Kingsford Manufacturing prides itself on its commitment to safety. This fall the charcoal manufacturing company, located in Summer Shade, partnered with WKU’s Department of Public Health to provide 17 employees an opportunity to take a series of undergraduate courses leading to a certificate in Occupational Health and Safety for those who successfully complete the program.
The Office of Cohort Programs within the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach provides support to the Public Health department’s efforts to bring the safety program to the workplace. Students will spend the next year completing a sequence of five courses, or 15 credit hours, to earn the certificate.
Faculty from WKU’s Public Health department will deliver classes in a hybrid format where students attend some face to face meetings during each course with the balance of the material covered online.
“Students will get a mixture of learning modes that will allow more flexibility for each learner,” said Dr. Ritchie Taylor, associate professor of Environmental Science who created the program of study for Kingsford. “Adult learning should be an active process. Students are expected to be actively involved, ask questions, share their own personal and professional experiences, and take an active role in the class.”
The new partnership with WKU encourages employee involvement and participation in creating and maintaining a safe workplace.
Topics covered over the course of the program include health effects of exposures, workplace hazards, basic principles of industrial hygiene, legal and regulatory issues, evaluation and control of health risks in the workplace, ethics in occupational health, and many others.
Gary English, head of WKU’s Department of Public Health, is excited about the new partnership. “When we were approached by Kingsford to develop this certificate program it became abundantly clear that the company was willing to invest in the development of their workforce,” he said. “While there are potential benefits to the corporate bottom line, the real winners in this program are the employees of Kingsford.”
“Safety is every employee’s responsibility,” said Plant Manager Rob Service. “We are working hard to be an injury-free workplace.”
Kingsford Manufacturing, a division of Clorox, Inc., has 95 team members employed at its 100-acre facility in Metcalfe County.
The company works to foster a culture of safety by providing employee training and education on hazard awareness, recognition and reporting, and encourage action to reduce risks and prevent personal injury or illness, both at work and at home. The foundation of this culture combines the use of traditional safety practices with behavior-based safety processes.
Cohort Programs is a unit within the Division of Learning & Outreach (DELO) at WKU. DELO takes the educational resources of WKU to the citizens of Kentucky and around the world. DELO works with businesses and organizations to provide customized training, to plan special events, and to develop degree programs that meet their specific needs.
Contact: Stacey Biggs, (270) 745-1926.