September 24, 2014
For Immediate Release: September 24, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
SHAPE honors public-sector employers and employees who provide a safe workplace
AUGUSTA— Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the Mid-Maine Technical Center has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). Mid-Maine Technical Center, a regional school covering Lawrence, Messalonskee, Waterville and Winslow High Schools, offers 24 career and technical education courses to 470 students.
SHAPE recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers; in the case of schools, students also benefit from improved safety.
“We congratulate MMTC for becoming SHAPE certified,” Governor Paul R. LePage said. “MMTC’s administration has made a goal of keeping workers and our students safe at school and in their different types of training programs. This is a major commitment that not only benefits our kids and our personnel, but also their communities and their taxpayers. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness and decreases insurance costs.”
Each technical program at Mid-Maine Technical Center has achieved National Program Certification or is using State Licensing Standards, which provides students the opportunity to earn over forty industry recognized certifications. In 2013–14, 291 students earned 667 industry-recognized certifications. Mid-Maine Technical Center has fourteen lab areas totaling 50,000 square feet of instructional space, which are fully equipped with equipment that meets industry standards.
MMTC Director Peter Hallen stated, "There is no higher priority for MMTC than the safety of our staff and students. The SHAPE application process, along with all of the help we received along the way from the Departments of Labor and Education, have educated us about best practices and how to monitor our own policies, procedures, and facilities."
Hallen added, “I'm proud of our staff and how hard they worked to make this happen.”
The total number of SHAPE worksites is 45.
The SHAPE award was conceived in 2005 as a way to recognize public-sector employers and employees who are striving to provide a safe and healthful workplace. It is given only to exemplary public-sector employers after a thorough review and inspection of the employer’s safety and health policies and procedures by a SafetyWorks! consultant.
Municipalities and other public entities interested in learning more about the SHAPE designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with regulations and identifying training needs.
The Maine Department of Labor has enforcement authority of health and safety standards for public-sector employers in Maine and is responsible for inspecting workplace injuries or fatalities suffered by public employees.
Pamela Megathlin, director of the Bureau of Labor Standards of the Maine Department of Labor, presents the SHAPE award to Peter Hallen, director of the Mid-Maine Technical Center on September 16, 2014.