By providing their students with safety training, educators gain the satisfaction of knowing they have educated their students academically and improved their students' safety and employability.





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Karl Cabucio, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Massachusetts

 

Karl Cabucio at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School believes that providing safety and health education is important no matter what CTE program one enters. “While the objective of a vocational and technical school is the employability of our students, safety is the single most important employability skill that we can provide,” Cabucio explains. He is responsible for the distribution and tracking of the CareerSafe program for his high school. For the last 14 years, Cabucio has required all freshman classes to complete the OSHA 10-Hour training immediately after their permanent shop placement and is pleased to report a 98% success rate for students graduating with an OSHA credential. Students volunteer and complete community service though their local SkillsUSA chapter. Recently, his school has been asked to work with at risk youth in the community to earn their OSHA credential.

Safety is a crucial part of Cabucio’s own curriculum in Business Technology because it can prevent injuries and even save lives both in the workplace and at home. The primary safety concerns he describes in his class are ergonomic in nature from proper use of keyboards and chairs, posture, and lighting. “We have adopted a training program that is tailored for safety issues in a work place. Examples of that training are proper lifting techniques, workplace violence, overloading electrical outlets, proper use of fire extinguishers, ladders and floor hazards to mention just a few,” he explains. Cabucio also assigns students with a safety collage project to reinforce their safety program and topics.

When asked about the importance of credentialing, Cabucio believes that credentials and certifications are another tool in the tool box students have at their disposal. While the OSHA 10-Hour credential is the first one that students earn, it is not the last. His students leave the program with national certifications in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School also has an articulation agreement with a local community college that gives students the opportunity to earn up to 29 college credits during their tenure.

Cabucio shares that after earning a BS in Hotel Management and a MBA in International Business he spent the next 18 years in the Hospitality Industry holding nearly every operational position in a hotel. He decided to leave the industry in 2001 and moved back to Massachusetts to attend law school where he was sitting in class on 9/11/2001 when the first plane hit the Towers. Over the next few weeks following that day, Cabucio came to the conclusion that the world could survive with one less attorney, but a great teacher could make a difference. From there, he decided to become a certified teacher and eventually the primary coordinator of the OSHA initiative.

“The one thing that I want my students to take away from this school year is that you can achieve success regardless of your social-economic standing, learning challenges, language challenges through hard work and perseverance.”