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L&C Teams Up with Houston Area Safety Council to Expand Safety Training Offerings

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Article by: Laura Inlow, lgriffith@lc.edu

GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Corporate and Community Learning division is expanding and improving its safety training programs for businesses and trades workers this spring. 

The college has provided these services at a local level on a business-by-business basis through Contractor Safety Orientation and OSHA programming for almost a decade. With the change, however, Lewis and Clark will be administering nationally recognized Basic Orientation Plus® safety training, and its refresher program, as a satellite for the Houston Area Safety Council (HASC). 

“Lewis and Clark’s district encompasses the Wood River refineries and several large manufacturers that bring in approximately 10,000 workers for basic and site specific safety orientations per year. The Houston Area Safety Council is an iconic, global branding for contractor safety,” said CCL Director Kathy Willis. “When it comes to educating workers to avoid injury or death, our values and mission are deeply congruent with those of HASC, and in certain respects, our Contractor Safety Orientation offerings were modeled after Houston’s. Now we are closing any gap by becoming a direct provider of HASC training.”

“The Houston Area Safety Council is honored to be asked to address the St. Louis metropolitan area contractor training needs as expressed by the trades and the Council of Owners and Construction Associates (COCA),” said Luis Aguilar, HASC president and CEO. “This is only possible by forming an alliance with Lewis and Clark’s well established contractor safety programs. This relationship will drive efficiency into the marketplace.”

“Lewis and Clark is the largest workforce training community college in the state of Illinois thanks to our existing partnerships with area industry,” L&C President Dale Chapman said. “We could not be more excited about our collaboration with the Houston Area Safety Council, the service of COCA and the thousands of workers who will benefit with the most contemporary safety skills training on the market. This partnership will open the door to many more job opportunities.” 

Program courseware, created by the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC), meets a significant portion of the OSHA mandated contractor requirements, increases safety-training efficiency for the contract employee due to a reduction in redundant information being presented, and is reciprocally recognized with many other safety councils across the United States.

“For contract workers, ARSC certification will open the gates to many businesses across the country while decreasing the time to tool,” Willis said. “For a business needing contracted services, it provides a greater pool of resources that can be ramped up more quickly to their site specifics. This saves time and money for everyone while ensuring a more uniform, and therefore more effective, safety body of knowledge.”

“The Southwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council supports this new alliance between Lewis and Clark and the Houston Area Safety Council,” said Dale Stewart, the council’s Executive Secretary Treasurer. “We are glad that we have all the owners of COCA organizations abiding by the same safety rules and policies.”

Phase One will be to fully implement HASC training processes and procedures, including the ARSC Basic Orientation Plus®.  In this phase, Lewis and Clark is working with the locally-renowned Council of Owners and Construction Associates to begin instructing and record keeping on workers who complete Basic as well as site-specific training courses and others in the safety curriculum. These regional workers and COCA members will benefit from the agreed-upon standardizations for safety classes, badging and other mutual protocols.

“ARSC training for all of our member institutions has been a dream of COCA for several years,” COCA’s Executive Director Ray Wesley said. “It’s great to see this important step forward become a reality for all of our member institutions.”

In future Phases Two and Three, occupational health testing will be offered. Testing may include respirator fit, pulmonary function, hearing tests, fitness testing, and other testing as requested by the COCA Board.

“When these three phases are fully deployed, Lewis and Clark looks forward to being a ‘one-stop-shop’ for contractor safety orientation needs, which is how things are set up now in Houston,” Willis said. 

“The safety of our workforce, our contractors and our community is one of our core values here at Olin Brass, and we share this value with our partners at LCCC and COCA,” says Olin Brass’ Safety Excellence Coordinator, Joe Wickenhauser. “For years, LCCC has been a key partner in our contractor safety program.  Because all three of our organizations have business models that drive continuous improvement in safety, the Houston Safety Council Contractor Orientation & Training Program is the obvious next step in our journey to safety excellence.” 

Serving the Texas Gulf Coast and beyond, HASC has delivered over 6 million units of safety training and grown from a one-room office to two locations, including a 40,000 square foot facility.  Their membership is comprised of more than 2,700 contractor companies and over 350 owners from the greater Houston Industrial Complex and beyond.

For more information about this program, contact (618) 468-5787.