News & Events

 From the Executive Director’s Office……….


John Sikes

The theme for the 28th Alabama Governor's Safety and Health Conference is "Safety & Health: A Universal Language". The theme reflects the universally recognized value, both morally and economically, of having safe workplaces that ensure everyone gets home safely to their families when the workday has ended.

Every edition of the Governor's Safety and Health Conference, from the first one in 1988 through the 28th one this year, has been dedicated to this universally held value.

We hope you will join us August 31 through September 2nd in Orange Beach.







 UA Safety Program Supervisor Elected President of State Chapter

Randy Easterling, safety program supervisor for The University of Alabama’s Safe State Consultation Program, has been elected president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, a professional association of occupational safety and health professionals.

Easterling is a certified industrial hygienist in comprehensive practice by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and a Certified Safety Professional in comprehensive practice by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

He is a professional member of ASSE, a full member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and a diplomat of the Academy of Industrial Hygiene.

He is a member of the safety committee for the Associated Builders and Contractors, the safety committee and Fall Conference Planning Committee for Manufacture Alabama and a planning committee for the Central Alabama Construction Safety Conference.

The Alabama Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers was established in 1938 and has 374 members. The Alabama chapter consists of the Tuscaloosa/West Alabama Section, the Northeast Alabama Section, the Auburn/Montgomery Section, the Auburn University Student Section and the UAB Student Section.

ASSE is active in providing educational and professional development opportunities to its members. The Alabama chapter has an active scholarship program providing three annual awards to students.


New ASSE Section in Tuscaloosa

Matt Hollub picture

For the first time ever, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has established a member Section in the Tuscaloosa area.  UA SafeState Associate Director Matt Hollub will serve as Chairman of the newly formed Tuscaloosa/West Alabama ASSE Section.  ASSE is a global association of occupational safety professionals representing more than 36,000 members worldwide.  Paul Thurber, Safety Director for Nucor Steel (Tuscaloosa), is the Section’s Secretary/Treasurer. 

ASSE Tuscaloosa was created to help support the needs of safety professionals and practitioners in West Alabama.  Because safety management responsibilities are often vested with people working in human resources, engineering, production, maintenance and related areas, we recognize there’s a significant need for a safety support network.  To be effective as a safety manager, you need that unique combination of technical knowledge and high-functioning people skills.  ASSE Tuscaloosa brings together people with diverse safety and health backgrounds and skill sets to help us all learn from one another. 

The ASSE Tuscaloosa Section schedules regular lunch meetings, usually from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm on first Fridays of each month.  Currently, we have over 30 members but you do not have to be an ASSE member to attend.  And there is absolutely no obligation or expectation for you to join ASSE, however often you wish to attend the meetings.  First and foremost, ASSE Tuscaloosa was created to be a quality resource for continuing education and peer-to-peer networking and I encourage anyone with safety responsibilities to visit with us.  Our presenters are experts in their fields, some local, some from around our state.  Recent ASSE Tuscaloosa presentations have covered Arc Flash Training, In-Plant Cranes/Hoists and Rigging, Plant Safety Auditing, OSHA’s Construction Crane Standard, Wellness Programs, and more.  ASSE Tuscaloosa has been meeting at the Nucor Steel facility in Tuscaloosa and we’re very grateful to Nucor for their tremendous support in launching this Section. 

The next scheduled meeting of ASSE Tuscaloosa is Friday, August 7th  at Nucor Steel.  If you wish to attend, please contact Matt Hollub ( for more information.  See you there!



 UA SafeState Announces New Safety and Health Certificate Recipients

Several dedicated safety and health professionals received Construction or General Industry Safety and Health Management Program Certificates this past quarter from UA SafeState’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center (OTI-EC).

In order to earn their certificates, recipients were required to complete nearly 100 hours of classroom training in at least six courses and demonstrate their expertise by examination. We commend them for this accomplishment and applaud their efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of co-workers on the job.

Bryant Thompson

Bryant Thompson
Hunt Refining Company

Heather Gurganus

Heather Gurganus
Southern Company/NCCC

Larry Edwards

Larry Edwards

Randy Smith

Randy Smith
Southern Company




If you would like more information on the Construction Safety and Health Management Certificate program or General Industry Safety and Health Management Certificate program, please go to OTI-EC Certificate Programs or contact June Vance at (205) 348-4585.


 Hurry! Early Bird Deadline Fast Approaching...


The 28th Annual Alabama Governor’s Safety and Health Conference, to be held August 31 – September 2nd at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, AL, is right around the corner. This year’s agenda promises an outstanding learning opportunity for safety and health professionals throughout Alabama and the surrounding region.

By popular demand from our attendees, we have Clay Clark and Fred Fohrell opening the conference in Monday morning’s general session. For those of you who have attended the conference in previous years, you are probably familiar with these two dynamic gentlemen.  They are some of our highest ranked session speakers.  Clay Clark is a senior partner in Juie, Fernambucq & Stewart, LLP and Fred Fohrell is a shareholder in Wilmer & Lee, P.A.  Lawyers?  Yes.  Intelligent?  Of course!  Humorous…you bet!  Monday morning will be informative ….and uplifting.

More than 50 breakout sessions are also planned to offer a wide variety of topics to choose from. Topics have been organized into eight “learning tracks” that include construction; industrial hygiene; risk management and workers’ compensation; manufacturing and general industry; transportation; safety leadership; best practices; and principles for new safety professionals. Attendees can focus on one track or “mix and match” sessions from various tracks to gain knowledge in a variety of areas. It’s up to you, and there’s no need to decide in advance. Just come to the conference and attend whichever sessions best suit your professional development needs.

