CSEA Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley honors six peer trainers who have participated in the program for its entire 10 years. From left are Southern Region activists Joe Hunt and Mike Aumick, CSEA Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Josh Kemp, Berkley, Southern Region activist David Keith, Long Island Region activist Tom Skabry and Central Region activist John Hudson. CSEA Peer Trainer and Capital Region activist Matthew Farnsworth was also honored, but is not shown.
CSEA Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley honors six peer trainers who
have participated in the program for its entire 10 years. From left are
Southern Region activists Joe Hunt and Mike Aumick, CSEA Occupational
Safety and Health Specialist Josh Kemp, Berkley, Southern Region activist
David Keith, Long Island Region activist Tom Skabry and Central Region
activist John Hudson. CSEA Peer Trainer and Capital Region activist
Matthew Farnsworth was also honored, but is not shown.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Knowledge is key to a safe and healthy workplace.

One of the best ways to ensure our members and other workers have this knowledge — and training — is through CSEA’s Peer Trainer Program.

For the past 10 years, many of our occupational safety and health activists across the state have served as Peer Trainers — teaching their co-workers and others how to work safely to help eliminate preventable injuries and deaths on the job.

Our Peer Trainers not only help save lives, but help build partnerships with management. By having our members provide the training, workers are more receptive to those who also face the potential hazards every day.

Recently, CSEA Peer Trainers gathered for a Peer Trainer Refresher Workshop, not only to recognize the program’s accomplishments over the past 10 years, but to renew their skills to train — and protect — workers.
Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley addressed attendees. “Your work is important,” she said. “Your work saves lives and we thank you for your ongoing commitment.”

Fulton County Local activist Josh Brown is honored with the Charlie Noble Award for Outstanding Achievement. From left is CSEA Occupational Safety and Health Director Matt Kozak, Brown, Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley and CSEA Grant Training Coordinator Janet Womachka.
Fulton County Local activist Josh Brown is honored with the Charlie
Noble Award for Outstanding Achievement. From left is CSEA
Occupational Safety and Health Director Matt Kozak, Brown, Statewide
Secretary Denise Berkley and CSEA Grant Training Coordinator Janet
Womachka.

The Charlie Noble Award for Outstanding Achievement and contribution was presented to Josh Brown, an eight-year peer trainer and employee of the Fulton County Landfill. Brown’s efforts on the Sanitation Ad Hoc Committee were instrumental in getting sanitation trucks included in the state’s ‘move over’ law that requires drivers to clear the lane adjacent to emergency, construction and police vehicles.

Brown is also credited with helping write our “Clean Up Safely” pocket guide, and training more than 200 people on that program. He has also been active in ensuring that his work site follows safe confined space entry procedures. Brown has also been active in our Don’t Zone Out program, spreading that important message around his community.

Brown said that trainers often face many hurdles in their advocacy for training and safety equipment but urged them to stay the course.

“Keep fighting,” he said. “There’s going to be obstacles. Go up the chain. Do what needs to be done. People will come around and opportunities will come from adversity.”

The three-day program also included an introduction to Moodle, an e-learning site that we are using to enhance training and collaboration, as well as refresher courses and new trainings.

Visit cseany.org/osh/ptp to learn more.

— Therese Assalian

Peer trainers refresh their skills.
Peer trainers refresh their skills.
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About Author

Therese Assalian

Therese has been working as the Capital Region Communications Specialist since 2002 handling all facets of internal and external communications for the region. Therese started her career at a Madison Avenue Public Relations firm and held several positions in public relations, marketing and event planning in corporate and non-profit roles in New York and Pittsburgh prior to moving to the Capital Region in 1999. Therese holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Communication Studies and is also a published freelance writer on travel, food and the arts.

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