Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


INX and PIA MidAmerica put on PrintGuard Safety Training Program

Press release from the issuing company

Schaumburg, IL – In a time where the recent recession has created a new economy, it is good to know that a relatively inexpensive program for safety training developed specifically for the printing industry continues to gain strength and support.  Now in its eleventh year of existence, the PrintGuard Safety Train-The-Trainer program offered by the Printing & Imaging Association (PIA) of MidAmerica has added significance when taking into consideration recent OSHA actions that could prove expensive to any print operation.

As the sole corporate sponsor of PrintGuard Safety Train-the-Trainer courses, INX International Ink Co. has been involved since day one.   In 1996 the late Gary Reniker, who at the time was safety director for INX International, met with Jim Oldebeken, the current executive director of PIA MidAmerica.  Oldebeken had just seen the results of his group's survey indicating they needed help to meet OSHA compliance requirements.

"In reviewing the OSHA rules, we learned everyone would need to know about 1500 pages worth of information," recalled Oldebeken.  "Most of our members do not have the time or expertise and realized there was a gap that needed to be filled.  Gary knew the regulations to focus on and went to work on providing the industry with this knowledge."

After doing their homework, the pair applied for and was awarded a Susan Harwood training grant offered by OSHA.  Charles Adkins, OSHA regional administrator of region 7 in Kansas City, Mo., reviewed Reniker's work and made recommendations that Oldebeken implemented. Since 1999, more than 1400 companies have sent over 2600 representatives to various Train-The-Trainer events from coast-to-coast in the U.S.

Today's PrintGuard class consists of 10 hours of classroom instruction that was originally developed in partnership with OSHA.  Oldebeken said it is a perfect situation for people with safety management as part of their job responsibilities, but who are not safety professionals.  Attendees learn how to create safer workplaces for employees and to prevent serious injuries and illnesses.  Oldebeken said the recent hiring of several hundred new inspectors by OSHA is a message that can't be ignored.

"Over 70 percent of OSHA inspections are unannounced and the average fine is $2,300.  Penalties of up to $70,000 may be imposed for each willful violation," Oldebeken said.  "A record of the violation is also listed in the OSHA database, thus increasing the likelihood of a re-inspection of that facility.  The OSHA code of federal regulations comprises 40 books, so in our class top management can learn about specific OSHA requirements and thereby determine their level of compliance.  Taking into consideration our course costs less than $100, that's why so many people continue to take advantage and support it."

Brian Rutherford, nationally recognized for his 24 years of experience with safety knowledge and OSHA compliance issues, handles the course instruction.  Through PrintGuard, he has personally taught safety and OSHA compliance to more printing employees than any other person.  He mixes industry knowledge with lively presentations and supplies anecdotal information on successes and failures in safety.  Attendance for both days of the course, usually a full day followed by a half-day session, is required to earn the OSHA completion card.

"Brian and Gary knew each other from their days with the Air Force reserve.  They also worked together on a variety of safety related programs," said Oldebeken, indicating that PIA MidAmerica presents an annual award, the Gary R. Reniker Environmental Health & Safety Professional of the Year, as a way to remember a true industry pioneer.

"PrintGuard was developed in Kansas City and now has a national impact in preventing injuries, illnesses and deaths in the printing industry.  It is one of our greatest accomplishments as a trade association," Oldebeken said.  "PrintGuard would not have happened without Gary's and INX's involvement in developing the course and sustaining it for 11 years as a corporate sponsor.  They truly do more than sell ink by continually demonstrating a commitment to the safety and health of the 900,000 employees of today's U.S. printing industry."

PrintGuard classes this year have already taken place in Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago.  This week's event at PIA MidAmerica headquarters in Dallas (July 22-23) marks the halfway point on the schedule.  Oldebeken predicts there will be another class offered in the Midwest and one available on the west coast before the end of the year.  For more information call (800) 788-2040, or visit www.piamidam.org and click on Events.