PRESS RELEASE - JULY 9, 2014

Safety Fest
ASCC Trades & Technology Dean Michael Leau (left) is one of the coordinators of "Safety Fest Week" which will take place July 21st-25th. Leau is seen here with Nick King of Pacific Petroleum, one of the partners in the American Samoa Industrial Health & Safety Association (ASISHA) who are hosting the event. (Courtesy Photo)

ASCC-TTD and ASISHA Coordinating “Safety Fest” This Month

July 9, 2014

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

The recently-formed American Samoa Industrial Health & Safety Association (ASISHA) is organizing a “Safety Fest Week” from July 21st to 25th for the local businesses and interested government agencies. The event will include presentations and trainings by representatives from the US Department of Labor/OSHA Region IX and the UC San Diego Extension - OSHA Training Institute Education Center, safety compliance specialists from Illinois, as well as local safety compliance specialists.

ASISHA came into being as a result of discussions on local industrial safety concerns, with American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Trades & Technology Division (TTD) Dean Michael Leau, and Pacific Petroleum officials Will Sword and Nick King among the participants. With Leau, Sword and King taking on the primary organizing roles, a group was formed whose purpose Leau defined as “to provide local businesses and the community who deal with safety and health issues with an avenue to share their concerns and needs so these can be represented as one unified voice.” ASISHA membership currently includes safety compliance officers and professionals representing Star Kist, Tri Marine, McConnell Dowell, Fletcher Construction, Origin Gas, Samoa Maritime, Stevens Training Consultants, ASG, ASTCA, and ASPA.

“We initially began discussions this past November about holding a conference which would provide awareness on safety and health issues that related to local industries and their respective issues,” explained Leau. “It emerged that we had a lot of common issues and that working together as a group would provide better services and resources to the entire group.”

With the safety compliance needs of local industries in mind, trainings during “Safety Fest Week” will give local professionals an opportunity to earn OSHA 10 hour safety cards in three areas: Construction, General and Maritime Industry. These trainings will take place in the morning from 8 a.m. to noon, and will concurrently, so participants are advised to choose just one of the three areas. During the afternoon, additional training s will be offered which all participants, regardless of specialization area, are welcome to enroll in. These include American Road Transportation Builders Association’s Rollovers/Backovers; Roadway Work Zone Safety; OSHA 7115 Lockout/Tagout; Four-Hour Industrial Power Truck Operator Training (Fork Lift); HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response); and OSHA Record Keeping requirements. Each of the trainings has an enrollment limit of 40 participants.

According to Leau, with ASISHA still in its early stages of development, it will be organizing its by-laws and choosing its officers following the conclusion of “Safety Fest Week.” “We’re open to any company or government agency that is interested in joining our group,” he said. “We’re looking at making this an annual effort to organize this conference and other trainings that would benefit our community, reduce the costs of certifying safety compliance professionals, and to assure a safer work environment.

To cover costs associated with bringing the trainers to the Territory, ASISHA will be charging an individual registration fee as well as requesting a donation from each participating company. Companies who make the donation can have their employees enrolled in the courses for a reduced registration fee. For more information, contact Michael Leau at 699-9155, ext. 472 or 369, or Will Sword or Nick King of Pacific Petroleum at 633-4101.