News & Events

 From the Executive Director’s Office……….


John SikesJohn Sikes has been named executive director of the UA SafeState program at The University of Alabama.

Sikes began his career at the university in1988 with the Division of Environmental and Industrial Programs (DEIP) as a technical manager. DEIP has since become UA SafeState. For more than twenty-five years, Sikes has held positions of increasing responsibility in leadership and management with UA SafeState up to and including being named Interim Executive Director in January of 2013. His appointment to Executive Director of UA SafeState was effective March 30.

“John has the ideal qualifications, experience, and expertise to lead Safe State to the next level. He has done an excellent job in the critical role of Interim Executive Director of UA SafeState for over two years. Under his leadership, the SafeState team has not missed a beat. He deserves our deep appreciation, in fact, his entire team does,” said Dr. Craig Edelbrock, dean of the College of Continuing Studies.

As interim executive director of UA SafeState, Sikes has been responsible for planning and development of new training courses and services, marketing and outreach and financial management of the divisions $3.2M budget. His team successfully reapplied and received a $1.3 million grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA, which funds vital occupational safety programs in the state. In 2014, UA SafeState created the “Alabama Environmental Conference,” which attracted hundreds of environmental leaders from across the Southeast.

“It is with the support of an excellent team, many of whom I have worked side-by-side with for years, that we have been successful,” said Sikes. “I look forward to continuing our work together as we find innovative ways to extend UA’s safety, health and environmental services to companies across the state.”

Sikes earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He holds certifications in asbestos inspection, management planning, lead inspection, risk assessment and is a certified indoor environmental consultant.


 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.


Construction Sites -- Are You  Prepared?

Matt Hollub pictureThe risk of injury or death in construction work is often quite high. But we can reduce those risks. And we need to do that sooner rather than later. Time and again, construction fatality investigations will find one or more causative factors that relate directly to failures in safety preparedness, training or management. The fatality risks are multiple and ever-changing on a construction site: excavation wall collapses, struck-by hazards from equipment/vehicles or falling materials, electrocutions. And leading the way as the single most prevalent cause of construction deaths – falls from elevation. According to OSHA, people falling from elevation accounted for 279 of the 806 construction deaths recorded in 2012. Not surprisingly, fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards during their last fiscal year. And it’s been that way year after year...

Allow me to suggest two things you can easily do to help make a difference.

First thing: Participate in the OSHA Construction Fall Safety Stand-down. This year’s event will take place May 4 – 15, 2015. During this two-week period we’re asking employers and workers everywhere to pause during a workday for topic talks, demonstrations and training on how to use safety harnesses, guard rails and other means to protect workers from falls. To help with this effort, OSHA has put together a Safety Stand-down webpage with information and materials you can use:

Second thing: Contact UA SafeState and request a free, onsite consultation by one of our safety specialists. We’ve been working with general contractors and subs on commercial and residential projects for some time now. Our policy is to give construction requests top scheduling priority. We’re often being asked to periodically revisit sites at different phases of their projects. It keeps us busy and that’s the way we like it. There’s just something about that outward display of safety commitment and the discussions that go along with our consultation process that helps to keep folks more vigilant for those multiple and ever-changing worksite hazards. If we want to make construction work less risky, we’ve got to be more proactive and seek out those causative factors before disaster strikes. We want to help you get to that place.

If you have questions about worksite safety and health or need more information on UA SafeState’s free consultation program, please contact Matt Hollub at (205) 348-8259, .



  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.

James E Jones III picture

James E Jones III
Utility Tailers
General Industry

Kenneth Beck PictureKenneth Beck
Jesse STUTTS, Inc
Construction Industry

Scotty BoydScotty Boyd
Progressive Pipeline
General Industry




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 Joe Pilleteri, CSP at (205) 348-2765.


  Conferences -- Registration are Open!


The 28th Annual Alabama Governor's Safety and Health Conference is open for registration.  The conference will be held August 31 - September 2, 2015 at the beautiful Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, AL.  This year's theme is Safety and Health: A Universal Language.

Don’t miss this chance to attend the premier safety and health conference in the southeast. Act now to qualify for the “early bird” registration discount.  To register or learn more about the conference, please go to:

The 2nd Annual Alabama Environmental Conference is open for registration. The conference will be help October 26-28, 2015 at the beautiful Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Al. Alabama Environmental Conference is focus on bringing knowledgeable, engaged speakers presenting real-word solutions to difficult environmental management and compliance challenges.

Don’t miss this opportunity to register for the “super early bird” discount deadline May 1st. To register or learn more about the conference, please go to: .



How can Lab and Field Services help YOU?

Jason BrasfieldI would like to use this quarter’s newsletter to talk about a sort of unsung hero in UA SafeState’s environmental program. For those who use or have benefited from our lab and field services, you are familiar with the quality and reliability of these services. However, many may not realize that consulting firms, industry, municipalities, and even residential owners or agents can utilize the manpower and capabilities of our field services team.

Indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint and mold inspections are some of the primary services we have provided for years. Over the last few years our services have expanded to include Leak Detection & Repair (LDAR) Testing to meet regulatory requirements.

We have recently added a field Gas Chromatograph, real time formaldehyde testing, and expanded use X-ray fluorescence for in the field metal detection. Contact our Environmental Consultation & Lab Manager, Larry Overstreet at or 800-421-7141 for more information or to find out how UA SafeState can assist you with your testing needs.


Save The Date

28th Annual Alabama Governor's Safety & Health Conference
August 31 - September 2, 2015
Perdido Beach Resort located in Orange Beach, Alabama

2nd Annual Alabama Environmental Conference
October 26 - 28, 2015
Perdido Beach Resort locate in Orange Beach, Alabama

  Training Schedules

2nd 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.

2nd 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 Joe Pilleteri, CSP at (205) 348-2765.