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BCC center rolls out Occupational Safety and Health certificates
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Barton Community College occupational safety and health students learn about safety procedures in confined spaces during a fall semester class. - photo by Photo courtesy of BCC

GRANDVIEW PLAZA — Whether it’s a small, independent construction business or a massive corporation with hundreds of employees, all industrial based businesses must dedicate time and manpower to safety on the job site.  It’s with that in mind that Barton Community College at Grandview Plaza has rolled out a specialized Occupational Safety and Health certificate program.
Barton is one of only 42 government sanctioned Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) education centers in the U.S. and it is the only one in Kansas. The certificates in the program can only be taught by an official OSHA education center.
The program will be broken into two certificates. Either certificate can be taken with either a construction or industrial emphasis. The first level is the 6.5 credit hour “Specialist in Safety and Health” certificate. The second level is the 14 credit-hour “Certified Safety and Health Official” certificate.
Barton’s Dean of Fort Riley Technical Education and Military Outreach Training Bill Nash said students gaining these certificates will be ahead of the curve when employers are looking for employees in industrial settings.  
“Industry professionals are looking for people with safety backgrounds,” Nash said.  “Any manufacturer or construction business for example, will have to have a safety-trained person. These qualifications are what make a good foreman or supervisor and there are also dedicated safety positions available. This training gives people the base knowledge they need to go look at the workplace and do a job hazard analysis, see what employees are actually doing and they can then apply intent of the regulations to that and they’re able to make the workplace safer.  They can then develop programs and training based on their analysis.”
 Nash said the program is not only aimed at traditional full-time students, but also at people who are already working in the industry and building their skillset and what they have to offer to their employers.
“It’s possible that adding these skills and qualifications could lead to a substantial pay raise and solidify even more so, a position that they already have if they can complete this program,” he said.
BCC OSHA Program Coordinator Brandon Green said one thing students learn about is safety procedures in confined spaces including monitoring potential Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) atmosphere, such as low oxygen content, highly flammable substance in the air, etc.
“Being able to recognize any potential IDLH issues is paramount to their job while in the permit-required confined space,” he said.
“It is a team effort in order for those who work in and around confined spaces and permit-required confined spaces to ensure that each member of the team comes out alive and back to their families at the end of the day.”
The program is guided by an advisory board that includes substantial business and industry executives as well as government safety officials.
For more information, contact Nash at or 785-238-8550 extension 6812.