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Local college hosting occupational safety training course next month

Idaho Falls

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The following is a news release from the College of Eastern Idaho.

IDAHO FALLS — College of Eastern Idaho has partnered with Safety Fest of the Great Northwest to provide free occupational safety and health training to the workforce and employers of eastern Idaho through the Idaho Falls Safety Fest event.

The first annual Idaho Falls Safety Fest, sponsored by INL and Bateman Hall, Inc. will be held on March 19-21 at College of Eastern Idaho. Idaho Falls Safety Fest is an annual training event that offers free safety and health training courses to workers, supervisors, and managers of all levels. This benefit is offered to the community to provide safety and health training in an effort to help reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The focus is on keeping these courses free so that local small businesses with minimal or non-existent training budgets never have to suffer because of a lack of access to safety training.

Registration begins on February 11 and will remain open until the classes are filled. Employers and employees who wish to attend the courses must sign up through the College Workforce Training and Continuing Education web site.

Class sizes are limited so interested individuals are encouraged to register early.

Last year in eastern Idaho, there were several severe occupational accidents that resulted in at least two deaths and left a few workers with injury-related issues for life. One of the root causes of these accidents is a lack of knowledge and training in the proper safety requirements necessary for employees to protect themselves and their co-workers.

“Developing a safety culture is an absolute necessity,” Aaron Johnson, Partner at Bateman Hall said. “Many of us, especially in this close-knit community, think of our employees as family. Keeping them safe should be our highest priority. Making this commitment to change must start at the top. To be clear, having a proactive safety program is not a burden. It is one of the smartest investments a contractor can make.”

The event will include safety classes related to Commercial and Residential Construction, General Industry, Management, Public Safety, and Regulatory Compliance including OSHA 10-hour, 8-hour HAZWOPER Refresher, ATSSA Flagging, NFPA 70E, First Aid/CPR training and more. The event will also have a vendor showcase, simulators, and other demonstrations. Supporting sponsors include Eastern Idaho Safety Consultants, Edge Construction Supply and Fisher’s Technology.

The inaugural Safety Fest of the Great Northwest event was held in 2005. The program was open at no charge to all contractors and workers in the Intermountain Northwest. Attendees came from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah and program costs were supported by donations and a one-day safety vendor show. Founding partners for Safety Fest of the Great Northwest include Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center, Idaho Transportation Department, OSHA, US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Idaho Associated General Contractors, Region 5 VPP and IHTACT2.

Over the years, there was a tremendous growth of the annual event as it continued to serve the worker training needs of the region. In 2019, there are five Safety Fest events scheduled across Idaho throughout the year, including Boise, Twin Falls, Post Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello and now in Idaho Falls.

The success of the program comes down to some basic foundations:

  • Free quality training for workers from small and medium-sized companies, government agencies, and community organizations;
  • The support of the Founding Partners and the commercial vendors who provide in-kind contributions and support, plus financial support that covers event and material costs; and
  • Volunteer instructors, conference planners and event workers provided by the Founding Partners and other organizations and institutions.