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OSHA Certification Online Training Guide

A Need for Safety

If you’re an employer, you’ve probably been through safety inspections in the past. Officials routinely come to check your machinery, procedures, and environment to ensure that it is safe for employees.

However, the world hasn’t always been so mindful of employee safety. Before the 1970s, there was little to no legislation for safety laws in the United States. Though employers usually cared for their employees enough to give them training and safety equipment, there were no laws to enforce safe decisions. In some instances, replacing a dead or injured worker was less expensive than providing proper safety training or life-saving equipment. This serious neglect of safety led to a strikingly high mortality rate of 38 employee deaths per day in 1970s America.

Today, things have improved. A recent census tells us that mortality rates have since dropped to only 13 employee deaths in America per day. Although this is a big improvement, there are still a lot of ways to improve.

People have a right to work without fear of serious injury or death. The ultimate goal is to have mortality rates reach a net-zero. At this point, working in America will be perfectly safe, and the human right to safety will be fully realized. We can achieve this through obedience to safety laws, awareness of safety procedures, and proper use of safety training and protective equipment.

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) is an organization dedicated to writing and enforcing safety laws in America.

Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act in the early 1970s, which began a whole new era of safety and health in the workplace. Since then, OSHA has been in charge of overseeing workplace safety by creating laws, performing inspections, and responding to employee safety concerns.

OSHA has also implemented laws regarding safety procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE), and employee safety training. These laws have done measures in protecting employees and creating safe workplaces.

What Does It Mean to Be OSHA Certified?

When people talk about OSHA certification, they’re generally referring to completing an OSHA 10-hour or OSHA 30-hour course. However, it should be noted that OSHA certification is an unofficial achievement, meaning you don’t need to be OSHA certified in order to complete certain tasks.

Most online safety courses end in online certification. That means in order to be OSHA certified, you don’t necessarily need to take an OSHA 10 or 30 course. Most employers tend to search for safety courses that are specific to the areas their employees will be expected to work. For example, an employee working on tankers would benefit the most from becoming certified through confined space or hot-work courses.

While OSHA doesn’t usually require certification to work in these areas, becoming certified is vital for employees to stay safe and for employers to know who is qualified to perform a job safely. For more information check our new article Which Regualtion and Clause Required the Contractor to Develop a Health and Safety Plan

What Is OSHA Certification Good For?

If you’re an employee, OSHA certification arms you with the knowledge you require to be safe on the job. Most accidents occur due to a lack of expertise or a poor understanding of safety rules. By taking an OSHA certification course, you’re allowing yourself a chance to receive formal education. This greater understanding can be a valuable aid in keeping yourself and your coworkers safe while on the job.

At the same time, OSHA certification can open up a multitude of opportunities at work. Site leads, project managers, and supervisors are required to be competent in identifying and preventing hazards on the job site. Becoming certified will help you stand out as someone who understands how to finish a job properly and safely.

What Are the Best Certifications to Have?

OSHA mainly offers two courses: the OSHA 10 course and the OSHA 30 course. The OSHA 10 and OSHA 30, respectively, cover 10 and 30 hours of general safety training. The OSHA 10 is made to give a broad overview of safety while the OSHA 30 is more comprehensive.

The OSHA 10 is designed for employees, while the OSHA 30 is recommended for supervisors and employers.

However, it should be noted that the OSHA certification courses are only required in seven out of 50 U.S. states. For this reason, many employers choose to forgo these programs entirely, turning instead to third-party retailers for safety training.

Hard Hat, for example, offers an OSHA Aligned 10-hour equivalent training course. This course offers even more content than the traditional OSHA 10 and presents it in a way that’s more engaging and easier to follow.

Other employers choose to distribute only specified training to their employees. For example, instead of giving a broad overview of safety training, such as OSHA 10, they might choose to distribute a course specifically about crane safety to new operators.

In the end, the best training to distribute depends on your needs and the hazards found on your worksite.

What Certifications Does OSHA Require?

As mentioned earlier, OSHA only requires the OSHA 10 and 30 courses in seven states:

Otherwise, OSHA certification courses are simply advised as a good means of learning about safety.

However, OSHA does require training to be provided for any hazard that an employee may encounter while working. If you’re an employer, the best way to identify the training your employees will need is by creating a Safety Management System (SMS).

To make a proper SMS, start by giving a thorough inspection of your workplace and equipment. Then assess the hazards within your workplace by rating them on scales of severity and likelihood. After assessing the risks, establish safety procedures for your employees to follow, post signs and warning labels around your worksite, and decide which training courses to register for.

For more information on how to create an SMS and evaluate risk, check out our risk assessment and certification course.

Is It Worth Getting OSHA Certified?

