Principal Investigator / Institution
Robert J. Emery, Dr.P.H.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
School of Public Health
1200 Pressler Street, RAS W1022
Houston, Texas 77030-3900
Janelle Rios, Ph.D.
Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
The University of Texas School of Public Health
1200 Pressler Street, RAS W1008
Houston, Texas 77030
The Texas-Utah Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Education and Training (Texas-Utah Consortium) leverages two large, well-established education and research centers in a collaborative partnership between the University of Texas Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and the University of Utah Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health since 1970, with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Since 2010, under the NIEHS Worker Training Program, they fill a training need for education and training in the safe management of hazardous materials, primarily in Public Health Regions 6 and 8.
The purpose of the Texas-Utah Consortium is to positively and meaningfully impact the health of our communities by providing well-designed, well-delivered, and practical hands-on health and safety training to workers:
- In facilities that generate, label, load, transport, unload, receive, treat, store, analyze, or dispose of hazardous materials.
- Who prepare for and conduct emergency response activities, including cleanup and remediation of hazardous material spills.
- In laboratories that receive samples of potentially hazardous materials, including potentially contaminated environmental samples.
- With the responsibility to prevent, deter, or respond to large-scale technological, chemical, biological, intentional, or natural disasters.
The primary training goal is to impart the usable knowledge and skills necessary to safely handle, transport, and remove hazardous wastes, and to respond to emergencies, spills, or intentional breaches. A secondary training goal is to provide a subset of course participants with a high level of technical and management skills so they may, in turn, train their colleagues. Long-term, the objectives of the Texas-Utah Consortium are to prepare workers and communities to protect themselves, their colleagues, and their environment from exposures to potentially harmful hazardous materials using sound scientific methods (including the results of our research) and to promote health, resiliency, and financial stability in populations that are most vulnerable to disasters.
The training provided by the Texas-Utah Consortium targets a wide audience. The Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) targets people working with, or in, high-risk areas, communities, or industries or those engaged in high-risk activities such as hazardous waste/substances handling, transport, removal, disposal, or spill/disaster response. The HAZMAT Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPTP) trains a broad audience from many industrial sectors (i.e., managers and workers in government, health care, manufacturing, transportation, mining, and the petrochemical industries), as well as the general community. Both training programs are tailored to accommodate individuals with high, mid, and low technical skill levels. Special emphasis is directed toward recruiting and training veterans and minority populations in order to enhance diversity and provide career opportunities to groups who may not have been previously aware of safety-related careers.
The HDPTP aims to train a wide audience from a variety of sectors in the following areas:
- Community Emergency Response Team training
- Emergency Preparedness for Business workshops
- Emergency Preparedness for You (a one-to-two-hour seminar designed for delivery in community meetings with consideration of the needs of vulnerable populations)
- First Aid
- National Incident Command System
- On-site Emergency Planning for Small Businesses
- Other timely and impactful courses and conferences
- August 1, 2015 - July 31, 2020 (HWWTP, HDPTP)
- U45 ES019360 -06 (HWWTP, HDPTP)
Other Participating Organizations
- University of Texas Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (https://sph.uth.edu/research/centers/swcoeh/)
- University of Utah Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (https://medicine.utah.edu/rmcoeh/)