Idaho Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program
The Idaho Occupational Safety & Health Consultation Program (OSHCon) provides free occupational safety and health services to small businesses within the state to help them understand and follow the rules and regulations required by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
We do this mainly through onsite consultation services and our DVD lending library. Once invited to your business, our consultants can help with hazard recognition, reduction and elimination; industrial hygiene monitoring; and written program requirements. Our lending library can help you with training, and increase your knowledge of occupational safety and health.
We are funded by OSHA through the Department of Labor, but are not involved in enforcement. Our consultants do not impose penalties or fines during a visit with your business.
You can find us on the Boise State University campus at 1113 Denver Avenue in Boise. Normal business hours are 8am – 5pm, and we follow the university’s schedule for holidays.
Not an Idaho business? Check with the consultation program in your state to see what services they offer small businesses like yours. You can contact your state’s program through the OSHA website.
Between September 1, 2018, and October 30, 2019 (our most recent financial year), OSHCon’s consultants visited 155 businesses throughout the state. Industries visited included Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture, and the Service and Retail/Wholesale sectors.
During those 155 visits 2,195 serious hazards were identified, an average of 14.16 per visit. As a result of identifying those hazards, and the follow up undertaken by the employer, 11,215 people were removed from risk. Many employees were removed from multiple risks. A total of 13, 211 people were removed from risk of other than serious hazards that were identified by our consultants.
Improving workplace safety and health not only protects employees, it can reduce medical and insurance costs for employers, and increase productivity.
More information about how effective safety and health programs can save you money can be found on OSHA’s $afety Pays webpage.
Need an OSHA Card? Here’s What You Should Know:
Many employers ask their workers to obtain an OSHA card. This often refers to the Outreach Training Program’s 10-hour and 30-hour safety courses. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in fraudulent activity related to these courses over the past several years. Knowing the facts can help workers avoid fraudulent trainers and courses.
FACT: Only OSHA-authorized trainers may teach 10- and 30-hour safety courses and issue OSHA student course completion cards.
The 10-hour safety course covers general safety and health hazards for entry-level workers. The 30-hour safety course provides a greater variety of safety subjects and in-depth, industry-specific training and is intended for supervisors and workers with safety and health responsibility. While fraudulent actors may advertise OSHA 10-hour training, only OSHA-authorized trainers can issue course completion cards at the end of the training.
FACT: OSHA publishes a public list of authorized trainers to help workers find legitimate training and avoid fraud.
OSHA provides a list of authorized trainers to find instructors for the 10- and 30-hour safety courses. The list provides trainer names and contact information, and denotes which course each trainer is authorized to teach (i.e., construction, general industry, maritime, disaster site worker). Courses are also available in Spanish and online from the appropriate authorized trainer.
FACT: Taking the course does NOT guarantee employment.
While OSHA believes this training is an important first step towards workplace safety, beware of advertisements “guaranteeing” jobs after taking the course.
FACT: OSHA does not require completion of these courses, but may require other training for workers that encounter certain workplace hazards. Although some states, cities, and job creators have mandated Outreach Training Program courses as a prerequisite to employment, OSHA does not require the training. In other cases, jobs may include workplace hazards that require training to meet OSHA standards, such as training on common chemical hazards encountered in the workplace, or operator training for specific powered industrial trucks on the jobsite. Be sure to check your local requirements and consult the relevant OSHA regulations.
Keep these facts in mind when searching for courses and trainers to ensure proper safety training and avoid fraudulent courses. If you come across any fraudulent actors, please contact the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General. For more information, visit the Outreach Training Program website.