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An Overview of OSHA Refresher Courses

Matt Luman

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Matt Luman | November 28, 2018 | Comments Off on An Overview of OSHA Refresher Courses

An Overview of OSHA Refresher Courses

In spite of the never-ending national debate over the need for more, or fewer, government regulations, the key to worker safety remains clear for the rest of us: compliance and training. These two go hand-in-hand. Workers need to complete their training, while organizations are expected to implement workplace safety solutions that adhere to OSHA standards and regulations.

Many of OSHA training topics need to be refreshed or retrained after a certain time has passed. For instance, HAZWOPER Certification requires an initial 24- or 40-hour training course, with an 8-hour refresher course every succeeding year. Meanwhile, Hazard Communication refresher is a must every time a new chemical is introduced in the workplace.

Organizations need to be on top of every OSHA regulation they are subjected to. That, of course, can be confusing as even small businesses are required to adapt to multiple standards like the state and national regulations. If you can relate to this and are struggling to track all of the OSHA refresher courses you need to review for the upcoming year,

To make it simple, we’ve created a list popular OSHA courses for construction and general industry, along with the conditions that would prompt you to take a refresher.

OSHA Guide

HAZWOPER (8-hour)

The 8-hour refresher course is required annually for all employees (including contractors and subcontractor) who perform hazardous waste operations. This refresher course applies to those who have completed the 24-hour or 40-hour HAZWOPER course the year prior.

The refresher training requirement is meant to keep workers up-to-date on laws, technology, and best practices. Furthermore, as workers gain experience with hazardous materials, they often learn gaps in their knowledge that require further attention. The refresher can help to close those gaps.

First Aid

First-aid training is a common safety training program that educates individuals on how to quickly respond to various injuries, proper sterilizations techniques, and much more. As best practices change and new standards are put in place, first-aid training must be

A full-course retraining is required every three years to maintain First Aid Certification, while a CPR/AED certificate expires after two years, if the individual did not submit himself to a refresher course.

Confined Spaces

Confined space training is required for workers whose job involves tight spaces and confined areas with limited room to move around. A specific set of skills are needed to perform certain tasks in these conditions.

Whenever permit space operations change, there are deviations from the permit space entry procedures, or inadequacies in employee knowledge or use of procedures, the operator and workers must retrain for confined space procedures and regulations.

Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift)

Forklift drivers and other industrial transportation workers are not exempt from refresher training. Moving heavy equipment and machinery puts others at risk, so it’s important that skills are regularly assessed to make sure drivers are compliant and competent.

A refresher is needed every 3 years, or when an employee operates unsafely, has an accident or near-miss, is assigned to drive a different kind of forklift truck, or there are changes in workplace conditions that could affect the safety of the operator and the workers in the area.

OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Renewal

In addition to the courses above, OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 hour training for construction may need retraining in some states as part of the renewal requirement.

  • Connecticut
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • West Virginia
  • Florida

The validity of the OSHA card within these states can range from 4-5 years, which means you have to retake the course before then to maintain compliance with local, state, and federal laws, standards, and regulations.

Other OSHA Refresher Courses

While there are courses which require annual refresher training, like Emergency Response, Asbestos (General Industry), Noise Protection, and Bloodborne Pathogens, some existing OSHA courses must be retaken on a case-to-case basis.

Some of these courses with special refresher conditions are PPE Training, Confined Spaces, and Lock Out/Tagout which requires retraining when an accident or significant change in the workplace occurs that would render the previous training outdated or insufficient. For PPE, a refresher training is also necessary if the changes in type of PPE warrant it, or when employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill needed to perform his job safely.

Taking the Refresher Course

While there are classroom-based training available in most locations across the US, it’s incredibly more efficient to take the required training online where it’s easily accessible and quickly updated.

Refresher courses can either be the same course with updated content, or a separate course like the 8-hour refresher for HAZWOPER. Just remember to connect or check with local authorities first, if there are changes within your state that will affect your renewal or refresher requirements. Otherwise, all you really need to do is enroll online and set your schedule to complete your retraining before the current one expires.

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