OSHA Certification

What is OSHA Certification?

What is OSHA Certification?

We will cover the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certification process for the most popular training courses - these are the OSHA 10 and 30 courses and the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) courses. 

The U.S. OSHA has two primary locations that govern training programs. The first is located in Washington, D.C., and the other location is Arlington Heights Illinois. The Washington, D.C., office has primacy over the HAZWOPER program but does not offer this training. They are responsible for writing and enforcing regulations and have other responsibilities as well. If U.S. OSHA has approved a state plan for a particular state, the state will have primacy over the HAZWOPER program. The state regulations must be at least as stringent as the U.S. OSHA regulations but many states have additional requirements. 

OSHA 10 and 30 hour Training

The U.S. OSHA Arlington Heights (OSHA Training Institute) location is primarily a training office. As part of their overall responsibility, they authorize training companies to be able to conduct the OSHA 10 and 30 courses. They oversee the complete training program nationwide. They also issue the Department of Labor (DOL) cards for these courses. The training is not mandatory and is a voluntary program. However, some states have promulgated regulations requiring employers to train employees in the OSHA 10 and 30 courses. Equivalent OSHA 10 and 30 courses can be taken to fulfill these voluntary training requirements but companies who are not authorized by U.S. OSHA cannot issue a DOL card. (Only the OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, IL can issue official DOL cards). They may issue their own card indicating completion of training. As the OSHA 10 and 30 courses are comprised of different training topics, this training does not satisfy the regulatory required training. For example, fall protection training must be completed by employees prior to working on elevated surfaces. While this is one of the topics covered in the OSHA 10 and 30 courses, it does not meet or satisfy the regulatory requirements. Additional in-depth training must be provided. 

The OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses issue a certificate of completion (and/or wallet card) but do not certify an individual or employee.

Program Scope

OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Series
• Construction 
• General Industry
• Maritime Industry 
• Disaster Site Worker


For employees that will be exposed to hazardous substances at certain levels, OSHA requires they be trained and certified in order to work safely during a HAZWOPER operation. This includes work at contaminated sites, emergency response for chemical releases and work at hazardous waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facilities. Training must be completed prior to working at a HAZWOPER contaminated site, emergency response scenario, or a TSD. The certification process is performed by the instructor and the employer - it is a dual responsibility. There are various job functions listed in Title 29 Code of Federal (CFR), Part 1910.120 that have different responsibilities. There is an offsite training component and a site-specific requirement. For the site-specific requirement, hands-on training on the actual equipment an employee will be using during their job is required. We have discussed the site-specific requirements with the U.S. OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs in Washington, D.C., and it is very clear their expectations are “hands-on training with the actual equipment an employee will be using in their job.”

Program Scope

• General Site Cleanup
• Emergency Response
• Treatment Storage & Disposal Facilities

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