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TEEX helps train workers for Gulf cleanup operation

5/24/2010 12:00 AM

As BP continues its efforts to stop the flow of oil from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, the company has called on TEEX to provide basic safety training curriculum for workers, contractors, and volunteers who will be involved in cleaning up the shoreline.

TEEX subject matter experts in oil spill control and response developed the expedient “one-time incident” four-hour "Post-Emergency Spilled Oil Response Training Module," which has been reviewed and approved by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Coast Guard and BP. To support curriculum transfer, TEEX is also conducting an instructor hand-off delivery component designed to train company representatives, contracted training providers, and agency personnel, who in turn will train others in awareness and safety procedures when working around spilled oil.

The orientation and safety overview covers the hazards posed by spilled oil, protective clothing and basic cleanup operations for workers, vessel owners and volunteers, said Robert Moore, Associate Director of TEEX's Emergency Services Training Institute. Priority for training and employment will be displaced workers in each respective state.

John Giesen, TEEX Oil Spill Control School Coordinator, along with an adjunct instructor, traveled to Houma, La., on April 30. Within 12 hours, they developed the initial curriculum for OSHA and other agency review and approval. They are continuing to improve and ensure integration of current safety information into training, and are conducting content transfer classes for designated instructors, Moore said.

Essentially establishing a large, full-time training system for the incident, BP also requested assistance from TEEX OSHA Training Institute Southwest Education Center, Infrastructure Training & Safety Institute (ITSI), to assist with the regional OSHA interface. On May 3, two ITSI adjunct instructors joined the TEEX team in Houma to assist with curriculum development, instruction, and designated trainer and delivery audits. On May 11, a TEEX program coordinator was brought in to assist BP in training coordination in Mobile, AL; Mandeville, LA; and Houma, LA.

Since April 30, several thousand workers have received the TEEX training module, Moore said.

TEEX has been a recognized trainer in oil spill control and response since 1975 and offers both STCW- and U.S. Coast Guard-approved courses. The TEEX Oil Spill Control School provides information necessary to supervise employees and contractors in the operational control, mitigation and management of an oil spill response operation.

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