POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – Idaho State University Continuing Education and Workforce Training (CEWT) signed an agreement with the Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center at the University of Washington to be the location host for the center’s OSHA classes.
ISU’s Pocatello campus provides the opportunity to offer OSHA training in southern Idaho. The availability of locally hosted training saves area employers time and money. The OSHA classes are taught by area instructor, Ed Woodford. Woodford’s background in safety instruction dates back three decades.
Woodford began his career in industrial and safety instruction in 1992 with the passing of the Federal Facilities Compliance Act, which mandates OSHA compliance in all federal agencies. At the time, he was a bomb disposal instructor for the military and was obligated to understand and follow OSHA regulations.
After retirement Ed worked as a consultant providing HAZWOPER Training for the Department of Justice and FBI. He also taught Construction Health and Safety training to the Corps of Engineers and other corporations. Five years ago, the Pacific Northwest OSAHA Education Center approached Woodford and asked if he would be interested in becoming the regional OSHA trainer for Eastern Idaho. Woodford accepted the offer and, per the agreement between ISU and WSU, found himself teaching the courses at ISU.
Many of the OSHA courses hosted at ISU qualify for continuing education credits and credit toward OSHA certification through the Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center. While OSHA classes are not mandatory for industry, OSHA compliance is. Woodford encourages employers to take OSHA regulations seriously. OSHA training saves lives.
According to OSHA.gov, in 1970, just before the creation of OSHA, 38 daily worker deaths occurred in the United States. By 2019 the rate had dropped to 15 worker deaths a day. Woodford attributes the drop in daily death rates to OSHA safety standards. While the worker death rate has decreased, Woodford believes the death rate is still too high. “That is 15 people a day who do not get to go home to their families” he stated.
Woodford believes the key to dropping workplace death rates even further is through continued workplace safety education and safety implementation. His classes focus on training students to understand OSHA regulations and implement those regulations into their workplace safety protocols.
A list of OSHA classes, hosted at Idaho State University, can be found at cetrain.isu.edu/nw-osha.