THE ARSC ADVISOR

Answering Some of the Frequently Asked Questions About ARSC Programs

By Trevonna Hayle
Administrator, Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils

It is important that you know we are here to answer all questions you may have at any time about ARSC programs. Here are answers to your most frequently asked questions.

Q. Is there a way to take Basic Orientation Plus online?
A. No. All ARSC training programs, including Basic Orientation Plus and Basic Orientation Plus Refresher, must be taken in person at a safety council. 

Q. Do you have an option to take Basic Orientation Plus in Spanish?
A. While ARSC does offer Basic Orientation Plus and Basic Orientation Plus Refresher to our members in Spanish, the course is not delivered at all locations. You should check your local safety council to learn if this program is available at their location.

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Total Worker Health and Planning for Emergencies: Resources for OSH Professionals

By Trish Ennis CSP, ARM, CRIS
Executive Director, Colorado Safety Association

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Professionals are frequently on the front line of responding to emergencies and critical incidents in the workplace. Emergency response activities present unique risks to responders, due to the unknown nature of the hazards and the heightened sense of urgency to take quick action. Training is key in situations like this. Planning for and caring for workers in emergency response is a component of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Heath initiative. According to NIOSH, “Total Worker Health® (TWH) is defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being.” The Surgeon General has determined work has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of people, as many employed US adults spend over half of their waking lives at work, or engaging in work activities. The graphic below, from the NIOSH TWH page shows how assessing risk leads to understanding so that effective policies and programs can be developed.

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The ARSC Curriculum Committee

By Trevonna Hayle
Administrator, ARSC

It’s safe to say that the heart of ARSC is our program curriculum. The Curriculum Committee’s mission is to assure the integrity of ARSC’s Basic Orientation Plus® and Basic Orientation Plus – Refresher®, as well as any additional reciprocal programs developed by ARSC.

The Curriculum Committee meets quarterly to discuss the development of new programs and updates to existing programs. Throughout the year, they work to complete the action items that arise from the quarterly meetings. ARSC Members are encouraged throughout the year to notify the committee of any program edits they feel are necessary. Programs are updated no more than once per year unless there is a change in safety standards that requires an immediate update.

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The ARSC Reciprocal ProtectWatch Course

By David Womack, Ph.D.
Safety and Health Manager, HSEQ & ARSC Owners Advisory Committee Chair

In 2015 the ARSC Owners Advisory Committee (OAC) requested that ARSC develop a new course to train Confined Space Attendants, Fire Watches and Supplied Air Attendants. The goal was to have a standardized course that the owners knew met their requirements. Owners would no longer need to audit their contractors’ or third-party providers’ training programs to ensure these critical positions are adequately trained. The ARSC Curriculum Committee took a course that was developed by an ARSC member and modified it for their use. It was implemented in August of 2017.  The course was not widely used because it did not meet the owners’ needs.

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The ARSC Reciprocal Confined Space Construction Standard Course

By David Womack, Ph.D.
Safety and Health Manager, HSEQ & ARSC Owners Advisory Committee Chair 

In 2010 the ARSC Owners Advisory Committee (OAC) requested that ARSC develop a new course on the Confined Space Construction standard that was recently published by OSHA (Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926). ARSC members along with input from the OAC developed the course which was approved by the ARSC Board of Directors in August 2012. The course was revised in 2018.

The target audience for the course is contract employees that will act as confined space entrants and/or attendants. Many owner companies require all contract employees that will enter a confined space or act as an attendant to take this course to ensure they have the basic training to perform these tasks.

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Viewing Safety Through a Performance-Based Looking Glass

By R. Ronald Sokol, CSP
President and CEO of Safety Council of Texas City

As safety professionals, we are dedicated to the protection of people, property and the environment. Our success is often measured in the amount of human suffering we prevent as we chart OSHA rates for recordable injuries, lost workday cases or cases of restricted work activity. We attempt to quantify our success as we compare past results against current performance. If the needle trends downward, we pat ourselves on the back, notify management and tout the success of our safety efforts. We become singular in focus as if the success or failure of our organization is predicated on this sole outcome. This type of thinking causes us to be pigeon-holed in our world, many times, outside of the heartbeat of the organization and its leadership. We are brought into the Board room to report on a certain situation and promptly escorted out once our information and expertise are no longer needed. It is a sad reality that this is how a large majority of safety professionals operate. If this is how you operate, the question becomes, why should I change and, if I do, how do I change?

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