News & Events

 From the Executive Director’s Office……….


John Sikes

UA SafeState on TV!

While sitting on your couch, surfing through your hundreds of TV channels, have you noticed the UA SafeState ads?

If you have, you’ve seen part of our UA SafeState campaign that has been running on North and Central Alabama television stations since mid-October. If you have attended an Alabama football game, you’ve probably also seen our messages from the ads displayed in the stadium.

This is all part of a carefully planned project to get more Alabamians to recognize the UA SafeState brand and to associate it with their job, home and play.  Three television ads, one each for safety and health, environment and training, will air through the end of the year. In addition, you may hear radio ads and see printed materials that reinforce the television images and provide additional details about what UA SafeState is all about.

You may even see some familiar faces! If you look closely, you can spot a few of our UA SafeState staff who were filmed and photographed as part of the campaign.

We'd love to hear your comments. Feel free to visit our website at and let us know what you think!



 SouthEastern Environmental Conference, Oct 24-26, 2016

The 2016 SouthEastern Environmental Conference wrapped up on October 26, 2016.  This year’s conference was packed with information and insight regarding environmental management and sustainable practices.  This year, as we expanded to a more regional approach, over 250 people participated, representing industry and communities from 15 different states. 

The conference opened Monday morning with Dr. Bennett Bearden, Director of the Water Policy and Law Institute at The University of Alabama, getting us up to speed on the many nuances of managing our water resources. Interstate commerce, industrial growth and overall quality of life are dependent on the water policies. Understanding water availability and water management will grow increasingly important as an aspect of how we do business.

Dr. Bearden was followed by Ward Pate with McWane, Inc.  As the Corporate Environmental Manager for this Alabama based international company, Mr. Pate gave an overview of how McWane has incentivized employees to engage in improving the company's environmental impact.  Reflective of their process improvement approach, the McWane Pollution Prevention Challenge encourages the various subsidiaries to submit process improvement ideas that their company can use to reduce waste. 

The two keynotes set a clear tone for the whole conference. The sessions throughout the remainder of the conference focused on specific ways to improve, manage, prevent or resolve the environmental issues that we face in our region - and beyond.

The Wednesday closing panel discussions on water and energy further reinforced the important role that sound management practices and innovation have in protecting our natural resources and creating sustainable business growth. 

Many thanks to the UA SafeState staff who worked so hard to make this a successful conference:  Beth Gaines, Peggy Frost, Rhonda Hester, Michael Rasbury, Peter Hodgson, Tiffany Blount and Sharon Jones.  Thanks also go to the planning committee, vendors, speakers, and of course participants that made this conference a success.  Watch for updates as we've already begun planning for 2017.



OSHA Updates Safety and Health Management Guidelines

Matt Hollub picture

OSHA recently unveiled its new Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs at the October National Safety Congress.  This publication revises and expands upon OSHA’s original 1989 Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs.  The new Recommended Practices are designed to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces and evolving safety and health issues.  The new guidelines are intended to help small to medium sized businesses better understand the key components of an effective safety management program and offer a step-by-step approach to building a successful program.  The 1989 Guidelines were the underpinning for OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).  Discussions are now underway to determine how the new Recommended Practices will be adopted into these programs. 


Most of the 2016 Recommended Practices core elements are consistent with the 1989 Guidelines -- Management Leadership, Worker Participation, Hazard Identification and Assessment, Hazard Prevention and Control, Education and Training, Program Evaluation and Improvement.  The new Recommended Practices adds a seventh element:  Communication and Coordination for Host Employers, Contractors and Staffing Agencies.  As the name suggests, it offers best practice guidance for employers to help ensure that contractors and joint-employed workers are adequately protected within an effective safety and health management system. 

The new guide was written primarily for general industry applications. Additional guidance can be obtained from OSHA’s web page. OSHA has also announced its intention to publish a Construction version of Recommended Practices.  

For decades now, UA SafeState has been working with small to midsize employers to help them develop or improve their safety management programs.  For more information on our free onsite OSHA Consultation program and how we can help your company master the challenges of managing safety and health, contact us at 1-800-452-5928 or by email:



 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.


Anyony Carter

Anthony Carter

Construction Industry Certificate

Daniel Bruce

Daniel Bruce

General Industry Certificate

Haley Ann Davis

Haley Ann Davis

Construction Industry Certificate

Jeffery K. Dennis

Jeffery K. Dennis

General Industry Certificate

Jerry Wayne Braden

Jerry Wayne Braden

Construction Industry Certificate

Kenneth W Kossow

Kenneth W. Kossow

Construction Industry Certificate

Michael Shannon Butts

Michael Butts

Construction Industry Certificate

Kyneta Coleman

Kyneta Coleman

Construction Industry Certificate



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.


  29th Annual Alabama Governor's Safety and Health Conference held Aug 29-31

The planning committee and staff worked diligently to conduct another outstanding conference this year.  The theme was Safety and Health – Every Day, Every Task, Everyone! 

