Get OSHA-certified and get a leg up on safety, hazardous materials protocol

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Some new training at the Auburn One-Stop Career Center offers the opportunity to gain Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification in construction safety, health and handling of hazardous materials. Administered by the Northern California Teamsters Apprentice Training and Education Trust Fund, the program has been around since 1990. “It is just now coming to the fore where training is becoming more important and job sites are requiring it,” program executive director Troy Ohlhausen said Monday. “With the explosion of unemployment, we see more people wanting to get the skills they need to gain employment.” In the past the Teamsters have focused training on union members. Funding comes from the National Institutes of Health Science. “We are now expanding this because it is federal monies,” Ohlhausen said. “We are expanding it to anyone who needs it as long as we have the funds from the grants to do it.” The first class, on April 3, focused on hazardous material awareness. “This is for people in any area who handle any type of hazardous material,” instructor David Ordorica explained. The course covers handling of gases and chemicals. “It is not only for the working person,” Ordorica said. “It is knowledge for the person at home — knowing about carbon monoxide poisoning and chemical compatibility.” It not only applies to the big rig driver hauling gases or chemicals. It’s also encompasses general home-cleaning materials. “Mixing (the cleaning materials) can be dangerous. It can create poisonous substances,” he said. A second course — a two-day, 10-hour class on OSHA construction safety and health outreach —will be held April 13 and 14. It covers general safety — electrical, operating equipment and fall protection, Ordorica said. Attendees will also receive hands-on training on a self-contained breathing apparatus — known as SCBA. Those who complete the training will get an OSHA 10-hour certification card. A 40-hour OSHA health and safety program is also planned, although a date hasn’t been set, Ohlhausen said. It includes an OSHA course certification good for one year. Refresher training is available to extend the certification. The courses are free including materials. Training is also available in Spanish. Jan Paul, employment specialist at Auburn One-Stop Career Center, cautioned that the classes are not affiliated with any job-locator program. “Many contractors and jurisdictions require workers to take the course on OSHA standards,” Paul said. “Taking the course won’t ensure getting a job, but it will satisfy one of the requirements.” Ohlhausen agrees. “I believe that any certification or extra knowledge you have will get you above the other people,” he said. “If you can include these certifications, it will help you in the long run.” Ohlhausen and Ordorica work out of a Rancho Murieta-based office that handles training for all of Northern California and is part of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Health & Safety Department. The program also includes commercial driver and construction vehicle driver training as well as other HAZMAT and safety courses. Ordorica, a foothills resident who has been teaching the classes for a number of years, approached Paul about offering the courses at the career center. “I enjoy letting people know what’s out there that’s dangerous to them, and showing them how to be safe and minimize exposure, and what to do in case of emergency,” he said. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia. com or comment at ------------ OSHA class What: 10-hour class on OSHA construction safety and health outreach When: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, April 13 and 14 Where: One–Stop Career Center, 11548 E Ave., DeWitt Center in North Auburn Web site: Call: (530) 823-4631 for more information and reservations