The Occupational Safety and Health Administration – commonly referred to as OSHA – was created by Congress in 1970 to address unsafe working conditions in facilities in the United States. It sets standards for acceptable safety measures, and it provides ways to achieve those standards through employee training and education.
The OSHA 30 card is one of the results of that training. It’s offered to employees after completion of a 30-hour training program. The program isn’t required by law, at least not at the federal level. Some states, employers and unions do require the training, however, and they’re free to do so.
Your OSHA 30 card is proof that you completed the training program. Replacing it if you’ve lost it can be easy… or not.
The OSHA Outreach Training Program
The Outreach Training Program is staffed by OSHA-authorized trainers who educate enrollees in fields including general industry, construction and maritime safety. Students have the option of taking either 10- or 30-hour classes. The OSHA 30-hour card is geared toward those who work as supervisors or who have job-site responsibility for safety measures.
The OSHA 30 card is a course-completion card. It’s neither a license to work nor certification in your field, and it does not guarantee work. But it certainly can look good on a resume.
Read More: How Often Is OSHA Training Required?
“I Lost My OSHA 30 Card!” – Not All Is Lost
You don’t have to go back and complete the training program all over again if you’ve lost your card. Instead, it's a simple matter of contacting your trainer, explaining what happened and asking for an OSHA 30 card replacement. Don’t reach out to OSHA itself, because the Administration doesn’t keep these records, so it has no way of knowing that you really did complete the program. As a result, it can’t replace your card.
Be aware: An expiration date applies here. Trainers are required to keep records of their students’ attendance for only five years. Assuming you reach out during this time period, the authorized trainer is obligated to replace your card, but only within that five-year period.
You can’t get a replacement card after this five-year deadline has come and gone or if you’ve already requested a replacement card during this time. Only one replacement card can be given per student per class. You also can expect to pay a small fee for the replacement, somewhere in the neighborhood of $25.
Some Complications and Deadlines
One issue you might encounter is that unless you have a pretty good memory, you might not be able to replace your card. The name of your trainer is cited on that missing OSHA 30 card, so you might not have access to it if you no longer have the card.
Even if you do recall the name, accessing contact information for your trainer might present another hurdle. Of course, you can always perform an internet search of your trainer's name and look for contact information, or, if you saved your course registration information, it may be in those materials.
If it’s been more than five years since your training or if you’ve requested a replacement card before, you’ll have to enroll in the program all over again to get a new card if you can’t identify or contact your trainer. The good news is that prior to April 2017, the five-year deadline was only three years, and the calendar pages don’t begin flipping until the date of training completion, not the date you started the program.
A Common Sense Measure
Assuming your card hasn’t been destroyed in a fire or another unforeseen event, the obvious solution is something your mother probably told you thousands of times: Keep it in a safe place! Make a copy of its location and put that in a safe place if you need to carry your OSHA 30 card with you.
Beverly Bird is a practicing paralegal who has been writing professionally on legal subjects for over 30 years. She specializes in family law and estate law and has mediated family custody issues.