The OSHA 10-hour course is for entry-level workers. The OSHA 510 course focuses on construction industry standards, and the OSHA 511 course focuses on general industry standards, according its official website. The 10-hour course is a prerequisite for both the 510 and 511 courses, which are 26-hour courses.
The OSHA 10-hour course educates workers in recognizing and avoiding hazards. It also covers workers' rights and how to file a complaint. The OSHA 510 course is intended for workers who may have some responsibility for maintaining safety standards in their workplace, such foremen, owners or managers. The OSHA standards covered in this course are specific to the construction industry, with an emphasis on the most hazardous areas of construction. The 511 course is more broad-based and applicable to general industry rather than just the construction industry, according to OSHA.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed into law in 1970, reports About.com. The purpose of OSHA is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Since Congress established OSHA, workplace deaths have decreased by 62 percent, and workplace injuries have decreased by 42 percent. OSHA inspects workplace environments to ensure that they comply with health and safety standards. OSHA issues citations and fines employers for safety violations.