OCSEA member beats the heat for Ohio workers

Posted Jul. 31, 2019 by

As an Industrial Safety Consultant Specialist, Dave Vandergrift has an important job, especially when it comes to extreme temperatures. He’s part of team at the BWC Division of Occupational Health and Safety that teaches employers, both in the private and public sectors, how to keep employees safe on the job. And when it’s hot, their program can be a matter of life and death.

The group of BWC bargaining unit employees from the Division of Safety and Hygiene that include Industrial Safety Consultants, Ergonomists, Industrial Hygienists, and others have put together 385 safety-related classes across 14 locations in the state for private and public employees to learn how to keep employees safe on the job. Included in those classes are ones on Thermal Stress that cover heat and cold stress from exposure to extreme temperatures.

Thermal Stress classes show company managers, safety and health managers and others the signs and symptoms of temperature-related illnesses, how to deal with them, risk factors, and how to avoid extreme temps for employees across Ohio. The classes aren’t just for management, though. OCSEA bargaining unit employees can take the classes, too. Members can create a profile and sign up through using their BWC policy number. That number can be obtained through HR or by contacting the Education Training Services Center 614-466-6375.

Staff regularly completes employer visits and does onsite trainings as well. Besides the Thermal Stress classes, Vandergrift and the division team are also responsible for trainings that include classes like Electrical Basics, Respirator Fit Testing, Train the Trainer, Powered Industrial Trucks, Hazard Communication and many others.

Numerous agency employees are regular users of these trainings including from EPA, ODNR, ODOT and DR&C. In fact, one of the recent courses was used by DR&C employees to gain knowledge pertaining to fentanyl exposure.