The International’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Office, in coordination with the ICWUC Center for Worker Health and Safety Education, is holding safety and health workshops over the next few months. The purpose of these workshops is to make sure our stewards and members are aware of their rights under the OSH Act and union contracts and have the most up-to-date information about working with toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials. Scholarships are available so that members can attend these classes free of charge.
“I love what the ICWUC center does and how their program is set up for the best learning experience possible,” said Johnie Perry, a business agent and OSHA liaison at UFCW Local 400. “The staff there are fantastic and always there and willing to help and give any assistance they can even outside the center.”
Here are the free classes available to members:
32 hours of Hazardous Materials Response. (March 4-7, April 22-25, June 3-6, July 8-11, all in Ohio with four slots open) Participants will learn about the properties of toxic chemicals, regulations, and personal protective equipment. They will respond to a simulated emergency release, wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus or respirator and protective clothing.
40 hours of Department of Transportation Training. (April 8-12, June 17-21, all in Ohio with one slot open) This training is targeted for workers at facilities where hazardous chemicals are loaded and unloaded and for covered workers, shipping and receiving biological wastes. This course is taught in a “train the trainer” format.
40 hours of Infectious Disease Response. (March 11-15, all in Ohio with two slots open) Consortium members represent more than 245,000 workers in a wide variety of work settings, where they are routinely in contact with individuals or materials and wastes potentially contaminated by infectious agents. This course trains workers who clean and handle waste, teach or provide direct care, supervise, serve and assist patients, and may be at risk of exposure and infection during outbreaks.
32 hours of Disaster Training. (May 20-24, all in Ohio with one slot open) This training instructs participants using a wide range of disaster modules, including the World Trade Center collapse, the BP oil spill, Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the Ebola outbreak and response. This training is also given in Spanish.
40 hours of Chemical Plume Modeling. (March 18-22, May 13-17, all in Ohio with one slot open) Some chemicals, if released in the atmosphere, have the potential to travel many miles in a concentration that could harm the population in its path. This chemical plume software training will teach participants how to use the computer programs CAMEO, MARPLOT and ALOHA to predict the direction of the plume, the health effects on the population and the distance the plume could travel before dissipating based on area-specific information. This knowledge can be a valuable aid to companies, workers, and communities to preplan for possible emergencies or offer support during a chemical release emergency.
40 hours of WWW Hazmat. (April 14-19, all in Ohio with two slots open) Participants will learn about the properties of toxic chemicals, regulations, and personal protective equipment. They will respond to a simulated emergency release, wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus or respirator and protective clothing.
40 hours of Train the Trainer. (July 15-19, all in Ohio with one slot open) One of the major strengths of this program is workers training workers. Since the beginning, the center has offered an in-depth “train the trainer” course. This class is set up for new trainers to gain more experience in presentation and delivery skills. Although this course is funded primarily by grant money, there have been numerous occasions when employers have sponsored a course and paid tuition. Through this program, the center has developed a qualified trainer base all over the country.
The OSH Office is available to come to locals to conduct safety and health trainings. If your local is interested in scheduling a safety and health training session, contact Director of the OSH Office Robyn Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org or OSH Coordinator Fernando Tapia at email@example.com. You can also sign up for safety and health training sessions here.