What’s the difference? OSHA 500 vs. OSHA 30-hour

OSHA Standards

A question was posed to me in an email from a client:

Do you know what the requirements are to get an OSHA 500 certification?

The OSHA 500 (Construction) and also the OSHA 501 (General Industry) are 30-hour courses that serve as prerequisites to the 30-hour Train-the-Trainer course that makes you an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer like me. An “OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer” is able to conduct the OSHA 10 hour and OSHA 30 hour trainings. The 500 and 501 courses are only offered through an OTI (OSHA Training Institute) in the various regions throughout the country. OSHA breaks the country up into 10 Regions. See the breakdown on OSHA’s website. Some regions have multiple OTI’s based upon population. In Region 1 (New England), there only is one OTI and they are AWESOME!  If you’re looking to become an Outreach Trainer, give them a call at 800-449-OSHA (6742). Ask for Leslie Singleton, Kathie Sperry, Cheryl Sprague or Diane Malakowski. They truly are fantastic. Each of them knows me personally and will help you if you have questions about becoming an Outreach Trainer.

So, only Outreach Trainers in good standing are able to offer and conduct the OSHA 10’s and 30’s in Construction and General Industry. And the 500 and 501 courses are part of the preparation to become an Outreach Trainer. There are also OSHA 10’s and 30’s for Maritime and Disaster Site Worker. I’m not authorized to conduct those personally, but I do offer class in those disciplines via one of my training partners who is Authorized in those areas.

When I first became an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer in 2006, the 30-hour Outreach Training course used to be the equivalent to the OSHA 500 (Construction) and OSHA 501 (General Industry) courses, but the OTI’s have since changed that and -like I said above- only an OTI can offer the 500 and 501 courses, which prepare you to become an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer.

If you have a question such as this, post it here in the comments and I will answer it right away if possible. If it requires some research on my part, I commit to picking at least one such question a week to answer on my blog. Here is a recent answer to a question I received about training on eye protection.

I’ll write soon,


Spanish OSHA Guy!

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Leave A Reply (9 comments so far)

  1. Susan
    3 months ago

    Steve –

    I would like to take the 510 and 500 courses but there is a requirement of 5 years. I owned my own land surveying business for 25 years and handled all of our safety – would that fulfill the 5 year requirement?

    Thank you

  2. Terry Barnhill
    3 months ago

    I have my OSHA 500 but it’s my understanding that I still need to maintain an OSHA 30. OSHA 510 and 500 are standards based classes while the OSHA 30 is a hazards based class.

    I may have a OSHA 500 but I am still required to attend an OSHA 30 class ??

    • spanishOSHAguy
      3 months ago

      Dear Terry,
      Thanks for your question. Here is the deal: Only OSHA Training Institutes and Education Centers (OTIEC) are able to offer the 500, 501, 510 and 511 courses, which all last 30 hours. These OTIEC’s are the Authorized Training Providers for the Outreach Training Program, which authorize safety professionals to become Outreach Trainers and allow those individuals to then provide the 10-hr and 30-hr Outreach courses in General Industry, Construction, Maritime and Disaster Site Worker. The 500 and 510 courses the prerequisite and trainer course to become an OSHA-Authorized Outreach Trainer in Construction Industry. The 501 and 511 are the parallel courses for General Industry. Those are the only courses you need to take in order to become an OSHA-Authorized Outreach Trainer like me. 🙂 You do not need to take a Construction 30-hr Outreach Training in order to have or maintain your Trainer status. In order to maintain your trainer status, you just need to take the update course every four years from your local OTIEC.
      All my best,

  3. Vincent E Haywood
    1 year ago

    Hello Steve,

    Do you know if it’s required to have the OSHA 510 before getting the OSHA 500? I currently have the OSHA 10/30 Construction and General Industry Outreach, so do I now have to acquired the OSHA 500/501 to teach OSHA 10/30?

    • spanishOSHAguy
      1 year ago

      Hi Vincent,
      Thanks for your question. Here is the deal: The OSHA 10/30-hr Construction and General Industry courses are different from the OSHA 510 and 500, and the 511 and 501 courses. Only the OTIEC’s (OSHA Training Institute and Education Centers) can offer the 510/511 and 500/501 courses, which authorize you to become Authorized OSHA Outreach Training so you are able to teach the OSHA 10 and 30-hr Outreach Courses. I live in New England and there is only 1 OTIEC in New England. OSHA breaks the country into 10 Regions. New England is Region 1. Some regions have more than one OTIEC. You can choose to apply and get Authorized out of any OTIEC in any Region. Every four years you must “re-up” or attend the 2.5 day “Update Course” to maintain your Authorization to teach the OSHA 10’s and 30’s.

      Another important note: The Authorization to become an “Authorized OSHA Outreach Training for CONSTRUCTION” consists of the two courses: 510 and 500. The Authorization to become an “Authorized OSHA Outreach Training for GENERAL INDUSTRY” consists of the two courses: 511 and 501. Each is a 30-hr course and costs on the order of $800 – $950 (please verify with your local OTIEC for exact pricing!) The 510 and 511 are the pre=requisite courses and the 500 and 501 are the course the authorizes you to become an Outreach Trainer and be able to conduct the 10 and 30-hr Outreach Trainings.

      All my best!

  4. bob Rappley
    2 years ago

    Yes I would like some more information on the OSHA 500 course train the trainer please and if there is any discounts and cost. Plus I am a disabled veteran maybe there’s a program that I can get this for free?

    • spanishOSHAguy
      2 years ago

      Hi Bob,
      To get into the 500 course, you need to contact the OTIEC (OSHA Training Institute and Education Center) for your region. If you are in New England, then here is the info:
      175 Ammon Drive
      Manchester, NH 03103
      (800) 449-6742
      All my best,

  5. Jason Bryant
    2 years ago

    I’ve been welding and fitting pipe for 25 years and have my nccer in pipe and a couple nccer 10s from individual companies but I would really like to go into safety. Any advice on what training I should take? Thank you

    • spanishOSHAguy
      2 years ago

      Hi Jason,
      Thanks for taking the time to ask this question. The biggest challenge that I have faced as a safety trainer/consultant is the marketing! Or basically, getting work on a consistent basis enough to maintain an income to sustain and prosper me and my family. It has been 10.5 since I left my Engineering job to start this venture and it has been a rollercoaster. But mostly for the past 6 years, it has been solid and consistent. I’m very grateful to God and to many people that have helped me, mentored me, believed in me and continued to use me as an extension of their safety program. But I tell you, Jason, those first 4 years were really, really rough! Now having said that, you never want to live life with regrets! You only live once. So, plan well, think it through, make calculated and intentional moves, ask advice (like you are doing) and GO FOR IT! Please re-read over and over this last sentence that beings with “So, plan well…” And be painfully honest about each of those imperatives that I laid out. If you are, I think you’ll do well. I don’t think you need any other classes if you want to specialize and train in what you have experience with. If you want to conduct the OSHA outreach training, CPR or other classes that require an Authorization or Certification, than you’ll have to get that under your belt, but you can train on specific OSHA topics just based upon your experience and what OSHA mandates in that Subpart of the standards. My best to you and keep in touch!

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