The world over, people need knowledge, tools, and services to remain healthy and safe at home, in the community, and in the workplace. For all of us here at the Alcoa Foundation, promoting safety is of the utmost importance. We contribute to healthy and safe communities worldwide, through educational programs and by encouraging college students and young professionals to pursue careers in environment, health, and safety (EHS).
Institute for Sustainable Communities Safety Academy
In China, the Environment, Health, and Safety Academy brings together corporate partners to extend environmental health and safety values into the community through unique training programs. Local managers and engineers from leading companies like Alcoa and GE share their knowledge with more than 1,000 small and emerging firms to encourage them to adopt EHS best practices. When they do, they benefit from a safer, healthier workforce… and the betterment of the communities in which they operate.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Research Institute
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At the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Alcoa Foundation is sponsoring multiple safety initiatives. One is a landmark research study that promises to result in safer workplaces. The National Summit on Fatality and Serious Injury Prevention examines the role and degree of worker-engagement practices in preventing human error. We’re helping researchers develop easy-to-use methods that help employees plan, execute, and check their work to reduce the potential for human error. The project will result in a best management practices guidance handbook and promotional activities to convince companies, communities, and academic institutions to engage with workers and create safer work practices.
We also helped fund an International Safey Forum hosted by the University, which promoted study of the nature and causes of workplace fatalities. The forum generated valuable consensus, including work that led to the development of a common risk profile for specific industries and exposure groups. In addition, participants identified opportunities for future safety research and public policy initiatives that could enable significant gains in the ability to predict and prevent workplace fatalities.
Hutchinson Community College and Area Vocational School
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The Alcoa Foundation is sponsoring a program in Hutchinson, Kansas that provides experiential training on common workplace hazards and preventive measures. More 150 students preparing for careers in manufacturing, construction, and renewable energy are taking the training.
In addition to 10 training modules from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the students also use a specially installed fall-protection platform to assess shock, as well as materials that minimize it. This realistic experience gives vocational students first-hand exposure to safe work practices.
At a special two-wheel traffic school in Aichach, Germany, more than 600 adults and youth are learning how to assess specific traffic situations and to take actions to avoid accidents thanks to an Alcoa Foundation-sponsored bicycle safety project.
Elementary school children learn by doing on a specially developed track with traffic signals and road conditions that realistically simulate the real-world environment in complete safety. The training will enable them to confidently handle high traffic situations on new routes and help them safely travel to and from school.