'Well-being of our employees is what it's all about,' says safety trainer
July 23, 2010
- Training in occupational safety and health is federally mandated.
- Students are alerted to common chemicals found in the workplace.
- Safe storage of chemical products and dealing with accidents is part of the training.
- A "train-the-trainer" class is for supervisors.
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. Aca,!" Quarterly classes in occupational safety and health were given July 22 at the Tin Barn auditorium for members of the Presidio workforce.
A one-hour iteration of Aca,!A"Hazard Communications General Awareness," (HCGA) and two-hour blocks of instruction for Aca,!A"General Safety and Occupational Health (SOH) Orientation for New Supervisors and ManagersAca,!A? and Aca,!A"Hazard Communications Train-the-Trainer" (HCTT) were conducted in sequence throughout the day by Joe Alfonso, Acting Occupational Safety and Health Manager for the Presidio of Monterey Garrison Safety Office.
Aca,!A"The health and well-being of our employees is what the training is all about,Aca,!A? Alfonso said.
He said the Hazardous Communications class, designed for all civilians employed at the Presidio and Defense Foreign Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), alerts participants to chemicals they might encounter in the federal workplace -- chemicals likely to be found in office supplies, cleaning fluids, pesticides, lubricants and other common substances. Employees are apprised of the potential hazards of the chemicals and learn safe ways to store them and to deal with accidental spills and hazardous exposure.
The Aca,!A"Hazard Communications Train-the-TrainerAca,!A? class covers the same subjects but is designed for first-line supervisors and collateral-duty safety officers. The objective is to prepare them to be training resources who can impart the chemical safety information to employees they supervise.
The Aca,!A"General SOH OrientationAca,!A? is a broader course in workplace safety and is required for all new managers and supervisors.
Training federal employees in occupational safety and health is a requirement under federal law and is tied in to the PresidioAca,!a,,cs Safety and Occupational Health Strategic Plan. Alfonso said that as a safety officer he has a personal stake in the training effort.
Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm a true believer that knowledge is power,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"Giving employees the knowledge they need to take care of themselves contributes to accident prevention.Aca,!A?
Alfonso said his interest in occupational safety and health began when he was on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, in which he served for 22 years. As a civilian he completed the Joint Services Occupational Safety and Health Intern Program and went to work at the MarinesAca,!a,,c Camp Pendleton in southern California. He also worked as Tactical Safety Specialist and Program Manager at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in the Eastern Sierras. He has been employed at the Presidio for four years.