CALPIA workplace safety course helps offenders land jobs
By Lt. Roland Ramon, AA/Public Information Officer
Correctional Training Facility, Soledad
The California Prison Industry Authority Worker Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Course (WOSH) Workshop is a 24-hour course administered by the Commission on Health and Safety and Worker’s Compensation in the Department of Industrial Relations, the University of California, Berkeley, Davis, and Los Angeles.
The course comprises eight basic modules covering a number of topics including the components of an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), Identification of hazards in the workplace and Hazardous Materials – to include the new Global Harmonized System for identification and labeling of Hazardous Substances and Workers Compensation.
There are also three supplementary modules covering Bloodborne Pathogens, Health and Safety Committees and Taking Action. One of the goals of Worker Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Training Education Program (WOSHSTEP) is to train California workers to be WOSH Specialists who will take leadership roles in promoting health and safety in their workplaces.
The recent graduation included 16 WOSH Specialists comprising fourteen offenders and two CTF Plant Operations staff.
Since 2012, Arnie Gomes, Superintendent II CALPIA Maintenance and Repair, has conducted WOSHTEP for 102 offenders, two CTF Plant Operations staff and two CTF/SVSP Hazardous Materials Specialists.
Twenty-seven offenders have paroled. Two of the paroled WOSH Specialists’ reported their training had been considered and assisted in their being hired by an employer.
One is using his WOSH training daily in his job. As of January 2015, there are 62 WOSH Specialists assigned to CALPIA.
This graduation also marked a first for CALPIA and WOSHTEP as one offender was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his participation as an instructor for the training course.