- Alliance Background
April 15, 2008
To provide the Rio Piedras Campus of the UPR, through Division of Continuing
Education and Professional Studies (DECEP for its Spanish acronym), the
Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety Office (OPASO for its Spanish
acronym) and the Institute of Labor Relationships from the Faculty of Social
Sciences (IRT for its Spanish acronym) with information, guidance and access to
training resources that will help them protect employees’ health and safety,
particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to occupational health and
safety hazards. This to be achieved through training and educational, outreach
and communication, and promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and
Implementation Team Members
From UPR-Rio Piedras Campus:
Jorge Ramos - Director OPASO
Migdalia Ruíz - DECEP
Lymari Orellana - OPASO/DECEP (Liaison)
From Federal OSHA
Madelline Medina - CAS
From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009
- Implementation Team Meetings
Several communications through e-mails and phone.
- November 12, 2008
- January 15, 2009
- March 10, 2009
- Events and Products
Training and Education
Outreach and Communication
Goal 1: Work with OSHA to provide expertise to develop training and education
programs on various safety and health issues and targeted to general,
construction and maritime industries, employees, students and the general
Goal 2: Deliver or arrange for the delivery of occupational health and
- One training session was offered to 12 participants of Emergency
Management Office (OME) in Bayamon, in HAZWOPER Refresher.
- A seminar was developed and offered by UPR-OPASO to 162 craftspeople
under a proposal submitted by UPR-OPASO to the Puerto Rico Industrial
Development Company (PRIDCO).
- A seminar was offered by UPR-OPASO to 30 craftspeople under a proposal
submitted by UPR-OPASO to the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña.
Goal 3: Work with OSHA to provide expertise to develop workplace safety and
health curricula through the Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety of
- Two separate training sessions were offered to 46 and 30 participants,
respectively, on OSHA standards for General and Construction Industries.
- Another training session was offered to 30 participants of the Institute
of Labor Relationships (IRT, in Spanish) on OSHA standards for General
- April 2008-2009: Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health - DECEP,
offered every trimester, consists of 7 requisite courses of 156 contact
hours and 2 elective courses of between 36 to 51 contact hours, for a total
between 192 to 207 contact hours equivalent to 19 to 21 units/credits. OSHA
publications are used in some of the courses as they relate to the different
applicable industries and the impact on the employers and employees for
non-compliance with OSHA’ standards and regulations. During this evaluation
period, twelve students completed this certificate.
Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health
Goal 1: Work with OSHA to provide expertise in developing information on the
recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to provide expertise in
developing ways of communicating such information (e.g. print and electronic
media, electronic tools and OSHA’s and the Río Piedras Campus of the
University of Puerto Rico Web sites) to employers and employees in the
Goal 2: Speak, exhibit, or appear at the Río Piedras Campus of the
University of Puerto Rico conferences, courses, workshops, local meetings, or
other educational events.
- A checklist for the identification of hazards in the food industry was
developed as part of a Susan Harwood Grant given to the UPR on 2007. This
tool will be available to the general public as part of the DECEP OHS
Goal 3: Promote and encourage the Río Piedras Campus of the University of
Puerto Rico employees and students participation in OSHA’s cooperative
programs such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Programs,
Consultation and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.
- No event was conducted under this objective during the evaluation
Goal 4: Share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and
health professional regarding the Río Piedras Campus of the University of
Puerto Rico best practices or effective approaches and publicize the results
through outreach by the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico
and through OSHA or the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico
developed materials, training, programs, workshop, seminars, and lectures.
- As part of the Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health, the
instructors discuss and promote the participation of the students (safety
and health professionals) and their respective companies in OSHA’s
Goal 5: Work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and
projects on occupational health and safety issues that are addressed and
developed through the Alliance Program.
- A curriculum on safety and health for preschool children has been
developed by José J Colón González, PhD candidate for Preschool Education
and revised by Prof. Jorge Ramos, Director of OPASO. Mr. Colón is the
Director of the Preschool Center for the PR Election Commission. A pilot
program is intended to be conducted in one private and one public (UPR Rio
Piedras campus) preschool centers, to eventually develop it as a standard
guide for preschool centers around the island.
Goal 6: Encourage OPASO, DECEP and IRT of the Río Piedras Campus of the
University of Puerto Rico to build relationships with OSHA’s Regional and Area
Offices to address health and safety issues.
- The first official activity of this “mega alliance” is scheduled for
April 24, 2009 and will consist of an open forum on the changes to the
electrical standard, NFPA 2004 and 2009 as well as the proper selection of
applicable PPE. At the time of this report, there are over 200 people
registered to attend this 3hrs seminar.
- Conversations were established with the VIDOSH office personnel to
identify possible safety courses to be held between the agency and the UPR
Goal 1: Raise others’ awareness of and demonstrate their own commitment to
workplace safety and health whenever the Río Piedras Campus of the University
of Puerto Rico safety and health leaders and professors address groups.
Goal 2: Develop and disseminate case studies illustrating the business
value of safety and health and publicize their results.
- An UPR –Rio Piedras OSH Certificate professor participated in the Annual
Chemists’ Convention held in August 2008, where he discussed the respiratory
- The UPR is being instrumental in coordinating the accrediting of contact
hours for safety and health educational events for several professional
associations. This service is an added benefit to persons participating in
such events and demonstrates UPR commitment to the dissemination of
workplace safety information.
Goal 3: Convene or participate in forums, round table discussions, or
stakeholder meetings on occupational health and safety issues to help forge
innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health
- An employee from the PR Environmental Quality Board (EQB) identified the
OHS Certificate courses as a tool to further enhance the EQB personnel
skills when attending an environmental emergency. The case was discussed
with the EQB Director for the section of environmental emergencies and
approval was granted for the completion of the certificate for three
officials. These officials service two of the most industrialized areas
within the island and have been able to put in practice the knowledge skills
obtained through the OHS Certificate. In the most recent graduation
ceremony, the EQB Director for the Environmental Emergencies Section spoke
to attendees, stating the value added to the services offered by the Section
to the Island.
- David Johns, from EPA, was the speaker for the Safety and Health
Certificate Graduation Ceremony.
- Beginning November 2008, the UPR joined the Puerto Rico Manufacturers
Association (PRMA) Safety and Occupational Health team. The goal of this
team is to actively engage in safety and health issues affecting workplaces
in the manufacturing sector, and to maximize utilization of available
resources in this field.
Through this alliance the UPR-Río Piedras Campus has been instrumental in
promoting awareness and prevention of hazards associated with the construction
and general industries. Through OPASO, it has also been actively involved in
reaching out to safety and health professionals in an effort to advance their
knowledge and academic preparation in occupational safety and health issues.
|Type of Activity (Conference,
Training, Print and Electronic
|Number of Individuals Reached or
|Construction Industry Course (30 Hours)
|Construction Industry Course (10 Hours)
|General Industry Course (30 Hours)
|Certificate in OSH graduates
|Safety and Health in the Crafts (2-hr
|Safety and Health in the Crafts (2-hr
|Respiratory Protection – Annual Chemists’
Conv. (3 hours)
|HAZWOPER Refresher (OME Personal-Bayamon)
- Upcoming Milestones
- To develop a Safety and Health Committee intervention protocol based on
the amended PR OSH Act, which promotes the creation of S&H committees in all
- Continue to develop the video in Spanish on Accident Prevention in
- Develop and promote a series of 30 sec radio PSAs on general safety and
- To renew alliance in April 2010.