At the 108th Annual Delegates Meeting, attendees got to experience goggle-type equipment that can help our members identify — and prevent — potential workplace hazards.

Our union’s Occupational Safety and Health staff introduced the equipment, similar to children’s viewfinders, to our members early this year as a way to train workers to see potential hazards as represented in virtual reality.

We have used the training throughout the state as part of our union’s Peer Trainer program.
“Thanks to new technology, it’s a safe way to expose workers to hazardous situations without placing them in any danger,” said Jane Muenier, a statewide Occupational Safety and Health Committee member who staffed the table at which members could test the equipment, which is most commonly used in confined space scenarios.

The members were able to choose from one of four different hazardous scenarios: in a bucket truck to trim trees, operating an excavator, inside a confined space in a water treatment plant or performing a bridge inspection involving a great height.

The training scenarios are part of CSEA’s disaster preparedness grant funding and have received excellent reception. CSEA staff have been involved in presenting the training methods on several occasions at national health and safety conferences.

“Many of the delegates had no idea what our members may be exposed to on a regular basis,” said Muenier. “It really opened their eyes.”

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