Misconceptions of OSHA Training – Including Myths about OSHA 500 Online
Since the realization of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, workers in the United States have become quite familiar with OSHA, and employers have come to better understand their responsibility in providing a safe work environment for their employees. However, an increase in OSHA’s exposure and the popularity of some of their training programs has led to some confusion surrounding their outreach program and courses like OSHA 500 online.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions about OSHA Training:
Myth: It is not possible to find a program that offers OSHA construction safety courses online.
Many students believe that universities, training facilities or private third parties offering OSHA training online are not actually officially recognized by OSHA. However, those interested in taking official OSHA construction safety courses (and others) may be surprised to learn that OSHA’s online Outreach Training Program is official and making it very easy for those seeking training to find it conveniently online.
In recent years, OSHA has definitely sought to increase the number of professionals with access to their training programs, and this initiative has been successful mostly due to OSHA’s inclusion of authorized online training. In fact, OSHA has been able to multiply the number of workers reached by training by more than five times over the last five years alone as they have developed their online campaigns.
OSHA has officially named a list of organizations certified to offer OSHA training online, making it much easier and incredibly convenient for professionals in any area to access OSHA training.
Myth: Students may receive training and certification for the OSHA 500 online.
Although OSHA has in fact expanded their training via online organizations and educators, this is not inclusive of every OSHA training course. Primarily, online training is mostly limited to OSHA’s outreach training, which educates professionals on handling hazards in the workplace and employee rights.
These 10 and 30 hour course offerings do not currently include the “train the trainer” certifications also offered by OSHA. As such, it is not possible at this time to achieve recognition for completing the OSHA 500 online through the available outreach training.
OSHA has named a small selection of courses, offered through OSHA recognized Training Institute Education Centers, as suitable in an online format; although, they also do not include the trainer certification classes. These course offerings do, however, include course #510 (Occupational and Health Standards for Construction), which is a prerequisite for the OSHA 500 certification.
Myth: Students can obtain OSHA 500 training from any university or training facility.
OSHA’s popular “train the trainer” courses like OSHA 500, a trainer program in health and safety standards for the construction industry, are only available through Education Centers that have been accredited by the OSHA Training Institute (OTI).
OSHA’s collection of recognized education centers are typically chosen by way of an application process, held periodically to integrate new training facilities into the available list of OTI approved institutions currently found nationwide.
OSHA has named at least one official Education Center in each of their training regions, and students interested in finding a site can visit the OTI’s page on the OSHA website and view a list of training locations by region or use a searchable schedule to find all available course offerings nationwide.
Myth: OSHA education centers that offer occupational safety training courses are financed by OSHA.
Despite the fact that each OTI Education Center is chosen by OSHA, individual training sites offering OSHA courses are not in any way funded by OSHA. As such, any Education Center is permitted to conduct training in line with their own standards concerning course instructors and precise location of the course.
Additionally, tuition and fees are left in the hands of each distinct Education Center as well, and OSHA has authorized each site to charge a processing fee for the cards given on completion of the “train the trainer” courses if they deem it appropriate.
Although OTI approved Education Centers can for the most part present courses as they see fit, for popular training courses like OSHA 500, online options are still not available.