74 Neshoba Central students become OSHA certified after weeks of training
Seventy-four Neshoba Central High School students are now OSHA 10 certified after weeks of training, giving them a “great advantage” when they enter the workforce, school officials said.
The certification program provides students with basic and advanced training about common safety and health hazards on the job. Students received OSHA 10 course completion cards at the end of the training.
Dr. Lundy Brantley, superintendent of education, said OSHA 10 certification “is part of our vision to graduate kids with more than a diploma because credentialing is very important to career success for these kids.
“When these students go to an employer who requires OSHA 10, that employer is saving time and money because they don’t have to be trained.”
The group included engineering students and agriculture/FFA students. Engineering and agriculture are among the nine two-year career-technical programs offered at the high school.
Engineering teacher Sedera Anderson initiated the OSHA classes. This year, 38 of her students became OSHA certified in the general industry.
“Last year was our first year to offer this to our students,” she said, noting that those students’ success sparked an interest in others.
Having an OSHA certification on a resume is a big advantage, Anderson said.
“I’ve had several students who have come back here after taking jobs and said they felt they had an advantage by having so much knowledge about OSHA guidelines,” she said. “It gives them an extra boost.”
The students underwent at least 10 hours of online training on 14 different levels.
The levels included such things as fire hazards, ladder safety, hazardous materials, ergonomics, among others.
R.J. Hudson, a senior Engineering II student, took engineering at the recommendation of a staff member.
“I signed up for the class and I really like it,” Hudson said. “I enjoy building robots and learning about all types of different things which I didn’t know affected our world day-to-day.”
When Anderson first addressed the OSHA course, Hudson said he found it really interesting to know that there was a way to learn the actual rules and guidelines for workplace safety.
While he initially wanted to be a petroleum engineer, Hudson now has his focus on physical therapy.
“I think an OSHA certification would be beneficial in any field,” he said.
Agriculture instructor Derek Huffman said the certification is already paying off for some of his students who have part-time jobs as they received a small pay increase.
They work in fields such as mechanics and forestry.
“We had 20 to get OSHA certification in the agriculture industry,” he said. “A lot of these industries require OSHA certifications and some make you go through it when you start to work. So if they already have that, they can skip that step.”
Huffman had nine students get certified last year compared to 20 this year.
“That’s more than double,” he said. “The kids were excited about it, mostly, when they got done. They did part of the work on a computer at home and part during class. Every week, they had to have one of 14 modules completed. They all ended up finishing early.”
Huffman said he is proud of his students, noting that their OSHA certifications will give them a big advantage when they enter the workforce.
Engineering I instructor Patrick Cook had 16 students to gain the certification.
The Neshoba County School District paid for the students to go through the program.
The OSHA 10 program promotes workplace safety and health and makes workers more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights.
It provides training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of workplace hazards.
Thirty-nine Neshoba Central High School students earned OSHA 10 certifications during the 2020-2021 school year.