Key OSHA Standards Covered in the OSHA 10 Construction Course

07/10, 2024 - Dreams Design

Many see the OSHA 10 construction safety training as a stepping stone to basic hazard recognition and avoidance. While that’s undoubtedly a big plus, the OSHA 10 construction training course has a unique and often overlooked benefit: a common language. Construction sites are a melting pot of experience levels and backgrounds. Carpenters work alongside electricians, ironworkers work with laborers, and recent high school graduates find themselves on the same crew as seasoned veterans.

That’s where OSHA construction certification shines. The OSHA 10 online course creates a shared safety culture where everyone can communicate risks, ask questions, and hold each other accountable. A laborer can tell a supervisor, “There’s a trip hazard,” and an ironworker can explain to a new guy why fall protection is important. Everyone knows their OSHA rights and responsibilities.

The results are clear. The OSHA 10 course provides clarity and promotes a team approach to safety. According to OSHA, over 5.8 million workers have taken the course in the past five years, and 1.3 million general/construction workers in 2023 alone. This is a big deal. OSHA 10 is becoming a recognized tool for a safer and more productive construction industry. 

Let’s get to the OSHA standards covered in the OSHA 10-hour training.

1. Key OSHA Standards Covered in the OSHA 10 Construction Safety Training

The OSHA 10 training teaches workers and supervisors the basics of the safety standards as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

● Fall Protection (1926.501)
Falls are the number one cause of death in construction. OSHA standard 1926.501 requires fall protection when workers are at risk of falling from above 6 feet. The OSHA construction worker training goes into the hierarchy of fall controls and how to eliminate fall hazards with guardrails or safety nets whenever possible.

OSHA's 10-hour class also covers the selection, inspection, and utilization of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) like harnesses and lifelines to secure workers when fall hazards can't be eliminated. The class covers the role of a designated competent person who has been trained to inspect fall protection systems and ensure they work.

● Electrical Safety (1926 Subpart K)
Construction sites are a jungle of electrical components and wiring, which can be a shock or electrocution hazard. OSHA Subpart K addresses these hazards with a set of rules. OSHA construction safety training covers proper grounding, using Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) for portable tools, and avoiding touching energized electrical lines.

The OSHA construction training course also covers Lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures to prevent equipment from being energized during maintenance or repairs. Insulated gloves and boots are also covered to add a supplementary layer of protection for workers around electricity.

● Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (1926 Subpart E)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the first line of defense on a construction site. OSHA 1926 Subpart E sets the rules for PPE selection, use, and maintenance. OSHA construction certification courses teach workers how to choose the right PPE for the job: respirators for dust and fumes, hard hats for head protection, and safety glasses to prevent eye injuries.

Proper fit and regular inspection of PPE is key. OSHA 10 construction worker training also recommends keeping PPE clean and sanitary to keep workers healthy and stop the spread of germs and infections.

● Scaffolding Safety (1926 Subpart L)
Scaffolding is a big part of construction, allowing workers to access elevated work areas. However, improperly constructed or used scaffolds can be deadly. OSHA Subpart L sets the rules for different types of scaffolds: supported scaffolds, suspended scaffolds, and mobile scaffolds.

The OSHA 10-hour course covers the proper erection, inspection, and dismantling procedures for each type of scaffold. It also teaches how to assemble the correct components with the right weight capacities and how a competent scaffolding person is trained to oversee all aspects of scaffold safety.

● Hazard Communication (Globally Harmonized System (GHS) (1926.59)
Construction workers may be revealed to many hazardous chemicals on the job site. OSHA 1926.59 incorporates the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) to ensure chemical hazard communication. OSHA 10 training teaches workers about the standardized labeling system for hazardous chemicals, pictograms, and hazard statements.

OSHA's 10-hour class also teaches about Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which provide detailed information on a chemical's properties, safe handling procedures, and potential health risks. By understanding GHS and SDSs, workers can make informed decisions about handling and working around these hazardous materials.

