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Here are the differences between OSHA 10 and 30-hour courses

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OSHA Workplace Safety Certification

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 10-hour and 30-hour certifications train workers to understand workplace safety. Things like personal protection equipment (PPE), scaffolding, ladder safety, employer responsibilities, and other workplace hazards.

The 10-hour OSHA training is designed to be introductory and is best suited for most frontline workers and staff.

The General Industry OSHA 10-hour training:

  • Lists inspection priorities and its process.
  • Teaches the function of OSHA and worker’s rights.
  • Basic overview of PPE and on-the-job safety requirements such as health hazards, cranes, ladders, stairways, fire protection, and lead and asbestos exposure.
  • Recognize general safety and health provisions for various tasks and equipment.

The General Industry OSHA 30-hour training:

is much more comprehensive and is designed for safety directors, foremen, and supervisors. The course covers the same material as the 10-hour course, plus helps trainees:

  • Understand OSHA standards, safety and health hazards, and regulations.
  • Dramatically expands the time trainers can discuss specific topics.
  • Describe the various types of PPE and their use requirements.
  • Understand fire protection.
  • Recognize multiple hazard types.
  • Implement preventative measures for accidents.
  • Identify safety issues on-the-job.
  • Understand necessary safety requirements in a variety of situations, like on ladders, excavation sites, construction sites, confined spaces, electrical hazards, hazardous materials, and more.

Topics covered between General Industry 10 and 30-hour OSHA training



  1. Hazardous Materials
  2. Materials Handling
  3. Machine Guarding
  4. Intro to Industrial Hygiene
  5. Bloodborne Pathogens
  6. Ergonomics
  7. Safety and Health Programs
  8. Fall Protection

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  1. Hazardous Materials
  2. Materials Handling
  3. Machine Guarding
  4. Intro to Industrial Hygiene
  5. Bloodborne Pathogens
  6. Ergonomics
  7. Safety and Health Programs
  8. Fall Protection
  9. Confined Space
  10. Lockout/Tagout
  11. Welding (elective)
  12. Powered Industrial Trucks (elective)


What are the differences for General Industry OSHA certifications?

Instructors have the authority to customize courses depending on a construction company’s and construction worker’s needs. Generally, Construction Industry OSHA training covers all the same general topics plus fall protection, electrical safety, struck by, and caught between focus areas.

If your construction company needs specific customizations an in-person training is better. Online courses usually can’t customize themselves to this level of granularity.

Benefits of OSHA training to employers

OSHA Training is offered by course facilitators like Vantage Point. We’re allowed to tailor the course to specific industries and employers. So a construction company may receive more training on hard hat and scaffolding safety than a warehouse, which may need to focus on good ergonomics or hazardous materials.

Employers who offer OSHA training provide an honest and good-faith effort at training employees in proper safety. That training can establish credibility of your safety efforts with workers, OSHA, and general contributions to workplace culture.

OSHA tracks all OSHA OutReach Trainers and facilitators to make sure their efforts are updated to reflect new standards. They also track all OSHA reportables at workplaces.

Costs of OSHA 10 and 30-hour training

Given an excellent instructor, a 10 and 30-hour OSHA course can be excellent and engaging for workers and employers. But the trainer must know the detail of the work you’re conducting to advance your employees. 

Employers need to ensure the course gives their employees all of the necessary skills to work safely and keep the company in compliance. 

  • Consider the costs of non-compliance, worker’s compensation, and loss of skilled labor to injury.
  • Consider the cost of the instructor, training facility if done off-site and the loss of labor productivity on the floor or worksite.
  • Recognize the value of a few thousand dollars in one week could save millions later.

Limits and restrictions of OSHA 10 and 30-hour certifications

Facilitators are capped at offering a class for 7.5 hours a day. As a result, the 10-hour training course takes two days. 

The 30-hour training can be completed in 4 days. 

Other considerations:

  • Certification lasts for the lifetime of the employee.
  • Someone who holds a 10-hour certification can, in some circumstances, take another 20-hours of training to “upgrade” their certification to 30-hours (within 6 months).
  • After successful completion, a physical wallet card is mailed from the Department of Labor within approximately two weeks.
  • The 10-hour training is usually taken to satisfy regulatory and employment requirements. Additional training may be required in some states and locations. 
  • Courses can be taken as quickly as two and 4 days, respectively, for the 10 and 30-hour courses, but no more than six months may pass from the start of a course until completion. If you take longer than six months, you must start over.
  • A maximum of 7.5 hours is available to train workers each day. Facilitators can’t teach for more than 7.5 hours a day.

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