Last modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Indiana University, University of Wisconsin partner to offer federal safety training
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 16, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University and its partner, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, were selected as one of eight new education centers to provide training for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The selection will allow the consortium, led by IU and the Safety Program in IU Bloomington's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, to provide health and safety training to private-sector and federal employees throughout OSHA's Region V, which encompasses Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
"It's been recognized that safety, productivity and profitability go hand in hand for businesses," said Cheryl Holmes, senior lecturer in HPER's Department of Applied Health Science and program director for the new Heartland Safety and Health Education Center. "By increasing the safety knowledge of citizens of the state, we're adding to their desirability as employees."
The center, which will be the first in Indiana and one of 27 nationwide, is required to offer OSHA's Outreach Education Program in construction and general industry standards but also can expand to address other safety and health topics. The center anticipates offering classes this summer on IU's Bloomington and New Albany campuses and at select locations in Wisconsin. It has the opportunity to expand in the future by offering courses on any of the IU campuses and other locations throughout Indiana, Wisconsin and the rest of Region V.
"The Heartland Center will provide a high-quality outlet for necessary safety and health training for the citizens of the state of Indiana," Holmes said. "Prior to this, Indiana residents had to travel out of state for the training."
This will be the first education center in Wisconsin, as well. E. Andrew Kapp, associate professor of occupational and environmental safety and health at UW-Whitewater, said they have the ability to reach the entire state because of the UW's integrated university system, which consists of 13 4-year universities, 13 2-year colleges, and a statewide extension service.
"Together with the extensive resources of IU, we expect our center to have a major impact on the quality and availability of safety and health training throughout the region," Kapp said.
HPER's Safety Program offers various levels of safety management education, including a bachelor's and master's degree. Students also can pursue a doctorate degree in applied health science with an option in safety management. The Safety Program offers courses on the Bloomington and New Albany campuses. Students will be able to take the OSHA courses in addition to college credit safety and health classes.
The Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety & Health at UW-Whitewater offers bachelor's and master's degrees in Occupational Safety and Health and includes coursework covering a wide range of subjects including ergonomics, accident prevention, security, and environmental protection.
The OSHA Training Institute Education Centers program was created in 1992 to complement the OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, Ill., which is OSHA's premier training provider, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The OTI Education Centers trained more than 27,000 people during the 2007 fiscal year.
The new centers were selected through a national competition. Applicant organizations were evaluated based on occupational safety and health experience, continuing education training background, classroom and laboratory availability and the ability to provide training throughout the region. OSHA provides no funding to the education centers. They support their OSHA training through their normal tuition and fee structures.
The OTI Education Centers also will assist the agency in administering the OSHA Outreach Training Program, which is the agency's primary method of training employees in the basics of occupational safety and health. The centers are the principal distribution channel for the Outreach Trainer courses, which cover construction and general industry standards and hazard identification.