Safety and health training is vital to every workplace and an important part of a safety and health management system. To that end, members of OSHA's Region VI Forth Worth, Texas Area Office worked with the members of the Justice, Safety & Equality in the Workplace Accord (the Accord) that was signed in June 20031 and renewed in January 2008.2 Members of this Accord as well as other local organizations worked together to bring a 10-hour construction training marathon to English and Spanish speakers in Fort Worth, Texas.
In addition to staff from the Region VI Fort Worth Area Office and members of the Accord, representatives from the Tarrant County College (TCC) helped plan and facilitate the event, and instructors from OSHA's Region VI Regional and Dallas Area Offices, Texas Engineering Extension Service and the Southwest Education Center (an OSHA Education Center) volunteered their time to teach. Other volunteer instructors were from the Quoin chapter (Dallas, Fort Worth and East Texas) of the Associated General Contractors of America, Hispanic Contractors Association, and from private construction contractors. Planning for the October 20, 2007 event required about 170 hours over 6 months.
All of the volunteer instructors presented the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program to 736 English and Spanish-speaking students in one day. The course is usually given over a 2-day period to 25-35 students; during this event, each student stayed in his/her classroom while the instructors rotated among classrooms. Eleven volunteers orchestrated the movement of the 37 instructors as they rotated through the classrooms at TCC's Northwest Campus. Instruction was provided in Spanish for the 505 Spanish speakers and English for the 231 English speakers. The course was designed for construction workers, construction foremen, superintendents and project managers. Topics covered included an introduction to OSHA; electrical hazards; scaffolding; stairways and ladders; hand tools, power tools, and material handling; fall protection; personal protective equipment (PPE); cranes and forklifts; excavations; and health hazards in construction. All students received the OSHA 10-Hour Construction card for successful completion of the course.
Breakfast and lunch for all participants including the instructors was donated by a non-profit organization called Compasion. The time for the facility and campus support staffs was donated by TCC.
According to Dean Wingo, Assistant Regional Administrator for Cooperative and State Programs, Region VI Dallas, Texas Regional Office, "This concept was first tried in Dallas with the Richland Community College and resulted in approximately 450 people receiving the training. In Fort Worth, our effort involved a number of OSHA partners. In one day, we trained 736 workers in construction safety. Of course, you know everything we do in Texas is bigger."
As of March 2008.
1Signatories of the Accord were the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas, the Consulate General of El Salvador in Dallas, the Catholic Charities of Dallas, Inc., The Dallas Concilio, the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, the City of Dallas Police Department – Office of Community of Affairs, the Casa del Immigrante and the League of United Latin American Citizens.
2Signatories of the Accord are the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division, the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Consulate General of El Salvador, the Consulate General of Peru, the Catholic Charities of Dallas, the Dallas Concilio, the City of Dallas Police Department-Office of Community Affairs, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Mosaic Family Services and Texas Department of Insurance.
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