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Understanding OSHA Safety Training Requirements

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

OSHA Safety Training Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the Department of Labor, created in 1971. OSHA’s mission is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions through the enforcement of standards. However, the effectiveness and impact of the various OSHA programs are dependent upon the implementation of the various OSHA training requirements. Such requirements are put in place to ensure that everyone who achieves OSHA certification has attained a thorough understanding of all of the various aspects of workplace safety.

What are the OSHA Safety Training Requirements?

OSHA training requirements were developed to help ensure that workers learn and retain information that will keep them safe as they perform their job duties. While all workers must be trained according to OSHA standards, this training is particularly important for new workers as they have proven to have higher rates of injuries or illnesses, as opposed to more experienced employees.

There are two primary types of OSHA certifications available to employers and workers, General Industry and Construction. And, of course, there are different OSHA training requirements associated with each type of certification.

OSHA Construction v. OSHA General Industry

OSHA Construction training addresses the specific safety needs of construction sites. If you are a construction worker or a contractor, you need OSHA Construction training if. Entry-level workers must complete an OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety Outreach Training. Workers in specialized area may need additional training for their roles. Those with supervisory responsibilities, such as foremen, engineers, and project managers, should complete the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Safety Outreach Training.

Employers that operate outside of such industries as Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture fall into the “General Industry” category. The category, therefore, covers everyone from manufacturing to office work. The wide-ranging nature of “General Industry” makes its training requirements a bit more difficult to understand. All employers in this category must conduct some basic workplace safety training. In low-risk industries, this training doesn’t typically include anything as extensive as a 10-Hour course.

What are the OSHA Safety Training Requirements for Each Category?

Below are some of the safety training requirements for the two categories.

Highly Recommended for General Industry

  • Basic Safety Training

  • Personal Protective Equipment

  • Emergency Action Plan

  • Fire Prevention

  • Hazard Communication

  • Exit Routes

  • Walking/Working Surfaces

  • Medical and First Aid

  • Injury/Illness Reporting

  • Bloodborne Pathogens

Highly Recommended for Construction and Manufacturing

  • Machine Guarding

  • Lockout/Tagout

  • Electrical Hazards

  • Respirators

  • Noise Protection

  • Confined Spaces

How to Comply with OSHA’s Safety Training Requirements

The first step toward meeting OSHA’s safety training requirements is to implement programs that can be documented, such as the creation of Safety Policies and Procedures manuals, training materials (such as online training that addresses topics required by OSHA), and emergency response plans.

What are the Risks Associated with Non-Compliance?

Any organization that is not compliant with OSHA safety training requirements increases the likelihood of injuries and incidences for its employees. This can lead to lawsuits, OSHA fines, and an overall decrease in productivity and profitability.

Using eLearning to Meet OSHA Safety Training Requirements

OSHA allows employers to use online training technologies to meet the compliance requirements for mandatory occupational safety and health training. Per OSHA:

“In OSHA’s view, self-paced, interactive computer-based training can serve as a valuable training tool in the context of an overall training program.”

What OSHA recommends is that employers explore a blended learning approach for safety training that could include an online training or “eLearning” component. This blended approach might utilize a variety of training delivery methods, such as classroom-based training, field-based training, and eLearning.

If your organization is considering the use of eLearning to help meet your OSHA safety training requirements, some of the benefits you can expect include:


The use of eLearning reduces or, in some cases, eliminate the costs associated with classroom-based training, such as travel, instructor fees, venue fees, catering, and the distribution of printed training materials. In addition, eLearning eliminate the requirement to pull workers away from their job duties as it allows learning to be performed during breaks or after hours.


With eLearning, your employees can accomplish their learning activities any time and at any place they choose. All that is required is an Internet connection. This allows your users to learn in an environment that is comfortable for them.


One of the challenges with classroom-based training is that all participants must try to learn at the pace set by the instructor. With eLearning, on the other hand, users can learn at their own pace and can revisit important or challenging materials multiple times before moving on to the next section of the course.

Communication and Collaboration

Many eLearning programs include tools for communication among students and between students and instructors. These tools help to build and support a more productive learning environment while providing a method for streamlined user feedback.


eLearning allows for the easy and immediate capture of data regarding the use of your online safety training program and the success of your participants. The analysis of this data can be extremely beneficial as you look to revise and improve your safety training program over time.

LMS Portals for OSHA Safety Training Requirements

LMS Portals offers a cloud-based platform that allows our clients to run their own branded eLearning portal to help them meet their OSHA safety training requirements. Our system makes the development and delivery of OSHA safety training courses quick and easy and includes powerful tools for student on-boarding, communication, and analytics.

Contact us to discuss running your OSHA Safety Compliance Training on your own branded eLearning portal. Get started for free!

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