforcing laws that protect employees from discrimination by employers for exercising their rights under the OSH Act. In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) was passed by Congress. The OSH Act protects workers safety and health and also their rights to file an OSHA complaint, participate in an inspection or talk to an inspector, seek access to employer exposure and injury records, or bring a safety or health complaint to their employer without fear of retaliation by their employer. Since the OSH Act was passed in 1970, OSHA’s whistleblower protection enforcement has been expanded by Congress with the addition of twenty-one federal laws.

Workers in a wide variety of industries are covered by the whistleblower protection laws.

Employees are protected from any type of adverse action against workers for exercising their rights under the OSH Act including:

• Denying overtime

•  Withholding promotion

• Terminating

• Demoting

• Disciplining

• Denial of benefits

• Threats and other forms of Intimidation

• Reducing pay


A Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) was established which advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections. The WPAC helps with implementation of customer service models, enhancements of the investigative and enforcement processes, and training, and advises on cooperative activities with other federal agencies which share responsibilities in enforcing the whistleblower protection statutes enforced by OSHA.

The timeframes for complaints of discrimination under the whistleblower protection laws vary depending on which laws cover the particular situation. Environmental and nuclear safety laws, transportation industry laws and consumer and investor protection laws each vary in the amount of time allowed for filing complaints of discrimination.

Recently OSHA launched an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pilot program to assist complainants and employers in resolving their disputes in a voluntary, cooperative manner. The program will offer two methods of ADR: early resolution and mediation. The pilot program will be available in two regions, one headquartered in Chicago and the other in San Francisco. The Chicago Regional Office is responsible for whistleblower cases in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio. The San Francisco Regional Office is responsible for cases in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and various Pacific Islands including the commonwealth of Northern Marian Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

For more information on the Whistleblower Protection Program visit the website at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.


OSHA’s Active National and Special Emphasis Programs

checklistThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently has eleven national and special emphasis programs active.

These include:

• National Emphasis Program Combustible Dust

• Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program

• National Emphasis Program on Amputations

• National Emphasis Program – Hexavalent Chromium

• National Emphasis Program on Lead

• National Emphasis Program on Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

• Primary Metal Industries

• PSM Covered Chemical Facilities Emphasis Program

• National Emphasis Program on Shipbreaking

• National Emphasis Program on Crystalline Silica

• Special Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation

OSHA recently issued its annual inspection plan for the Site-Specific Targeting 2012 Program which directs enforcement to workplaces with the highest rates of injuries illnesses. This program is one of OSHA’s main programs for high-hazard, non-construction workplaces employing 20 or more workers. Data from surveying 80,000 facilities in high-hazard industries was used to create the plan.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels stated, “Through the SST program, we can prevent injuries and illnesses, and save lives focusing our inspection resources on employers in high-hazard worksites where workers are at greater risk.”

OSHA will conduct a study of 1,260 randomly selected establishments to evaluate the effectiveness of the SST-12 program. Previously, nursing and personal care establishments were under this SST program, but a separate Nursing and Personal Care Facilities National Emphasis Program has been designed that will conduct programmed inspections of these types of establishments.

In additional to the eleven National Emphasis Programs, OSHA has approximately 140 Regional and Local Emphasis Programs. These local programs address hazards or industries that pose particular risk to workers in specific area or regional office jurisdictions. These LEPs are often accompanied by outreach to make employers aware of the programs and of the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate. Outreach is extended through informational mailings, training at local tradeshows, or speeches at meetings of industry groups or labor organizations. A list of these LEPs by region is available online at: http://www.osha.gov/dep/leps/leps.html

To view the detailed directive on the SST-12 program visit:


OSHA’s role under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is to ensure that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance to employers and workers. National and local emphasis programs help OSHA effectively increase safety and health in the workplace by focusing resources on high-risk areas to reduce or eliminate the hazards in those areas.

