OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
|NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.|
Date: May 10, 2005
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
OSHA Announces Training Program for Disaster Site Workers
WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the new Disaster Site Worker Outreach Training Program in conjunction with today's National Response Plan Roll-Out Conference in Chicago.
"Ensuring the safety and health of our nation's workers who respond to disasters is the goal of this training program," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare. "As the Coordinating Agency for the Worker Safety and Health Annex to the National Response Plan, we are committed to working with other Agencies to ensure that these workers have the knowledge and skills to stay as safe as possible."
The new program was developed as a result of lessons learned following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the Skilled Trades Summit in Seattle which was co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness and OSHA. It is designed to train workers who provide skilled support in emergency response and recovery operations at disaster sites and raise awareness for workers and employers that pre-incident training is essential for ensuring disaster site worker safety and health.
"This program concentrates on the critical need of training skilled trade workers in emergency management," said Andrew Mitchell, Director, Office for Domestic Preparedness for the Department of Homeland Security. "It's an important step in our efforts to bring together key representatives from federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the skilled trades, to develop methods for the successful integration of skilled trades personnel into incident response command at a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism incident site."
The new training program includes a 16-hour Disaster Site Worker Course that emphasizes the incident command system, hazard awareness, personal protective equipment (including the use of air-purifying respirators), and decontamination. The course will be taught by experienced construction safety and health trainers who have successfully completed the "train-the-trainer" course.
Also included in the program is a 10-hour Construction Outreach Training Course that focuses on safety and health hazards on a normal construction site, and a 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) course that provides the minimum level of training for workers engaged in hazardous substance removal.
A "Program Card" will be issued by OSHA's Office of Training and Education to workers who successfully complete the Construction, Disaster Site Worker, and HAZWOPER courses. Workers completing the Construction and Disaster Site Worker Course will receive the "Course Card," while "Authorized Trainer Cards" will be issued to students completing the "train-the-trainer" course.
"It is vitally important that we leverage all available assets to provide a coordinated and effective response to disasters," said Deputy Chief A D Vickery, Seattle Fire Department. "Coordination at the community level between emergency services and skilled trades, before an incident occurs, can provide a critical asset to disaster response."
OSHA worked in partnership with a number of organizations to put the program together including various OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and its building trades grantees, and the National Association of Demolition Contractors.
"Our partnership with OSHA in developing a training course for disaster site workers is an important contribution to protecting responders and improving our national response capacity," stated Joseph (Chip) Hughes, Jr., Director, Worker Education and Training Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The partnership's ultimate goal is to encourage the development of a cadre of workers who are highly trained to respond safely to natural and man-made disasters who can help ensure the continued protection for workers involved in recovery and cleanup efforts."
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
# # #
NOTE: A list of "Train-the-Trainer" and "Disaster Site Worker Course" offerings at OSHA Training Institute Education Centers follows this release.
Disaster Site Worker Train-the-Trainer Course (#5600)
Disaster Site Worker Course (#7600)
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|