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Front Page » April 1, 2008 » Local News » Safety Fest major success in '08
Published 2,427 days ago

Safety Fest major success in '08


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Community editor

Rick Callor discusses the finer points of safety within OSHA's 10 hour Construction Training at the Safety Fest.

Providing 28 classes with 17 separate instructors over three days the Western Energy Training Center continued to grow its annual safety fest from March 25 through the 28. The event conducted at the College of Eastern Utah's WETC facilities near the Carbon Power Plant trained over 200 individuals in all things energy and the safe manner in which to produce it.

"This safety fest was dedicated to both household and the industry safety matters," said WETC Director of Development Robert Litster. "We believe in the slogan safety begins with training and we had three great days of training."

According to Litster, who also participated as an instructor during the three day session, the energy industry is reaching a critical mass both with the age of its employees and the technology that continues to automate every aspect of the sector.

"Technology continues to tackle many problems within the industry," said Litster. "A coal mining crew consisted of eight to 10 guys not that long ago and now we are seeing crews closer to four or five, It is all becoming automated. But men still have to run a great deal of equipment and the better training we can provide the less accidents the industry will see."

Litster reported that a major goal of the training center is to teach behavioral safety leading to less and less workmen's comp claims.

"The key to safety is changing a person's mind set, their behaviors," said Litster. "Good leaders and good teams is what leads to good safety."

CEU's Bob Setzer allows a Bloodborn Pathogens student to revive him during training in the WETC's Hiawatha room.

Other CEU staff teaching courses during the safety fest included:

•Dr. Robert Topping, who works as the WETC's Department Chair and Campus Administrator. Topping gave classes on the cycles of safety while conducting the event.

•John H. McCurdy, who retired from the energy industry after 35 years of service. He now works as a program coordinator for the Energy Process Technology program at the WETC and gave instruction while students navigated the Power Plant Simulator during the safety fest's first day.

•Robert W. Setzer, who is currently employed by the Southeast Applied Technology College provided several classes on bloodborn pathogens and first aid.

Other presenters included; Jerry Carlson; Randy Mabbutt, a full time WETC instructor, Natalie Nance from Blue Lines services and manages client integration and training for the center; Tom Kerns who is the Electrical Systems and Compliance Program; Jeff Jones of ConocoPhillips who instructed on behavioral safety; Rick Callor from the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists; Arron Moore from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Willie Piispanen who focused on ergonomics in the workplace; Evelyn Partner who also works with OSHA and taught OSHA record keeping; Mike Gurule who specializes in truck driving; Don Taylor who instructed on fleet safety and Brad Fowler who demonstrated the use and abuse of rigging and slings.

Litster also stressed the opportunities that are available for those looking for employment in the energy industy.

"People were made aware that there is opportunity in the industry and that safety is a key part of that opportunity," concluded Litster. "Every employer wants a safe employee and the WETC wants to promote the development of a safe community."


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