The City of Columbia, Mo. is taking the initiative where the safety of its workers is concerned.
This month, the City finalized an agreement with Metropolitan Community College to provide OSHA training to over 300 employees in its water and electric division.
“We have always had safety standards and in-house training to keep our workers safe. But we wanted to go the extra mile where safety is concerned since working on electric and water systems can be very dangerous,” said Ryan Williams, assistant director at Columbia Water & Light. “This training will keep our safety practices consistent with national standards, and ensure all of our employees have a basic level of safety training.”
Training is not limited to field personnel who work on the utility’s infrastructure. Administrative and office staff will also be trained.
Customized coursework will be delivered at Columbia Water & Light locations by MCC’s OSHA trainers and will take place over the next one to two years. Columbia Water & Light employees will learn OSHA standards, including topics such as industrial hygiene, hazardous materials, ergonomics, respiratory protection, machinery and machine guarding standards, documentation and other safety topics to promote a healthful work environment.
“Public sector workers are not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. I commend Columbia Water & Light for their commitment to such extensive safety training for their employees. We are extremely pleased to partner with Columbia Water & Light in this important initiative,” said Jim Wellman, director of the Region VII OSHA Training Institute Education Center (OTIEC) at MCC.
The OTIEC is a federally-authorized training facility that serves the four-state region of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. In addition to providing contract training for companies and organizations, the OTIEC also provides professional development for individual safety professionals.