The Center for Risk Management will host “Trench Safety: Why is this an OSHA Emphasis Program” on Friday, April 3, 2020 and “Heat Illness Prevention” on Friday, April 17, 2020. Sponsored by Texas Mutual Insurance Company, the classes are offered at no cost to anyone who would like to attend at the Gulf Coast Safety Institute, located at 320 Delany Road in La Marque, Texas.

Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations, but the construction industry is not the only place where fatal accidents can occur. In this session participants will learn about protective systems when digging, access and egress, and the requirements of a competent person. “Trench Safety: Why is this an OSHA Emphasis Program” will be taught by Greg Smith, CSP.   

Smith is a principal and co-founder of Vector Risk and Safety, LLC. He has more than 30 years of experience in the safety field working in both construction and general industry environments.  Smith is an instructor for the University of Cincinnati’s OSHA Education Center and sits on a variety of committees and non-profit board of directors. He has presented at numerous national, regional and local safety events, and has authored a variety of safety articles.

The “Heat Illness Prevention” class is designed to help employers and workers assess heat stress hazards, establish an effective heat-illness prevention program and understand the six critical factors associated with heat stress which are essential in the prevention of heat-related illnesses and fatalities. Topics covered in this class include risk factors for heat stress, how the body handles heat, heat-related illnesses, common prevention strategies, how to conduct a heat hazard assessment, implementing effective controls, training workers, preparing for medical emergencies and conducting incident investigations.  Various types of heat stress monitors and heat-illness prevention devices will be demonstrated. This class will be taught by Robert Phalen.

Phalen has more than 25 years of experience in industry and academia.  He has worked in technical equipment sales and rentals, consulting, loss prevention control and now teaching.  He is currently the Program Chair and an Associate Professor of Occupational Safety and Health at University of Houston Clear Lake.  Phalen is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).  He now dedicates much of his time towards teaching, research and service to AIHA at the national and local level. Heat stress is one of his areas of expertise, and in April 2020, AIHA will be publishing an article on the topic in The Synergist. 

Both classes are held from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and are eligible for continuing education units. A formal certificate of completion is issued after each class.  Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. To register for either class, call 409-933-8365 or email