The conference had 464 attendees and 164 exhibitors with over 70 exhibit booths.  The opening on Monday morning was hosted by UA SafeState’s Executive Director, John Sikes and Associate Director, Matt Hollub who presented this years’ William H. Weems Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Danny Callies.  Many of you may know Danny as he is one of the most dedicated Safety and Health professionals in our state and a huge supporter of the conference.   A most deserving winner.

Todd Conklin was the opening speaker.  He is the Senior Advisor for Organizational and Safety Culture at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Todd gave a lively presentation on the relationship between the workers in the field and the organization’s systems, processes and programs. 

The largest part of the conference was dedicated to breakout sessions by safety and health professionals across the state and country.  Their experiences and expertise in the field were well received by the attendees.

To complete the conference on Wednesday we were both humbled and lifted up by two excellent speakers; Josh Dueck, a Paralympic Champion, and Kevin Cobb, a Senior Safety Consultant from SafeStart® and previous speaker at the conference.  Both have spinal cord injuries that have changed their lives.  Their challenge to us:  To think differently about the consequences of your daily actions.

A special thanks again to all of those that helped to create one of our best conferences yet!

Be sure to mark your calendar for our 30th conference to be held August 28-30, 2017



Environmental and Online Training

Our Environmental and Online Training Section .has been restructured and so has our staff! Peter Hodgson is now program manager, newcomer Cynthia Springer is our program assistant, newcomer Gregg Cubel is our training coordinator and Nancy Holleman is our office associate senior.  You can reach any of us on our toll-free number 877 508-7246.  Please contact us with any questions you may have.

 Congratulations to Brandy Benson with Federal-Mogul Motor Parts in Alabama, Nicholas Costantino with Thermo Fisher Scientific in Massachusetts, Sara Zuzga with Paragon Laboratories in Michigan, and Roger Snyder in Mississippi.  They recently completed our online Health and Safety Management (HSM) Certificate Program.  This program is geared for those who have health and safety responsibilities but have had little or no formal training.  It is also for those who are new in safety and health, or who may just want to build some competency.   This certificate program consists of ten different health and safety classes, each about ten hours long. We offer the following classes::  OSHA, Workplace Safety, Introduction to Industrial Hygiene, Worker’s Compensation, Mine Safety, Managing Hazard Communication Programs, Managing Ergonomic Programs, Managing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Programs, Managing Fleet Safety Programs, Managing Bloodborne Pathogen Programs; Managing Heat Stress Programs; Managing Wellness Programs; Managing Health Promotion, and Understanding Basic Electricity.  You can take individual classes for $295 each or ten classes for the HSM Certificate Program for $2,700.  Because these classes are offered online, you can take them at your location and at your pace. 

 Congratulations to Robert Green with Tamko in Alabama and Stanford Kelly with Phifer, Inc. in Alabama for completing our online Qualified Electrical Worker (QEW) Certificate Program.  This program helps the employer meet training requirements established in OSHA regulations and NFPA standards; namely, that workers are properly trained concerning potential electric shock, fire and arc flash hazards.  It consists of eight classes that each take about four hours to complete.  You can take individual classes for $200 each or the eight classes for the QEW Certificate Program for $1,200.  Because these classes are offered online, you can take them at your location and at your pace. 

 Congratulations to Tony Zeak at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Craig Sandles with Northwest Exterminating in Arizona for completing our online Qualified Electrical Worker Train-the-Trainer Certificate Program.  This program helps you effectively train your employees on how to recognize and respond safely to electrical hazards.  It consists of nine classes and a short project (a ten to fifteen-minute presentation of you teaching a topic that will be reviewed and critiqued).  Our Train-the-Trainer QEW Certificate Program fee is $1,600. Because these classes are offered on-line, you can take them at your location and at your pace. 

Congratulations to William Kirby with the University of Virginia for completing our online Electrical Safety Auditor Certificate Program.  This program prepares you to audit and improve electrical safety programs and is based on the annually required audit per the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E and OSHA Standards.  It consists of ten classes and a short project (perform an audit with report and submit for review).  Our Electrical Safety Auditor Certificate Program fee is $1,450.  Because these classes are offered on-line, you can take them at your pace and at your location

Please check our calendar for environmental classes that we have scheduled at the Bryant Conference Center on campus in Tuscaloosa that are coming up soon. You can register for any of these classes online at: or by calling our registration office at 205 348-3000.

We can also hold classes at your facility with a training agreement.  Please contact us for details.



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

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 that teach needed skill sets as well as work practices. 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.

Upcoming OSHA Training Institute Education Center courses

The OTI-EC will be hosting several of its most popular classes in the near future. In addition to our core General Industry, Construction and Maritime Standards and Trainer courses, which are held on a rotating basis, several specialty courses will be offered, including:

  • Recordkeeping Rule Seminar
  • Guide to Industry Hygiene
  • Electrical Standards
  • Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Introduction to Safety and Health Management
  • Machinery and Machine Guarding Standards
  • Introduction to Accident Investigation
  • Lockout/Tagout

To see the complete listing for  2016 schedule, click on

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