Depending on your workplace needs, getting OSHA certified could be crucial. For example, if you are an employer with lots of forklifts onsite, then getting your employees forklift certified is absolutely a worthwhile investment. It is a way of ensuring that your employees know exactly what they’re doing, can recognize hazards, and are able to finish a job safely.

This idea rings true for any field of work. If your employees will have regular access to scaffolding, then a simple fall protection course can easily save an employee’s life. In any case, no expense that you might need to pay for training is worth more than the life of an employee.

On the other hand, maybe you’re debating whether or not to enroll your employees in a simple OSHA 10 course. In this case, if your intention is just to give everyone a brief overview of how to stay safe, then it is absolutely worth getting them certified. If you feel as though the hazards on your worksite are a little more specific, then enrolling your employees in more individually-tailored training would probably be a better investment. This could entail hiring onsite trainers, or even becoming a certified trainer yourself through a train the trainer course. That way, you can tailor your training to meet your employees’ needs.

What is OSHA General Industry?

OSHA defines general industry as anything other than agriculture, construction, or maritime. Some examples of general industry include warehousing, healthcare, and manufacturing.Trainings in general industry tend to focus on common and potentially fatal hazards, such as:

If you are working in an industry where hazards are present, OSHA requires training for how to safely handle them.

What Are OSHA’s Requirements While Training?

OSHA has very few actual guidelines when it comes to training. They offer 10- and 30-hour general courses; however, these aren’t usually mandatory. OSHA mandates employees to be trained based on the hazards they’ll face while on the job, but they don’t specify where the training needs to come from or who needs to give it.

OSHA cares a lot more about what employees are learning during training than they do about who’s presenting it. The laws and standards OSHA has implemented outline everything an employee needs to know to be safe on the job. Therefore, the most important thing is that a training session teaches these guidelines.

Employers often consider this the hardest part of providing safety training. After all, going through all of OSHA’s standards on a given topic and trying to teach them effectively, without missing information, can be a nightmare. For this reason, most employers turn to third-party retailers, such as Hard Hat Training, when it comes time to train their employees.

Our job at Hard Hat Training is to make safety training easy for employers. We distribute training programs that teach OSHA Requirements in a way that’s direct, easy to follow, and cost effective. This makes training not only quick and affordable but ensures that your employees will receive all the information necessary to stay safe on the job.

Online Training Courses

There are many ways a manager could administer training to their employees. In some locations, OSHA facilities offer in-person training sessions, generally for 10 or 30-hour courses. In other cases, some employers choose to present training on their own or hire a professional safety trainer to visit the site. However, in recent years, online training has quickly become one of the most popular options among employers. This is because of its versatile and inexpensive nature.

Some online programs promise certification after only 20 minutes of content. However, these programs rarely provide companies with the information they need to pass OSHA inspections or prevent accidents.

Our training courses teach everything you need to know from OSHA’s standards in only a couple of hours. Employees will be guided through an in-depth course that outlines safety procedures, reviews case studies, and helps them become experienced and knowledgeable in their field. Quiz questions along the way keep them engaged and help review material, while an exam at the end of the course allows them to prove their expertise and receive a certificate.

Benefits of Online Courses

There are some situations in which purchasing an online course would be more helpful than alternative options. Online courses are flexible by nature. They allow employees to be trained any time and in any location while moving at their own pace. An online skills matrix allows managers to track employee progress and understanding. Plus, bulk discounts can make it a cheaper option if many employees are being trained.

So in what instances might an online course be less appropriate than the alternatives for safety training? Online training tends to give a more general overview of the chosen topic. For example, if you were to purchase a boom lift training, you would receive a general overview of boom lift safety. You’d be instructed on safety laws and good procedures, and you would learn how to be safe while operating a boom lift. If your work environment requires more specific training, however, then an onsite trainer may be a better option.

Hard Hat Training Courses

Our Purpose

Good safety training is becoming increasingly harder to come by, with many online training programs focusing on cutting content and price. While these courses can save some time and money, they are no replacement for proper OSHA Aligned training. Employers who invest in these courses risk employees being injured or even killed, simply because they lacked proper training.

Our trainings focus on being affordable, comprehensive, and OSHA Aligned. While other companies focus on shortening content, we focus on updating and improving content to give people an experience that’s both comprehensive and engaging.


The most important part of any safety training is OSHA alignment. The laws and practices OSHA has released are based on careful consideration and hundreds of hours of research. Through their standards, OSHA has given employees essentially everything they need to be safe. The difficult part is transferring the information from OSHA to the workforce.

Many employers train their own employees by trying to read through OSHA Requirements and then presenting the information on their own. While this can work, it also presents risk. OSHA is a vast network of information. They have databases, accident reports, and entire books dedicated to safety procedures. The load of information can leave an employer easily confused on where to even start.

