Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Updated OSHA training emphasizes workers' rights

OSHA has announced that they have made serious changes to the OSHA 10 and 30 hour training program.  This new updated version of the Outreach program will require an Intro to OSHA section which emphasizes workers' rights, and employer responsibilities.  I have attached the official OSHA statement below.

WASHINGTON - "Introduction to OSHA," a new training component emphasizing workers' rights, is required content in every OSHA 10- and 30-hour Outreach Training Program class. OSHA developed the information in support of the Secretary of Labor's goal of strengthening the voice of workers.

This information affects hundreds of thousands of workers who complete Outreach Training Program classes each year, and more than 50,000 authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers. It focuses on the importance of workers' rights and advises them of their right to

safe and healthful workplaces

know about the presence and effects of hazardous chemicals

review information about injuries and illnesses in their workplaces

receive training

request/file for an OSHA inspection and participate in the inspection

be free from retaliation for exercising their safety and health rights

"For too long workers have avoided making claims of unsafe work conditions out of fear of losing their jobs," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "We are confident that this new training will embolden workers to speak up when they find work practices that endanger their lives and the lives of their co-workers."

During the 10- and 30-hour outreach training program classes, OSHA trainers will cover topics on whistleblower rights and filing a complaint, and will provide samples of a weekly fatality and catastrophe report, material data safety sheet and the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Trainers can obtain test and answer sheets from their authorizing training organization.

The OSHA Outreach Training Program is a voluntary program that seeks to teach workers about their rights and how to identify, reduce, avoid and prevent job-related hazards. The program includes 10- and 30-hour courses in construction, general or maritime industry safety and health hazard recognition and prevention that is taught through a network of OSHA-authorized trainers. Over the past three years, nearly two million students have received training through this program.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

DOL Provides $27 Million to help with oil spill training and placement

Ever since the oil spill, I have been saying, "We ought to find a way to make OSHA Training and HAZWOPER Certification courses free for oil spill volunteers."  Of course, BP has been funding some courses, but not nearly enough to cover the entire clean-up program.  Thanks to a generous grant from the Department of Labor (DOL), free training and job placement has become a reality.  Below, I have attached the official statement from the DOL/OSHA.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a total of $27 million in National Emergency Grant awards to four key states to assist workers along the Gulf Coast who have been displaced as a result of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The states are Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

"Working families in the Gulf Coast have been dealt a tremendous blow by this oil spill, and they are facing serious long-term challenges. They need and deserve our help now," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "From the start, we have been actively engaged in ensuring workers tackling the cleanup are kept safe and healthy. These grants will help those still looking for work find jobs that are good, safe and will help the region's economy get back on track."

The funds are being granted to workforce agencies in the four states experiencing economic hardship as a result of wage decline and job loss in the shrimping, fishing, hospitality and tourism industries. Alabama and Mississippi each will receive $5 million. Florida will receive $7 million, and Louisiana will receive $10 million.

The resources are being provided to the states to increase their capacity to help workers now while they seek reimbursement from BP for the costs associated with retraining and re-employment assistance. Services funded by the grant money may include skills assessment, basic skills training, individual career counseling and occupational skills training.

Since April, the Labor Department has been involved in the Deepwater Horizon response. The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is deployed across the Gulf Coast monitoring the cleanup and ensuring BP provides appropriate worker safety and health training and protections. Learn more at

The department's Employment and Training Administration has created One-Stop Career Centers where workers can receive information on unemployment insurance and job opportunities posted through the public workforce system. Learn more by calling 877-US2-JOBS (872-5627), 877-872-5627 or 877-889-5627 TTY, or visiting

Additionally, the department's Wage and Hour Division has been on the ground consulting with multiple agencies and interested parties, and providing materials to ensure cleanup workers are paid the wages they deserve.

National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

EPA Lead-Safe Training Program

EPA's RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) Lead-Safe law requires all contractors who's trade will disturb lead paint and dust in homes, schools, medical buildings, or other public job sites built before 1978 must take an 8 hour Lead Paint safety training course.  I am pleased to announce that Easy Safety School is now offering on-site Lead Paint safety training certification courses in select areas.  For more information regarding EPA Lead paint laws and our training and certification courses please visit our EPA Lead Paint Safety Training Certification Course page.