OSHA Selects RIT for New Training and Education Center




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University starts workplace safety training this summer

A more productive workforce, less downtime and fewer fines. Combined, these factors keep demand high for those with the skills to ensure the safety of workers on the job, benefiting both employees and employers.

Beginning this summer, Rochester Institute of Technology will increase the pool of specialists in occupational safety and health through training offered by a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration Training Institute Education Center. OSHA selected RIT as a primary training site, one of two serving a region comprising New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The U.S. Department of Labor says demand for occupational safety and health specialists will grow through 2010 for positions in government, hospitals, schools, manufacturing firms and public utilities. Theyíre needed to promote safe work environments by identifying hazardous conditions; inspecting and testing machinery, personal protective equipment, lighting and dangerous-materials storage; helping to implement programs to limit risks to workers; and training managers, supervisors and employees on health and safety practices and regulations.

The RIT center will draw engineers, managers, safety directors and others associated with construction and manufacturing in western New York for training in chemical handling, construction safety, emergency response and evacuation planning, ergonomics and respiratory protection, says Jennifer Schneider, RIT assistant professor of environmental management and safety and an instructor of courses to be offered through the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at RIT.

"The education is tailored for the workforce," Schneider says.

The RIT center, one of 20 nationwide, will offer a complete schedule of courses beginning this October, says Kitren VanStrander, director of managed academic programs in RITís College of Applied Science and Technology and center director.

"The additional centers will help meet an increasing demand for OSHA training," says Elaine Chao, U.S. secretary of labor. "We expect the number trained by these centers to double over the next two years and to continue to increase substantially each year after that."

Adds John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor of occupational safety and health, "Expanding our education centers allows us to reach more people with information that can protect their safety and save lives."

Note: For more information on the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at RIT, visit http://www.rit.edu/~map (under construction through January).

Note: RITís College of Applied Science and Technology, the largest of eight colleges at RIT, offers programs in civil engineering technology/environmental management and safety; electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering technology; hospitality and service management; manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology; packaging science and multidisciplinary studies. The college, a leader in outreach education including online learning, corporate education and international programming, is home to RITís American College of Management and Technology in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Founded in 1829 and located in western New York state, RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging, technology, fine and applied arts, and education for the deaf. RIT enrolls 15,000 students in more than 240 undergraduate and graduate programs.

For the past decade, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nationís leading comprehensive universities. RIT is also included in Yahoo! Internet Lifeís Top 100 Wired Universities, Fiskís Guide to Americaís Best Colleges and Barronís Best Buys in Education.

To connect with RIT faculty experts, visit RITís online experts database, searchable by name and topic, at http://www.rit.edu/news (select "RIT Experts").