OSHA Takes Steps to Eliminate Fraudulent Trainers, Strengthen Outreach Training Program

May 21, 2009
In an effort to crack down on fraudulent trainers, OSHA intends to strengthen the integrity of its 36-year-old Outreach Training Program by improving how trainers become authorized to teach and ensuring these trainers are in compliance with OSHA program guidelines.

This voluntary program has grown to a national network of more than 16,000 independent trainers eligible to teach workers and employers about workplace hazards and to provide OSHA 10-hour course completion cards. However, some trainers fraudulently have not provided the appropriate training in accordance with the program.

"The use of independent trainers has allowed OSHA to significantly extend its training capabilities," said Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "But OSHA will not tolerate fraudulent activity or unscrupulous trainers when workers' health and lives may be at stake."

Trainers are authorized by completing a 1-week OSHA trainer course through an OSHA Training Institute Education Center. The trainers are then eligible to teach 10-hour programs that provide basic information to workers and employers about workplace hazards and OSHA, and 30-hour courses in construction, maritime and general industry safety and health hazards.

The program's success has prompted some states and cities to legislate a requirement that workers complete training to earn an OSHA 10-hour card as a condition of employment. Because this training is becoming a requirement for gaining employment, the program has experienced fraudulent activity.

OSHA has increased unannounced monitoring visits to verify that trainers are in compliance with program requirements. OSHA will continue to refer fraudulent activity to the Labor Department's Office of Inspector General, and trainers caught falsifying information will be subject to criminal prosecution.

The public is asked to call a new outreach fraud hotline at 847-297-4810 to file complaints about program fraud and abuse. OSHA also has developed a new process for investigating and adjudicating complaints. In addition, a "watch list" of outreach trainers who have received disciplinary action will be posted on OSHA's Web site.

OSHA began implementing other changes in 2008, including requiring trainers to certify their classes and ensuring that training documentation is in accordance with OSHA's guidelines before trainers can receive course completion cards. Tests for outreach training program trainer courses have been revised to ensure more rigorous exams for authorizing new trainers. OSHA also is developing an ethics module to be added to all trainer courses.

"Strengthening the integrity of the Outreach Training Program will help ensure that workers receive quality training, help them gain employment and return them home safely at the end of their workday," Barab said.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!