The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UConn Health has broad experience in designing and implementing innovative and effective occupational health and safety training programs for workers, managers, engineers, and health and safety professionals. Faculty and staff have conducted training sessions and educational programs in ergonomics, indoor air quality, reproductive hazards, bloodborne pathogens, tuberculosis, violence, stress, comprehensive health and safety programs, OSHA standards, biohazard updates, effective health and safety committees and many other topics.
The division emphasizes an integrated approach to occupational health and safety training that combines extensive technical knowledge and expertise with interactive, small-group activities based on case discussions and clear fact sheets written in plain English (which can be translated, if needed). This approach draws on the expertise of the workers and managers and their knowledge of their jobs, hazards and workable solutions, while providing accurate information that they can take back to the workplace for themselves and co-workers.
These on-site training courses can serve as the first step toward developing a sustainable hazard identification and control program in the workplace. We specialize in training small groups of workers and managers to identify hazards, generate solutions, train the workforce and continuously monitor program results.
Examples of On-Site Training Programs
- A series of Control Banding Workshops: “ Control Banding” is a “do-it-yourself” chemical risk management model that builds on health and safety committees' expertise and experience to identify and remedy workplace hazards. The model can be used to complement the traditional air sampling approach to risk assessment. Through hands-on interactive exercises, workshop participants will learn how to use the model so that limited health and safety dollars can be efficiently directed to exposure controls.
- OSHA-funded Susan Harwood training grants for ergonomics, which (1) performed ergonomic awareness training programs in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, (2) conducted two-day Ergonomic Intervention Team training events in Connecticut, and (3) established an email information system on ergonomics for workers, managers and professionals. The Ergonomic Intervention Team training sessions included effective Training of Trainers components that have translated into extensive ergonomic training programs and interventions.
- A 40-hour training program on Comprehensive Health and Safety Programs for companies that had been selected for the OSHA Comprehensive Compliance Program (CCP), which trained worker-manager teams on the CCP elements and OSHA standards, including management commitment and worker participation, hazard recognition and control, ergonomics, safety standards, Internet resources and evaluation of programs.
- Ergonomic training programs for a wide range of employer and union groups, including ESPN, United Technologies, Essex Meadows Nursing Home, Catholic Health East health care network, UConn Health, the Hartford Courant, International Association of Machinists/ Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, American Federation of Teachers, several Connecticut state agencies and many others.
- Participation (with the Connecticut Council for Occupational Safety and Health) in a 40-hour Training of Trainers program for the Connecticut Employees Union Independent-SEIU covering confined space, ergonomics, hazardous substances, hazard communication, and many other job health and safety topics.
- Training on the health effects and standards concerning asbestos exposure for state employees who were exposed to asbestos during maintenance and renovation projects for the Connecticut Department of Public Works and the state Department of Children and Families.
Examples of Training Outside the Workplace
The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the ErgoCenter and the Center for Indoor Environments and Health have extensive experience leading professional training sessions and workshops. Many of these included continuing medical education (CME) credits for health care providers. The following list highlights some of the programs with which we have been involved:
- Course for physicians, “Mold and Moisture: Guidance for Clinicians”
- Workshops for public health professionals and sanitarians on mold and moisture in indoor environments
- Training programs at meetings of local chapters of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Health Clinics and many other professional organizations
- Grand rounds for health care institutions on topics including ergonomics, occupational disease, workers' compensation, allergy, mold and moisture and tuberculosis
- Lectures to medical students on subjects including occupational reproductive hazards, occupational health law, occupational health and safety and indoor environment issues
- Presentations at numerous professional conferences, including the American Occupational and Environmental Health conference and the American Public Health Association