Training center teaching industries how to provide safer workplaces

ASU OSHA Training Center class

Arizona State University is helping businesses, industries, public agencies and private organizations to create safer work environments.

In 2012, ASU was selected to open the Western Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training Institute Education Center as one of a network of such centers established by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The nonprofit center now offers courses and seminars on a wide variety of workplace safety and health topics. It’s housed in the Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs, which is part of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Construction is the largest of the industries that seeks out OSHA training for its managers and supervisors because it is a “high-risk industry that is aware of both the financial and emotional costs associated with accidents and injuries on job sites,” says James Rogers, director of the new center and a faculty associate in the Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs.

“Our courses can help people in all industries learn how to create a safer work environment,” Rogers says. In addition to employees of construction businesses, the center has drawn students from aerospace, chemical processing and manufacturing companies, among others.

ASU was chosen through a national competition to operate the center based on the experience of the university’s faculty and staff in organizational education and administrative, marketing and recruitment capabilities, and the quality of the university’s training facilities.

The Region IX center provides service to Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the island of Guam, and can also offer courses on a contract basis anywhere in the United States.  

Open enrollment courses in extended and continuing education are provided predominantly to industry employers, supervisors, managers and other employees, but are also proving valuable to recent college graduates.

“The classes can build on a recent graduate’s education, giving them in-depth knowledge of OSHA regulations that affect the industries in which they are pursuing careers. The training makes graduates more attractive to employers,” Rogers says.

Course content and presentation by instructors is “consistently high quality and engaging,” says training center graduate Rob Wilson, corporate safety director for Gorman Services, a Phoenix-based construction company that specializes in roofing, water-proofing, asphalt and concrete projects.

“Each session provided an excellent review of the challenges and opportunities inherent in all areas of construction safety while challenging class members to find their own style of training,” Wilson says.

Students are taking the courses to stay current in their job responsibilities, to add a credential to their resumes or to earn designation as an authorized OSHA outreach trainer. The designation permits them to teach 10-hour and 30-hour OSHA courses within their companies.

“As part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the center has access to a tremendous breadth of knowledge that spreads across many industries,” Rogers says. “This range of expertise is enabling us to develop some of the most up-to-date courses in the industry.”

Course graduates earn certificates and continuing education credits from ASU that are widely recognized and accepted by professional licensing agencies and other jurisdictions throughout the United States.

The center has been offering most of its classes at ASU’s Tempe campus and at the nearby ASU Scottsdale SkySong Innovation Center. But there are plans to expand regular classes to Nevada and California in the near future.

Center administrators also plan to announce several additional professional certificate programs.

Costs of classes vary depending on the length of the program. A one-day class costs about $150. A four-day class costs about $845.

Discounts are offered for U.S. military veterans and active members of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and in the near future, discounts may be expanded to ASU students, faculty, staff and alumni. 

Courses are scheduled throughout the year.

Learn more about ASU's OSHA Education Center.

Written by Rosie Gochnour and Joe Kullman