Nebraska Safety Council awards certifications

Nebraska Safety Council awards certifications

Cornhusker State Industries (CSI) at the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP) partnered with the Nebraska Safety Council to offer a training course on the proper handling and storage of hazardous materials.

The full day of training provided important skills to incarcerated individuals about working safely with various materials they may encounter – including chemicals, paint and cleaning products.

CSI Soap Shop Operator Brian Koch coordinated the course because he felt it was important to offer training, which in turn will help participants improve their chance for success upon release. Koch supervises a work crew of six men who produce a number of janitorial and soap products for use within NSP and are sold to other state and nonprofit entities.

Because chemicals can react when exposed to other chemicals or under certain conditions, it is vital for workers to learn how to properly identify and handle them, as well as learn more about them. Instructor Fredric Voelker from the Nebraska Safety Council told participants if they did not know what something was or wht it did, they should ask questions. “This is about your safety and those around you. Look up the safety data sheet and familiarize yourself with it.”

Chemicals can include dust, mixtures and common materials such as paints, fuels, solvents and other chemicals. OSHA currently regulates exposure to approximately 400 substances.

The course focused on activities aimed at furthering the understanding of flammable chemicals, effects of toxic chemicals, the potential damage caused by corrosive chemicals, and the proper storage and handling of hazardous materials.

Nineteen men participated in the course and earned their certifications. Not only can they now help keep NSP safer, but they can apply these skills to many jobs in the future.