This is what makes training courses such a valuable asset for employers. When we create our training courses, our experts perform an in-depth study across all platforms. They combine expert advise, case studies, safety procedures, and OSHA laws to create a comprehensive presentation. This makes all our safety courses OSHA-aligned and guaranteed to prepare you for your next inspection.

Training Categories

Our safety courses focus on the four areas that OSHA sorts worksites into:

Construction courses focus primarily on certifying employees in using specific equipment or performing certain tasks; this includes examples such as operating cranes, skid steers, excavators, fire watch, etc. For employees who don’t require heavy machinery certifications, we also offer trainings on more general safety topics. These include ladder safety, scaffolding, trench work, electrical hazards, and much more.

Maritime courses focus on survival training and common tasks performed in or around the water. Our maritime courses cover basic topics, such as fall protection, hot work, or fire watch, that are common around vessels or rigs. They also cover proper safety techniques for daily work and emergency situations such as cold water survival, man overboard training, or mooring lines.

Human Resources focus less on safety with equipment or machinery and more on creating a safe and healthy work environment. Human resource training is helpful in virtually any workplace, from a construction site to an office space. It covers topics such as drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, emergency escape routes, and CPR.

General Industry includes a miscellaneous range of topics. OSHA defines general industry as anything outside of maritime, construction, or human resources. Some examples of general industry training include:

People interested in general industry training who aren’t looking for any certification in particular would benefit from taking an OSHA 10 or 30 course. An OSHA 10 equivalence course from a third-party retailer is another good way to get a general overview of workplace safety.

Safety Training Options

There are lots of ways to accomplish safety training that are easy, affordable, and convenient. In the end, safety training should be a blessing, not a burden. That’s why we offer a selection of training methods so that you can choose the most convenient one for your company.

Training Kits

Many employers would like to train new employees on their own but aren’t sure how to get started. Training employees is a useful skill to have. It ensures that you won’t need to continuously pay fees, as you would when purchasing an online course.

Our training kits provide you with everything you need to give a aligned training session on your own. The kit includes everything you would receive with an onsite trainer— presentation, posters, case studies, tests, student manuals, etc.— and provides the employer with unlimited access to our training material. That way, after one purchase, the content is yours to keep, and you can continue to train on your own as new employees come in.

Train the Trainer Courses

If you’re like most people, the thought of purchasing a training kit may have some intimidating features. Teaching can be difficult, and it requires sufficient knowledge and skill in order to do it effectively. In addition to our training kits, you can purchase a train the trainer course to get you well acquainted with the material.

A train the trainer course is designed to help employers become experts in their field. The courses provide a deep dive into the subject of your choosing and can be as brief as a few hours. It focuses on the material you’ll be teaching and how to effectively teach it to an employee.

Upon completing the course, you will receive a certificate, recognizing you as a certified safety trainer. From there, you’ll be set to confidently lead your employees to a safer and happier work environment.

Online Training

Online training is intended for employees who prefer a self-paced experience. There are several instances where, as an employer, it would be wise to purchase an online course as opposed to an in-person training session. Some examples of this include:

Online training can have great price benefits. We offer bulk discounts of up to 75% off, depending on the number of employees in training. Therefore, employers in charge of training a large group might find it easier to enroll their employees in online training.

Our courses are all OSHA Aligned and provide an employee with everything they need to stay safe on the job. Courses come with:

Our Top 10 Safety Courses

A question employers often have while looking for safety courses is which one to choose. Especially in high-risk environments, such as a construction site, the amount of training that employees require can seem overwhelming. For more information check out our article What Certifications are Required by OSHA.

OSHA requires companies to administer training based on the hazards employees will encounter while working. If you’re an employer, it’s a good idea to create a Safety Management System (SMS). This would include evaluating your worksite, identifying dangerous hazards, and training employees on how to work safely around them. For more information check our our article What Does OSHA Require on a Construction Site

While creating an SMS, there are many common hazards that most employees in construction or general industry are bound to face. In this section, we’ll discuss the most common trainings employers choose. We’ll give a brief overview of what the course covers, then we’ll review an accident report that demonstrates the need for the course.

Browse OSHA Aligned Online Courses

Online training not what you’re looking for? Check out our homepage we offer other topics and training formats (online and offline).

Why Choose Us?

Why use Hard Hat Training’s safety trainings? The answer is simple. Because we are the best around! Our training kits, online training courses, and other training materials are used by companies both small and large all across the globe–from the U.S. to Canada to Mexico, Africa, the United Arab Emirates and beyond. The Hard Hat Training Series gives you everything you need to cost-effectively certify your own crew, ensure retention of safety principles, and maintain OSHA and OHS alignment. See all the United States based companies and Canada based companies that use and trust our courses.

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