The conference will be concluded Wednesday morning with a special speaker:  Pulitzer Prize winning author and University of Alabama professor Rick Bragg.  Rick learned to tell stories by listening to his family, the people of the foothills of the Appalachians. The stories he heard, of deprivation, sacrifice, love, violence and family, form the backbone of all three of his memoirs, the critically acclaimed and best-selling All Over But The Shoutin', Ava’s Man, and The Prince of Frogtown, and his most recent work, The Most They Ever Had.

More information about our Monday and Wednesday featured speakers can be found on the conference website.

Don’t miss this chance to attend the premier safety and health conference in the Southeast. Register now to qualify for the “early bird” registration discount, which ends on August 14. To register or learn more about the conference, please go to:

Continuing education credits are available for conference attendees by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, American Board of Industrial Hygiene, Alabama State Nursing Association.

In addition to an exceptional professional program, lots of fun activities are planned. A host of valuable prizes will also be given, and one lucky conference participant will win a luxurious cruise!  Be sure and bring your spouse and family along for the fun. Discounted rooms are available at the resort, as are guest meal packages. The conference guest package includes three breakfasts, two lunches and attendance at both the exhibitor reception and the always popular casino night.


Alabama Environmental Conference:  Are You Registered?

Jason Brasfield

Monday keynote speaker Dr. Patrick O’Neil, Director of the Water Investigations Program at Geological Survey of Alabama, will address issues we are facing today with our rivers, lakes, streams, and runoff. Dr. O’Neil will focus on water policy and law, watershed management, sustainable water development, environmental issues including the collaborative effort between the University of Alabama, Auburn University and Mississippi State University. On Wednesday, Dr. Doug Phillips, our keynote speaker who is the creator, host and executive producer of the TV show “Discovering Alabama” will share his vision about the challenges we face to preserve the natural resources around us.

The technical sessions will include environmental leaders from across the southeast presenting breakout sessions for two and a half days, providing attendees insight and practical solutions they can apply right away.


Highlights of breakout sessions:

  • Community Energy Efficiency
  • ISO 14001 – 2015 Standard Update
  • Strategic Energy Management
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Air, Land, Water:   Environmental Regulations Overview

REMEMBER CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN!  Participants register now for the early bird fee of $450. Exhibitors please download the Exhibit Prospectus for detailed information and registration. Don't forget about sponsorship opportunities!


OSHA Teams Up With NOAA and NWS to Prevent Heat-related Deaths and Illnesses


For the fifth year, OSHA has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service to prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses.

Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill due to working in the heat. About one-third of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but outdoor workers in every field – including agriculture, landscaping, transportation, and oil and gas operations - are susceptible to the dangers of heat.

In a June 10th call with meteorologists and weather reporters across the country, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels and the National Weather Service's Deputy Director Laura Furgione discussed the importance of protecting workers from dangers related to working in the heat.

As a result of a four year partnership between the National Weather Service and OSHA, important worker safety information is included in all NWS extreme heat alerts. Dr. Michaels asked the meteorologist to incorporate this worker safety message into their weather broadcasts. "We need your help in getting the word out that employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat. This means providing regular breaks for workers so they can cool down, and ensuring regular access to water so workers can stay hydrated."

"We have found that most work-related heat deaths occur in the first few days of working in the heat," said Michaels. "That's why it's important for employers to allow workers to gradually build tolerance to the heat. This is true for new, temporary, and even seasoned workers who have been away from the heat for a week or more, or at the beginning of a heat wave."

OSHA also worked with the National Weather Service to develop a smartphone heat safety app that allows users to calculate risk levels at a worksite and learn the protective measures needed to prevent heat illness. Almost 200,000 people have downloaded the app so far.

The app was updated this spring for Apple devices, with full screen color alerts, improved navigation and accessibility options. This improved version lets you know instantly if you are in a high risk zone due to heat and humidity—and precautions that need to be taken to prevent heat-related illness.

Visit OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention page for more information and to download or order heat illness educational materials in English or Spanish.


  Training Schedules

3rd Quarter Environmental Training Schedule

UA SafeState’s Environmental Training Section will be offering the following courses, required by EPA and the State of Alabama to engage in these types of work, this upcoming quarter. If you already have these credentials and need to keep them updated, required update classes in these disciplines are being offered as well. The environmental training schedule is available on our website at

All classes are taught by exceptional instructors who have a wealth of real-world experience. Most classes include hands-on sections, where needed skill sets, as well as safe work practices, are taught. Classes are all offered at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa. To register, please call our registration office at 205-348-3000, or register online at

For more information, please contact Peter Hodgson at 205-348-4603 or email him at Any of these classes can also be held at your location. Contact Peter for details.

3rd Quarter OTI-EC Class Schedule

The OTI-EC will be hosting several of its most popular classes this quarter. In addition to the "core" Standards and Trainer courses, which are held on a revolving basis, several specialty courses will also be held including recordkeeping rule seminar, guide to industry hygiene, hazardous materials, introduction to safety and health management, machinery and machine guarding standards, and introduction to accident investigation. To see the complete listing for 2015, please click on

For more information on these classes, please go online to to download the catalog  or contact June Vance at (205) 348-4585.