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TEEX-OSHA is partnering with the Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA) to introduce safety and health training into the public school system.

A pilot project to train vocational instructors as OSHA construction outreach safety and health trainers will be conducted July 16-19 in Dallas. The training will be held in conjunction with the Trade & Industrial Education Professional Development Conference, which is sponsored by TIVA and the Texas Education Agency.

The goals of the pilot training program are to expand the number of bilingual OSHA 500 outreach instructors and to train vocational instructors so they can incorporate safety training into their high school classes. The pilot program is being funded by a Susan Harwood Training Grant from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As a part of the grant, each participant in the training must complete a minimum of 30 hours of community outreach service to the Hispanic community.

“By leveraging our existing Susan Harwood Training Grant funds, we are able to reach the vocational teachers who are training tomorrow’s skilled craftsmen,” said Dr. Ben Cranor, program manager with the OSHA Training Institute Southwest Education Center. “And the vocational teachers are not only excited about the opportunity to get the OSHA trainer credentials, but also anxious to integrate OSHA safety training into their teaching.”

The training program is the first step in a new initiative by the TEEX OSHA Training Institute to provide high school students with the fundamental safety knowledge needed for successful entry into the workforce, said TEEX-OSHA Director Teresea Madden-Thompson.

“This initiative will benefit employers by helping to ensure access to candidates for entry-level positions who have been trained in the critical elements of safety and who understand the importance of safe work habits and conditions,” said Madden-Thompson.

According to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the occupational injury rate for employees 16 — 24 years old is almost double the average rate for workers of all ages.

Under the proposed Career-Safe ™ program, students successfully completing the 10-hour training would be issued a completion card from OSHA Region VI, which would provide evidence to employers that the prospective employee has received basic safety training.

Career-Safe ™ training would focus on the identification of potential hazards and actions required for preventing injuries, property damage and other types of incidents, she said. Specific topics would include fall prevention, hand/power tools, materials handling and electrical safety. In addition, the program would help students recognize, assess and respond to risks applicable to all type of work environments, including general industry, service and construction.

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Christine Ramirez was an excellent instructor. She was very patient with those of us who were less experienced in the field and brought us all to the same level of proficiency. Very praising and encouraging.

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