The U.S. Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, trained 18 Operations Division employees in a week-long, in-house general industry safety course in Tuscaloosa, Ala., June 12-16, saving the district nearly $30,000, while also focusing on Corps-specific topics.
“Having the ability to provide in-house trainers not only provides a cost-effective option to our employees, but allows for interaction between the Safety Office and Operations Division personnel,” said Matthew Scott, chief of Safety and Occupational Health. “This interaction is invaluable as it allows District-specific safety issues to be discussed and ultimately strengthens the District's Safety and Occupational Health program.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, 30-hour course provided an overview of OSHA general industry standards, while incorporating Corps-specific requirements with the overall goal of creating a safer work environment for contractor and Corps employees.
The course was offered to Corps employees at no tuition costs and was provided by in-house safety instructors. Shawn Mallory, industrial hygienist, served as the lead instructor, while Scott and Stephen Pierce, safety and occupational health specialist, assisted with specific course modules. A similar version of this course is offered by the Corps’ Proponent Sponsored Engineer Corps Training (PROSPECT) Program, where tuition costs for the fiscal year 2017 is $1,525 and listed costs for fiscal year 2018 course will be $1,840.
Drew Hall, a civil engineer from the Irvington, Ala., site said he mostly deals with dredging and the information provided during the course will come in handy when he’s inspecting work being done by contractors.
“First, it’s important that everyone’s being safe,” said Hall. “And the course gave me a lot of the most current information about how to check site safety. The more we know, the better equipped we are to keep people from getting injured. Second, I have to check production, to make sure the government is getting the right bang for its buck.”
This was Shay Shaulis’ first time attending this type of course. Shaulis, a journeyman mechanic from the Jones Bluff Powerhouse in Selma, Ala., said the best part of the course was the ability to have instructors immediately available.
“We can ask questions of the safety engineers here, on site, to clarify topics relating to our specific facility,” he said. “I have a whole book full of notes to take back with me.”