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OTI Gets Bigger & Better

A new, state-of-the-art facility offers more classrooms
and laboratory space and the technology to provide more
web-based and broadcast instruction.

by Cindy Bencheck

Training Center
OSHA's new Office of Training and Education facility in Arlington Heights, Ill., offers 57,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory, and office space.
The OSHA Office of Training and Education is up and running at its new home in Arlington Heights, Ill. The facility, which includes the OSHA Training Institute, left its Des Plaines, Ill., location in December after outgrowing that building's space and technological capabilities.

The newly constructed Arlington Heights facility is about 25 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and 11 miles from the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Its three stories have 57,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory, and office space. The Training Institute's facilities occupy most of the first and second floors of the building and include six classrooms and six laboratories.

The facility blends state-of-the-art classrooms with the advanced technology needed for the Office of Training and Education to transition to a blended-learning environment that incorporates web-based training and live broadcasts with its more traditional resident instruction.

In the classrooms, podium computers enable instructors to run multiple applications simultaneously. For example, they can run a PowerPoint presentation while demonstrating the OSHA website. Instructors can operate the classroom lights, sound system, laptop computer display, dual projection monitors, and dual screens from the podium using a completely automated touch-screen computer
control system.

training instructor
Terry Krug, a training instructor with OTI's Safety Training Branch, conducts a class in a room that features dual projection monitors and dual screens he can operate from the podium using an automated touch-screen computer control system.
Other classroom features enable instructors to make marks on top of various computer programs, then save and print the annotations for class handouts. Document cameras have replaced overhead projectors, enabling instructors to use transparencies and giving them capability to project two- and three-dimensional objects for class displays. Each classroom has compressed digital video (CDV), television, VHS, and DVD audiovisual capabilities.

Two classrooms have even more enhanced features. One is set up as a CDV teleconferencing classroom with two-way visual and audio exchange. Another classroom is designed for computer-based training classes.

Six separate laboratories for safety, health, construction, heavy equipment, and hazardous materials are designed for demonstration and hands-on training activities. A library and several training breakout rooms provide opportunities for group and self-learning activities.

The third floor houses offices and a conference room, media center, and broadcast facility for distance-learning activities. The distance-learning infrastructure includes web-based training and video tele-training to augment classroom instruction. For example, instructors will be able to broadcast live training programs and seminars from the satellite broadcast facility to select receiving sites. Some broadcasts will be simultaneously webcast and archived for on-demand viewing.

"OTI training has always been excellent," said Hank Payne, director of the Office of Training and Education. "The new training facility provides OSHA with an expanded capability to provide training through additional technologies and laboratory experiences that were not available in the old facility."

The Office of Training and Education welcomes visitors to the new facility. The Office offers a wide variety of training courses on occupational safety and health topics at the OSHA Training Institute in Illinois and at OSHA Training Institute Education Centers nationwide. Information about programs and services available from the Office of Training and Education, as well as the Fiscal Year 2003 OSHA Training Institute course schedule, is posted on the OSHA website at Look under "Compliance Assistance," then click on "Training." JSHQ

Bencheck is a program analyst with the Office of Training and Education's Division of Training and Educational Programs.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA Office of Training and Education
2020 South Arlington Heights Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-4102
Phone: (847) 297- 4810

A Snapshot of OTE
OSHA's Office of Training and Education provides occupational safety and health training programs for federal and state OSHA employees, consultation staff, other federal agency employees, and private- sector employees and employers. The training programs emphasize the recognition, avoidance, prevention, and abatement of unsafe and unhealthful working conditions.

The Office of Training and Education is also responsible for managing several of OSHA's outreach training programs. The programs include the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, the Resource Center Loan Project, and the OSHA Construction and General Industry Outreach Training Programs.

The office has 54 staff members with the Office of Training and Education; OSHA Training Institute and its Safety, Health, and Construction training branches; and Divisions of Training and Educational Programs, Training and Educational Development, and Administration and Training Information.