According to OSHA's Region V Milwaukee, Wisconsin (WI), Area Office, its one-day low-cost ($10 including a box lunch) Safety Days are an effective way to reach out to small Milwaukee-area businesses in general industry that need help implementing safety and health programs and complying with the Agency's regulations. The Office's Area Director, George Yoksas thought that such a seminar might grow into a major event when its 1st Annual Safety Day in June 2004 garnered more than 120 attendees who listened to more than 15 presentations. At the 2nd Annual Safety Day in June 2005, more than 175 attendees listened to more than 20 presentations. The presentations lasted about 45 minutes and covered a number of topics including machine and press guarding, lockout/tagout, recordkeeping, bloodborne pathogens, confined spaces, flammable liquids, walking/working surfaces, ergonomics, safety program assessment and management, emergency procedures, respirators, hazard recognition, personal protective equipment, and process safety management.
The Milwaukee Area Office staff created a Response Team, which planned, developed, promoted and presented this event. The Team's first activities involved enlisting the participation of the other members of the Area Office, the Regional Office, and the Region's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) participants. The Regional Office provided a presentation by Dana Root, Region V Ergonomist. A VPP participant, General Electric (GE) Healthcare, provided speakers on three different topics and along with Miller Brewing Company and Rockwell Automation provided support by having members of their safety committees on hand to network with the smaller companies. The Miller Brewing Company also provided the refreshments and, along with other companies, contributed door prizes. The Consultation Program encouraged several safety supply vendors to hold a small expo of safety products and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) participant Schoenick Container made a presentation. The University of Phoenix (in Wisconsin) provided classroom space for the seminar and participated as a vendor in both Safety Days. OSHA Team members Belen Earling and Kenneth Lee found co-sponsors, developed signage and arranged for the box lunches.
Publicity for the event contributed to its success. The Team sent a flyer to each business in the Milwaukee area with 100 or fewer employees and advertised the event in local newspapers. One Team member appeared on a telethon for local public television station, and the station advertised the event. The Team also developed banners, signs and posters which were displayed at safety and industrial supply companies as well as at the entrance to the University of Phoenix.
The 1st and 2nd Annual Safety Days were huge successes judging from the numerous positive comments and post-event evaluations received by the Milwaukee Area Office. In addition, many manufacturers and companies that were not a part of the 1st and 2nd Annual Safety Days have expressed a desire to help with the 3rd Annual Safety Day, which is being planned by the Area Office. George Yoksas says "The Milwaukee Area Office and Region V look forward to continuing and expanding this outreach effort to small employers. The use of a proactive non-adversarial interactive forum leads to a better understanding of OSHA's mission and a safer and more healthful workplace."
For additional information about this Regional Showcase Story, please contact Patrick Ostrenga, Compliance Assistance Specialist, at the Region V Milwaukee Area Office.Back to Top
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