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Current Trends in OSHA-Authorized Construction Safety Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Global Education in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.409.1 - 22.409.8



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Paper Authors


Neil D. Opfer University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Neil Opfer holds a P.D. Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MBA from Purdue University along with a B.S. Building Theory, B.A. Economics, and B.A. Business, all from Washington State University. He has been on the faculty of the Construction Management Program – College of Engineering at University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 1989. In addition, he has extensive experience in the construction industry in various construction positions and as a construction consultant. He is a member of ASEE. He is a OSHA Authorized Construction Industry Trainer.

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David R. Shields University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Current Trends In OSHA-Authorized Construction Safety EducationCurrently the U.S. Government is developing substantial changes to the way that OSHA-authorized construction safety education is being taught in the United States. Faculty membersteaching safety to construction students need to be aware of these significant changes takingplace and not run afoul of federal requirements. A number of construction programs in the U.S.have safety education coursework whereby students, as an example, can obtain “OSHA 30-Hour” Cards. Numerous employers look more favorably upon hiring construction graduates thatalready possess the training represented by the “OSHA 30-Hour” Cards. In addition, some statessuch as Nevada and Missouri have implemented legislation requiring personnel on constructionsites to possess either “OSHA 10-Hour” Cards or “OSHA 30-Hour” Cards dependent upon theirrole as either craft workers or managerial personnel. But requirements to obtain these Cards arebeing tightened. As an example, despite the fact that there are numerous websites offering on-line training to obtain these cards, very few of these online providers have obtained authorizationfrom OSHA for this activity. Graduates of these online programs risk losing both the time andmoney invested in these online “credentials” since they will not be recognized by OSHA. Newfederal requirements effective October 1, 2010 mandate that now for classroom training, as anexample, “OSHA 10-Hour” training programs be conducted over at least a two-day period with“OSHA 30-Hour” training over a least a four-day timeframe. Those conducting the training ( faculty) must be properly qualified through passing OSHA-authorized training programs.Criteria for trainers to pass these programs are being tightened considerably in these newregulations. In the U.S., there are 26 OSHA Training Institutes authorized by OSHA across thecountry. At one training institute, one construction director estimated that half of their pastgraduates would not be able to successfully renew their trainer credentials when they expire.Other requirements for “OSHA 10/30-Hour” training programs include the stepped up use ofauditors to monitor the quality of this training and the furnishing of handouts or other media tothe students that summarize key points. Faculty members or others sponsored bycolleges/universities not adhering to these requirements run the risk of jeopardizing themselvesand their students. This paper will focus on these issues and related concerns.

Opfer, N. D., & Shields, D. R. (2011, June), Current Trends in OSHA-Authorized Construction Safety Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17690

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