U.S. Department of Labor Renews OSHA Training Agreement with KSC
KEENE, N.H. 12/11/02 - U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced today that Keene State College will continue to operate the Region I (New England) OSHA Training Institute Education Center, in Manchester, N.H., which offers courses on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and occupational safety and health issues. Keene State was awarded a five-year cooperative agreement, with a five-year renewal, to run one of 20 national OSHA Training Institute Education Centers.
Keene State was selected through a national competition that was announced in February. Evaluation criteria included occupational safety and health experience, nonacademic training background, classroom and laboratory availability, and the ability to provide training throughout the New England region. OSHA provides no funding to the education centers. The centers support their OSHA training through tuition and fees.
“This decision affirms the quality of the safety training programs offered by the Region 1 Education Center for the past eight years,” says Dr. Stanley Yarosewick, president of Keene State College. “In partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor-OSHA, Keene State can continue to offer timely, top- quality workplace safety programs for safety professionals throughout New England. The OSHA program compliments KSC’s highly regarded undergraduate safety program.”
The U.S. Department of Labor has increased its training network from 12 to 20 education centers throughout the country. The additional centers will help meet the increased demand for OSHA training and provide added value to outreach efforts in a variety of areas, including ergonomics, Spanish language courses, and youth initiatives.
“These education centers were selected because they can best support our national training and education mission,” said Chao. “More than 14,500 students were trained at education centers in 2002 alone. We expect the number of students trained by these centers to double over the next two years and to continue to increase substantially each year after that.”
Keene State has seen much growth in OSHA training at the Region I Education Center. Since 1994, when KSC opened the center, OSHA safety training courses have climbed from 6 to 16 courses held at various locations throughout New England. In addition to its Manchester base, the Region I Education Center offers courses in Hartford and North Haven, Conn., Augusta, Maine, Springfield, Mass., Keene, N.H., Portsmouth, R.I., and Burlington, Vt.
As operator of the Region I Education Center, Keene State shoulders the responsibility for training private-sector personnel and federal personnel from agencies outside OSHA.
“Training is key to safety and health,” said OSHA administrator John Henshaw. “The more employers and employees know about hazards and protection, the more injuries, illnesses, and fatalities can be prevented.”
The education centers also assist OSHA in administering its Outreach Training Program, the primary way the agency trains workers in the basics of occupational safety and health. Through the program, individuals who complete a one-week OSHA trainer course are authorized to teach 10- or 30-hour courses in construction or general industry safety and health standards. These individuals go on to train thousands more students each year. In fiscal year 2002, 254,000 people received training from the train-the-trainer program.