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COSS® Certificate Program

COSS® is a training program designed by safety professionals for the entry level person, or for the experienced safety person who needs a refresher on safety. Its main objective is to equip employees who have safety and health responsibilities, with the core competencies they must master to be successful in occupational safety and health. The COSS® Program provides students with focused and relevant content that is enforced with concentrated learning activities. Unlike other safety designations, where there is no training involved, the curriculum-based format of the COSS® Program involves hands-on, in-class, instructor-led training. Students testify to the value of the training they receive; instead of simply "testing into the designation”, they feel like they worked hard to earn it. Request a course outline or syllabus.

View the different locations that offer COSS and other programs.

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According to Rightor Cobb, COSS Lead Instructor, an important aspect of the COSS Program is the COSS Model that is used throughout the training. The COSS Model is one of the key elements that can bring a newly appointed safety and health representative to a higher level of understanding of safety and health. Many experienced safety and health professionals that have attended the COSS class have used the COSS Model to experience a new outlook on managing the safety process. The COSS Model focuses on four key steps to providing a workplace that is free of recognized hazards, as prescribed by the OSHA Act of 1970:

  1. The first step is the ability to recognize and identify a hazard. The COSS class introduces students to a wide assortment of hazard analysis models for accomplishing that first step.
  2. The second step is to instruct. OSHA requires all employers to instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of hazards on the job site. The weeklong instruction in COSS reviews all OSHA required training, and also brings the effective use of safety training into focus.
  3. The third step is making the decision to either eliminate the hazard or control the hazard. COSS teaches that the elimination of hazards is almost impossible, as construction and general industry workers will always have hazards associated with their tasks. Therefore, employees must learn to mitigate these hazards using the techniques they will learn in class.
  4. The fourth step is selecting the appropriate controls to deal with the hazards identified. A majority of the instruction is focused on the ability to select appropriate controls based on federal and state compliance laws, and industry-specific best practices.
COSS Model

In summary, COSS is a curriculum-based program that consists of 40 hours of hands-on, face-to-face learning, delivered by an Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer in Construction and General Industry. Case studies and workshops are used extensively to bring learning objectives into focus. Guest speakers from areas such as OSHA and other governmental agencies are used to enhance the learning experience. Student presentations, daily quizzes, practical reviews and a comprehensive final exam allows students to demonstrate their competency in the class. By learning how to promote safety on a job site, COSS graduates have the knowledge to help lower fatalities, near misses and OSHA citations.

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