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  • Safety Workshops Perspectives Newsletter Contact Us
    November 16, 2020

    Growing the Next Safety Generation

    Montana State Fund’s (MSF) safety team busily mailed personal protective equipment to 37 construction trades and industry high school classroom across the state. This was made possible through MSF’s high school personal protective equipment (PPE) grant program.

    Traditionally, the MSF safety team personally visit the classrooms to convey the importance of safety in their classrooms and in the workplace. But with the uncertainty of Covid-19, an online safety video was produced.

    The selected classrooms were awarded up to $850 for the purchase of the PPE which could include safety eye protection, fall protection gear, gloves, and ear protection, suitable for the area of study. New this year, teachers were able to use a portion of their grant money to order safety equipment for their classroom such as machine guards, welding curtains or specialized PPE.

    The grants are part of Montana State Fund’s Growing a Safer Montana initiative to improve Montana’s workplace safety culture. The initiative teaches and reinforces positive safety in the classroom before these young people enter Montana’s workforce. Since the program’s inception in 2017, over $64,000 worth of safety gear has helped more than 5,000 students.

    Montana’s injury rate has decreased from 4.4 injuries for every 100 workers in 2017 to 3.9 injuries for every 100 in 2018. While that number is an improvement, it is still higher than the national average of 2.8. It is critical that we continue to teach and instill safety in the next generation of Montanan’s to help keep our injuries rates trending downward.

    Below is a list of the high schools, classrooms and teachers who received the safety equipment

    Anaconda High School Construction-Automotive
    Teacher: Brian Riley

    Anaconda High School Welding/Machining
    Teacher: Ryan Pesanti

    Arlee High School Woods & Welding
    Teacher: Michael Craig

    Beaverhead County High School (Dillon) Agriculture Education
    Teacher: Caleb Igo

    Belgrade High School Welding
    Teacher: Eric Kinnaman

    Belgrade High School Woodworking
    Teacher: Randy Radke

    Bozeman High School Welding Fabrication
    Teacher: Rick Hedlund

    Bozeman High School Woodworking
    Teacher: Daniel Brown

    Butte High School Welding
    Teacher: Denise Bordeleau

    Dawson County (Glendive) Welding Ag
    Teacher: Leanne Hoagland

    Drummond High School Carpentry & Welding
    Teacher: Alex Bolotsky

    Havre High School Automotive Tech
    Teacher: Tyler Kropf

    Havre High School Welding, Basic Metals
    Teacher: Christopher Comp

    Helena Capital High School Industrial Technology
    Teacher: Tom Kain

    Helena High School Welding
    Teacher: Cindy Galbavy

    Jefferson High School (Boulder) Welding
    Teacher: David Heimann

    Jefferson High School (Boulder) Woods
    Teacher: Mike Robbins

    Missoula Hellgate Building Trades, Math for the Trades
    Teacher: Charles Rinehart

    Missoula Hellgate High School Welding
    Teacher: Alan Pfister

    Missoula Sentinel High School Carpentry & Welding
    Teacher:Dave Burtch

    Park County High School (Livingston) Industrial Technology
    Teacher: Jamie Isaly

    Powell County (Deer Lodge) Cabinet & Carpentry
    Teacher: Clint Stevenson

    St. Regis High School Carpentry & Welding
    Teacher: George Cheesman

    Superior High School Construction/Drafting/Welding/Woods
    Teacher Jeff Schultz

    Whitehall High School Welding & Carpentry
    Teacher: Casey Harris

    The other part of the Growing a Safer initiative is academic scholarships for higher education students in the trades, such as welding, automotive and construction and those studying industrial hygiene or occupational safety and health. These scholarships will be distributed in January 2021. 

    For more information about the Growing a Safer Montana program contact Sophie Magnuson (406) 495-5397 or  Mark Rosenleaf (406) 495- 5334.