How much do workplace accidents cost? Workers compensation costs for workplace injuries and illnesses cost employers in 2006 an estimated $48.6 billion, according to the American Society of Safety Engineers.

To help prevent tragic and costly accidents, the Center for Risk Management will host two free classes at the Gulf Coast Safety Institute: “Real Leaders: How to Lead and Connect” on March 10 and “Workplace Hazard Recognition, Prevention and Control” on March 24.

“Real Leaders: How to Lead and Connect” shows students the four foundations of leadership through exercises and examples. Plus, attendees will learn how to communicate effectively, understand the three components of communication, identify the four unpardonable sins of communication, build a bridge when dealing with crucial confrontation, establish rapport and increase influence.

Instructor Mark Hernandez is a founding member of the John Maxwell Team and an independent certified speaker, trainer and coach. He worked 12 years for OSHA and was charged with all outreach for OSHA’s Houston south area partnerships with industry. Hernandez is president of Multiply Leadership, an international speaker and leadership development company that provides keynote speeches, mastermind sessions, seminars, safety motivational messages, and coaching in English and Spanish.

“Workplace Hazard Recognition, Prevention and Control” covers one of the most crucial parts of a properly functioning occupational health and safety program – having the ability to accurately identify, assess and control hazards. After this course, attendees will be equipped with the tools to control or eliminate hazards, perform risk assessments, and prevent injuries, accidents, equipment downtime and property damage.

Sharon Jackson earned a bachelor’s in environmental science, Associate of Applied Science in occupational health and safety technology and Associate of Applied Science in process technology and instrumentation.

All classes are sponsored by Texas Mutual Insurance Company and presented at the Gulf Coast Safety Institute, located at 320 Delany Rd. in La Marque, TX.

Classes are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. to register, contact SeAlice Hemphill at 409-933-8365 or

About Gulf Coast Safety Institute

Established in 2007, the institute focuses on providing safety and health education, training and outreach. For more information on the institute, contact Lewis at 409-933-8495 or or visit

About Texas Mutual Insurance Company

Austin-based Texas Mutual Insurance Company, a policyholder-owned company, is the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. Texas Mutual provides coverage to 40 percent of the market, representing over 64,000 companies, many of which are small businesses. Since 1991, the company has provided a stable, competitively priced source of workers’ comp insurance for Texas employers. Helping employers prevent workplace accidents is an important part of Texas Mutual’s mission.