2. The Benefits of OSHA Compliance in Construction

● Fewer Injuries and Illnesses
OSHA standards taught in OSHA 10-hour training serve as a guide to eliminating common hazards on construction sites. By installing fall protection systems, enforcing electrical safety, and requiring PPE use, OSHA compliance reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.

● Faster Projects and Completion Times
Accidents and injuries create a domino effect, slowing down projects and delaying completion. OSHA construction safety training can help minimize those delays. For example, proper scaffold construction gets you to the elevated work area safely and quickly so you don't get delayed by a scaffold failure.

By having a healthy workforce, OSHA compliance reduces absenteeism due to illness or injury, so projects stay on track. The OSHA 10 online course is all about safety, so it eliminates reactive work like accident investigations and rework, and workflow is smoother and more efficient.

● Lower Insurance Costs
Insurance providers consider construction companies with a proven track record of safety compliance and lower risk. The preventive and proactive approach taught in construction training courses translates to significant reductions in workers' compensation premiums. 

OSHA compliance demonstrates a lower likelihood of future accidents and claims. Some insurance companies offer premium discounts or credits to companies with demonstrably strong safety programs. This further incentivizes safety skills delivered by OSHA construction worker training. Fewer accidents also lead to lower costs associated with property damage, legal fees, and even fines imposed by OSHA for safety violations.

● Building a More Motivated and Productive Workforce
OSHA's 10-hour course teaches practices like proper lifting techniques and adjustable workstations to reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are the leading cause of absenteeism and decreased productivity. OSHA requires the training of competent persons to oversee certain safety aspects. When workers feel their safety is the number one priority, they will be more motivated and engaged in their work.

● Positive Reptation
In the construction industry, reputation is everything. A company known for safety attracts skilled and experienced workers who value safe work environments. Clients, too, are increasingly concerned about safety records when selecting contractors. Demonstrating OSHA construction certifications and a proven safety record positions a company as a responsible and reliable partner.

3. Maintaining OSHA Compliance Through Ongoing Efforts

● Continuous Training
OSHA standards and best practices are constantly evolving. Regular training keeps workers and supervisors up to date on current safety protocols. Beyond the OSHA 10 course, there are several advanced courses in construction. Here are some examples:

● Certified Safety and Health Specialist (CHST)
● Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry
● Cranes in Construction
● Certified Occupational Safety Specialist
● Electrical Standards
● Principles of Scaffolding

● Incident Investigations and Compliance Enforcement
Accidents and safety incidents, even small ones, are learning opportunities. An exhaustive investigation will identify the root cause and implement corrective action to prevent them from happening again.
Initiating an Investigation:

OSHA investigations can be triggered through various means:
● Worker Complaints
● Workplace Accidents
● Targeted Inspections
● Referrals

When an OSHA inspector shows up at your job site, the following steps are taken:
● An opening conference is held with the employer to explain the purpose and scope of the inspection.
● The inspector will do a walkaround of the job site, looking for hazards and OSHA violations. This may involve talking to workers, observing work being done, and reviewing safety records.
● A closing conference is held to discuss initial findings and potential violations identified during the inspection.

The inspector may issue citations and propose fines for identified violations of OSHA standards. In cases of willful or repeated infractions, OSHA may pursue legal action against the employer, which can lead to substantial penalties and even criminal charges.


In the high-risk game of construction, where deadlines are tight and margins are thin, safety can feel like a luxury. But the tide is turning. OSHA 10 training is becoming more widespread because a safety-conscious workforce is a competitive advantage. Less downtime from accidents, lower insurance premiums, and a more motivated and productive workforce all add to the bottom line.

Plus, a focus on safety creates a culture of professionalism. This attracts and retains skilled workers in an industry with a chronic labor shortage. The OSHA 10 online course is just the first step. Still, it brings a big cultural shift in the construction industry. It empowers workers to become proactive safety advocates and builds a safer, profitable sector for everyone. Visit to get started.