By Marg Stark
From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, organizations with robust workplace safety programs can reduce worker injuries and boost their bottom lines.
That’s good news considering that more than 3 million American workers reported on-the-job injuries last year costing employers nearly $200 billion, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To help improve workplace safety and enhance employee productivity, UC San Diego Extension is inviting regional employers to participate in multiple free classes and workshops being offered at the 2017 Pacific Coast Safety Fest on March 7 through 9 in San Diego and Oahu, Hawaii.
UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center, one of a handful of authorized institutions on the West Coast and one of only 26 nationwide, is co-hosting Safety Fest along with federal OSHA’s Region IX area office.
“This annual event is open to the public and is designed to create safer job sites and increase the number of OSHA-trained workers in our region,” said Dr. Grace Miller, Director of UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center.
While huge strides have been made in protecting workers in U.S. factories, hospitals, construction sites and other workplaces over the last few decades, she said even one death on the job is one too many, and nearly all workplace injuries are preventable.
“If the education and training information offered at Safety Fest helps prevent a serious injury or saves just one life, it is well-worth attending,” said Dr. Miller.
In addition to saving employees’ lives and limbs, she said job-site safety is a “business growth strategy,” a cost-effective way for employers to improve both productivity and profits.
“Focusing on the health and safety of our region’s workforce is good for workers and good for businesses,” said Dr. Miller.
Demand for Safety Fest and other OSHA safety training classes has grown three-fold in the last few years, noted Dr. Miller, who has seen the annual event expand from a one-day, one-location program first held in 2005 to its current multi-day format offered in cities throughout the western United States.
This year’s Safety Fest will offer a variety of classes on safety standards and best practices in key industries as well as general presentations on the latest OSHA rules, regulations and training requirements. Other topics will include hazard recognition, accident investigation, job hazard analysis and whistleblower complaints.
The impact of terrorist threats on companies’ emergency planning and evacuation programs will headline one of the many workshops at San Diego Safety Fest, said Brandon Phillips, an event instructor and EHS Safety Manager at Continental Tide Defense Systems Inc.
“This is a great opportunity to network with other professionals and get the latest on training equipment, products and online tools,” said Phillips.
According to Hawaii Safety Fest instructor Joaquin Diaz, the event allows area professionals to engage with area experts on issues critical to the local workforce, including compliance and regulatory challenges.
“Participants can learn practical applications to improve the safety conditions in their work environments,” said Diaz, Health, Safety and Environmental Director at Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co.
In San Diego, the Pacific Coast Safety Fest will be held March 7 and 8 at UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center, 6256 Greenwich Drive.
On Oahu, the three-day event is slated for March 7 through 9 at the Construction Training Center of the Pacific, located at 94-487 Akoki St. in Waipahu.
Space is limited and advanced registration is required. All participants will receive credit for authorized OSHA Education Center classes and a certificate of attendance for all completed workshops and seminars.
For more information, visit the Pacific Coast Safety Fest 2017 website at www.pacificsafetyfest.com or call UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center at 800-358-9206.
About the UC San Diego’s OSHA Department and Training Institute Education Center
UC San Diego’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Department is focused on providing high-quality training services for health and safety professionals. UC San Diego’s OSHA Department currently offers: U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center’s authorized courses; UC San Diego developed health and safety courses; and a Safety Professional Certificate program.
The high quality and experienced faculty, in cooperation with esteemed local partners, bring applied safety regulations and curriculum to OSHA Region IX, which includes California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. Additionally, UC San Diego’s OSHA Department provides safety courses to local companies on site. For more information, contact 800-358-9206.