How to Survive an OSHA Inspection

image-3Established in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is dedicated to protecting workers’ safety and health. OSHA carries out its mission by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance. OSHA originated from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This act was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. The OSH Act of 1970 requires employers to provide safe work environments for employees.

According to statistics released the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fatalities in the workplace have been reduced by more than 65% since OSHA’s inception. In addition, occupational related injuries and illnesses have declined by 67%. OSHA is responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers employed at more than 8 million work sites across the country. In order to monitor employee health and safety, OSHA employs 2,200 inspectors nationwide. This means each inspector is responsible for approximately 59,000 workers. Understandably, inspectors are not able to visit every work site. They prioritize inspections based on fatalities/catastrophes, imminent danger, and work sites with employee complaints. This article will provide basic tips on how to survive an OSHA inspection.

Be Proactive

Most times, OSHA inspections are spontaneous. A healthy and safe workplace should be a part of your daily focus. Your workplace should operate under the assumption that an inspection will occur every day. Everyone in the work environment should take responsibility for health and safety. A well-trained member of management or safety professional should always be available to handle OSHA business as well as other health/safety concerns.

Know Your Rights

You should become informed on your rights as an employer in regards to OSHA inspections. Also, you need to become familiar with your company policies and make certain you are up to date on policy changes.

Purpose of the Inspection

The overall purpose of the inspection should be clear upfront. Inspection documents presented by the OSHA official should be reviewed. You must carefully review all information regarding the purpose of the inspection so that you can make sensible decisions on how to move forward with the process.

Accompany the OSHA Representative

You would never allow a stranger to roam your property unaccompanied. You should never allow an inspector to roam through your business unaccompanied. The OSHA representative should be accompanied at ALL times.

Record Keeping

You should take accurate notes and document the entire visit. You should also always have supplies handy. It is imperative you document the same things as the inspector. You must take the same measurements and photographs as the OSHA inspector.

Limited Information Distribution

You should only respond to questions the inspector asks. Do not provide unnecessary information. For recordkeeping purposes, you should maintain an OSHA file. Provide the inspector with only the documents he/she requests. Never distribute documents without consulting your management team.


You must always remain composed and professional. OSHA inspections are challenging and sometimes intimidating. You should remain confident and maintain control of the situation.

Connecticut Roofing Company Fined for Fall Hazards

Roof repair and construction are common causes of fallsA Milford, Connecticut roofing contractor, Roof Systems of Connecticut has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Proposed fines total $44,880. The citations are a result of a November 2012 inspection where officials spotted fall hazards.

Robert Kowalski, OSHA area director in Bridgeport, Connecticut explained inspection officials consistently visit job sites with inadequate or absent fall protection. It is critical workers have access to fall protection and training relevant to fall hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) initiated an aggressive awareness campaign focusing on fall hazards. Information, fact sheets, videos, and posters can be accessed from this link, http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html. OSHA loops falls into a category termed construction’s focus four. Falls, along with electrocutions, struck-by object, and caught-in or-between are the most common causes of death in the construction industry. Falls contributed to 35% of worker fatalities according to the latest statistics released by OSHA.

Despite OSHA’s increased emphasis on fall prevention and fall protection, Roof Systems of Connecticut was cited with three repeat violations. It is not the first time the company violated industry regulations regarding fall protection. The company was also cited in 2008 and 2009. At the November 2012 inspection, OSHA officials found workers exposed to falls of up to 11 feet 2 inches while installing roofing without fall protection. Workers were not trained to identify fall hazards and officials also noticed workers using a pneumatic gun without eye protection.

The three serious violations involved ladder hazards and neglecting to familiarize workers on ladder hazards. OSHA suggests the following basic tips to workers when working with ladders.

Ladder Safety Tips

• Select the appropriate ladder for the job.

• Maintain three points of contact.

• Secure the ladder.

• Stand in front of the ladder at ALL times.


Roof Systems of Connecticut has fifteen days from receipt of the citation to dispute OSHA’s claims.