OTC’s Center for Workforce Development will soon begin offering OSHA-approved confined space training courses at no cost to local businesses.
The classes, which are expected to begin in February, will be provided through a Susan Harwood Training Grant from the federal agency.
“We have been wanting to expand our job training programs to better fit industry needs here in the region. This new expanded OSHA training program will ensure our workforce is not only a skilled workforce but one with safety-first skill sets,” said Dawn Busick, executive director of the Center for Workforce Development.
Reggie Hoskins, CWD’s workforce specialist business manager, said working in confined spaces is a high-risk job and it’s crucial that all employees involved in a confined space entry understand the potential hazards and strictly adhere to the work practices and entry procedures.
Confined spaces include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines.
The training is required annually by OSHA for persons supervising confined space entry, employees entering and working within a confined space, and those persons tasked with assisting with the entry, but not actually entering themselves.
Hoskins said the training could be done at the Center for Workforce Development, 614 N. Washington, or at a company site where classes could be scheduled according to the availability of employees.
An enclosed confined-space trainer is being built at the center to teach how to enter a storage vessel from above and the side. A hoist will also be installed to teach rescue awareness with the use of a 165-pound dummy.
There are three modules to the training and company employees can take any or all of the modules as long as the prerequisites have been met. The three modules take a day to complete.
Even when the grant money runs out, CWD will continue to offer the training, Hoskins said.
“We are very excited to begin offering the training and hope that many local companies will take advantage of this offer,” Hoskins said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications for Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at email@example.com.
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