WCMA Launches Safety Trainings

OSHA continues its focus on food processors via a Local Emphasis Program. So, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association is offering new tools and classes to help dairy processors maintain safety on the job.

“Dairy processors know that a robust safety culture is critical both to their regulatory compliance and to the well-being of their workforce,” says WCMA Director of Programs & Policy Rebekah Sweeney. “That means frequently assessing and adjusting safety protocols, investing in safety equipment, and dedicating time and effort to employee training.”

WCMA is offering a library of regulatory references and safety plan templates here: https://www.wischeesemakersassn.org/

These resources – including materials on combustible dust, personal protective equipment, noise protection, hazardous energy control, and more – are free and available to all in the dairy processing industry.

Beginning in December, WCMA will also offer two new employee safety training programs on how to effectively communicate safety expectations and protocols.

WCMA Train the Safety Trainer Course

Two Chippewa Valley Technical College instructors are the leading the course in an interactive style. While those attending should have a strong grasp on industry safety practices already, instructors will emphasize training around OSHA’s LEP areas of concern.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define training and facilitation in the workplace
  • Conduct a training needs assessment
  • Evaluate their training programs for clarity and efficacy
  • Understand various presentation tools and methods
  • Identify the characteristics of an exceptional trainer
  • Discuss adult learning principles
  • Handle environmental challenges and disruptive participants
  • Develop vocal, verbal and visual skills to conduct an effective training class

“This class is geared toward dairy processors’ workplace trainers and environmental health leads, people who already understand the importance of safety on the job but are tasked with the responsibility of impressing that knowledge on others,” says Sweeney.

This full-day course is both in-person at WCMA’s training center in Madison on Dec. 12 and virtually on Jan. 30. In-person offerings, which include lunch and snacks, cost $249 per person, while virtual offerings run $219.

WCMA Basic Training for Dairy Processors

This class will teach participants about their rights, employer responsibilities, and – most importantly – how to identify, abate, and avoid job-related hazards they may encounter.

“This class is for everyone working in the dairy processing industry,” said Sweeney. “Great as part of an onboarding program for new employees or as a refresher for industry veterans, our partner instructors from Chippewa Valley Technical College will ensure your staff understand the importance of safety protocols in your plant, how to execute those protocols, and when to alert you to a problem.”

This full-day course will be held six times in 2024. Virtual offerings are on Feb. 20, May 14, and Sep. 24. In-person offerings at WCMA’s training center in Madison are on April 9, June 4, and Oct. 15. Virtual offerings cost $149 per person, while in-person offerings – which include lunch and snacks – run $179. Each offering is limited to 24 participants.

Successful participants in both the trainings will come away with a certificate of completion from Chippewa Valley Technical College and WCMA.

Register today: https://www.wischeesemakersassn.org/