During Safe Day for Small Business at Troy University, A.J. Cochran, of Airgas South, shows Sandy Porter, of Afassco, a respirator. The event, which is held annually on the Dothan Campus, is sponsored by the Wiregrass Safety Alliance.
DOTHAN - Safety is a priority for Mary Ann Thomas, a culinary arts teacher at Dothan Technology Center. Thomas recently attended Safe Day at Troy University to gather the latest information on accident prevention.
"We train high school students from Dothan High and Northview to work as chefs and cooks in restaurants," Thomas said. "We teach them safety, and we want to make sure we teach them the most up-to-date procedures."
Government labor statistics indicate more than four million Americans are injured on the job each year. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance Assistance Specialist Bill Bice said most businesses can benefit from the training offered through Safe Day.
"Almost all establishments have to comply with federal safety and health regulations," Bice noted. "We're trying to provide some of the information to industry, especially small businesses in the Wiregrass area."
This is the second year the Wiregrass Safety Alliance has held Safe Day on the Dothan Campus. Alliance members include Troy University, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, Durden Outdoor Displays, the Dothan/Houston County Emergency Management Agency and OSHA.
Safe Day is just one of the ways the Troy University Continuing Education Center is meeting the needs of the business community, according to TROY Professional Development Coordinator Mary Davis. December 12 - 15, the Continuing Education Center will offer a certification course for those interested in teaching OSHA industry safety. Throughout the year, the University also offers OSHA training programs for general industry and construction.
"We want to be able to provide a place where the community can get their training without having to travel," Davis said. "It saves employers time and money."
Dothan/Houston County Emergency Management Director Shelby Womack said Safe Day gives area business owners and employees easy access to valuable, potentially lifesaving information.
"I think it gives a lot of small businesses the opportunity to know about programs, training and education they would otherwise not be aware of," Womack said. "We see the need for much more safety and health education in business places."
Between educational seminars, participants were able to examine and ask questions about equipment ranging from respirators to protective suits and contamination barriers. Don Sanders, of Afassco, was one of the many vendors who set up displays in the rotunda of the Library - Technology Building.
"It makes it easy to see 100 people in one location," he said. From burn gels to pain relievers, Sanders discussed first aid options with workers representing a variety of industries.
Meeting safety requirements can be a financial challenge for many small businesses. Melissa Bonds, of Southern Safety Training, believes Safe Day makes it possible for companies to comply with the regulations, without breaking the bank.
"It is terrific," Bonds said. "The service offered during Safe Day for Small Business is invaluable. They would normally have to pay quite a bit of money for the training they can get here."
For more information about Safe Day or other training offered through the Troy University Continuing Education Center, contact Mary Davis at 334-983-0005.
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