What is the STS (Safety Trained Supervisor) Certification Program and who should be participating?

STS is a certification program of the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST). The STS certification program has national accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). It has international accreditation through ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 and national standards through ASTM E1929–98 Environmental. CCEHST is a joint venture of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. The STS in Construction was first offered in 1995. Its creation came from a joint request by the ASSE Construction Practices Division and NSC Construction Division for BCSP to provide a technical level certification in construction. OSHA recognizes the STSConstruction credential through a voluntary agreement between OSHA and CCHEST that was signed May 21, 2002 at the 12th Annual Construction Safety and Health Conference in Chicago.

STS is intended for non safety individuals who:

  • Are managers at all levels.

  • Are first line supervisors of work groups or organization units.

  • Have a safety responsibility for a work group that is part of other duties.

Safety Trained Supervisors are not safety specialists or safety practitioners. Typical candidates have a safety responsibility that is adjunct, collateral or ancillary to their job duties. Their main job duties are in a craft or trade, in leadership, supervision or management, or in a technical specialty. Qualifications require 30 hours of safety and health training and two years experience in their industry, a minimum one of those years in a supervisory capacity.

The typical certified STS helps an employer implement safety programs at the worker level through supervisory, safety committee or similar safety and health leadership roles. Safety tasks often include monitoring for job hazards, helping ensure regulatory compliance, training employees in safety practices, performing safety recordkeeping tasks, coordinating corrections for safety problems within or among work groups, and communicating with safety specialists or management.

The STS safety responsibility is a part-time responsibility, usually less than 1/3 of the total job duties. If safety responsibilities involve a greater portion of job duties, the role is more likely to be that of a safety technician/technologist or safety professional.

The STS establishes a minimum competency in general safety practices. To achieve the certification, candidates must meet minimum safety training and work experience and demonstrate knowledge of safety fundamentals and standards through a 100-question, computer-based examination. The test questions emphasize 10 tasks expected of supervisors with safety responsibilities and 14 knowledge areas that are demonstrated by the certification test. The approximate distribution of test question topics is shown in the following tabulation.

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