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.
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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:
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.