The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training center at Metropolitan Community College’s Business & Technology campus has a new name, as of Oct. 1.
The new name is Great Plains OSHA Education Center. It was previously known as Region VII OSHA Training Institute Education Center. The center at MCC will serve as the lead organization in a new consortium that includes St. Louis University and Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kan.
James Wellman, director of the Great Plains center, said it will be the only such facility in OSHA’s Region VII, which serves Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Based on current performance numbers, he said, the MCC center will be the third-largest OSHA training center in the country.
OSHA training provides those who take courses with up-to-date knowledge (and continuing education credits) on the latest workplace regulations. And that training helps companies assure compliance with OSHA requirements.
“We consider the OTI Education Centers Program to be an essential component in OSHA’s mission to prevent work-related job injuries, illnesses, and fatalities,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Loren Sweatt wrote in a recent letter to Wellman.
Some OSHA classes last half a day. Others “go into a lot more depth on specific OSHA regulations,” Wellman says. Like “Cranes in Construction,” a three-day class. Or four-day courses on respiratory protection and machine guarding requirements.
The most popular course: the four-day sessions that cover OSHA regulatory requirements for either general industry/manufacturing or the construction industry.
MCC’s Great Plains OSHA Education Center offers 46 courses in all. It trained 1,126 people in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That is a 5 percent increase over the previous year and represents the second highest total in the MCC center’s history.
The OSHA center here works with eight host training organizations across Region VII. These are typically two-year schools — such as Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., and Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield — that host OSHA training courses.
The volume of contract training with area businesses that send employees here has increased over the last two years to the point that it accounts for 53 percent of all students trained by the center.
In addition to workers sent to OSHA training by their employers and people who sign up on their own, you’ll also find MCC students in these courses who are working on associate degrees or certificates in environmental health and safety.
There are 26 OSHA education centers across the country.
MCC’s OSHA center holds the distinction of being one of the first four OSHA education centers in the country, started in 1992. MCC’s center is also one of only three that have been in continuous operation since that year, Wellman says.